There used to be a vaapi build of mplayer but it doesn't seem to be maintained any more and doesn't work in Vivid.

Default mplayer2 build from the repo uses 40% of CPU during 720p playback. Same as totem. VLC does have some hardware acceleration support and uses 13% but I liked mplayer's UI more and it used less than 5% with.

Is it currently possible to use mplayer with hardware acceleration on Intel integrated graphics?


OK, I found mpv (a fork of mplayer) which does everything I wanted and carried all the good UI qualities from mplayer2.

To enable vaapi support, run it with mpv --vo=opengl-hq --hwdec=vaapi file.mkv

or add


to ~/.config/mpv/mpv.conf.

Previously the answer suggested using vo=vaapi and hwdec=vaapi but this is not a recommended setup anymore. See comments.

  • 2
    mpv works really well, thank you for sharing your solution. On my system, setting "hwdec=auto" is sufficient to get accelerated playback; supposedly, vo=opengl is better than vo=vaapi on newer systems: wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Mpv#Hardware_Decoding – lxgr Apr 29 '15 at 7:51
  • 1
    I switched vo=opengl-hq with hwdec=vaapi which is what they seem to recommend. – Damn Terminal Apr 29 '15 at 8:09
  • FTR: I noticed that hwdec=vaapi doesn't seem to work for me (i.e. eats to much cpu), but --hwdec=vaapi option does work. mpv-0.3.4. – Hi-Angel Oct 18 '16 at 12:03

SNA is the best acceleration method. You should check your config file if you have one. Another way is to renice the process. For example:

ps ax|grep mplayer

find the given process and renice it

renice -20 43332

You can do it as root only (maybe it is possible with sudo: sudo renice -20 43332 ).

  • What does SNA do? How do I enable it? – Damn Terminal Apr 26 '15 at 14:43
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    SNA is a better acceleration than any other. You probably won't have /etc/X11/xorg.conf. EXA, UXA are older acceleration methods. Yous check what acceleration method are you using. You can probably do it by cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log|egrep -i EXA|UXA|SNA – Pavol Polacko Apr 26 '15 at 14:54
  • Yes. My system does seem to support it SNA compiled: xserver-xorg-video-intel 2:2.99.917-1~exp1ubuntu2build1. How can I make use of it in mplayer? – Damn Terminal Apr 26 '15 at 14:57
  • It's using it automatically. :) Could you, please, give us the output of cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log|egrep -i "EXA|UXA|SNA" ? And the output of cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf ? – Pavol Polacko Apr 26 '15 at 15:02
  • 4
    SNA is used for accelerated X11 drawing and has nothing to do with (hardware accelerated) video decoding. – lxgr Apr 28 '15 at 9:53

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