From 16.04 up to now I have toyed around with VAAPI solutions, but a lot of them are focused on AMD/Nvidia. I have just a simple Intel processor and GPU, i3-6100u... And so I would like to ask a list of questions to make this less of a duplicate.

1.) Why is hardware acceleration not working?

When playing a YouTube video on both platforms I notice the difference almost immediately. In W10, no matter what the codec, VP9, H.264, AC1, it all gets accelerated. In Ubuntu, I notice the CPU getting hammered with 45%+ usage, very different when compared to 9% of W10.I do have VAAPI installed, the driver as up to date as it can get. Also, I have used other drivers just to make sure and moved to Chrome to ensure an accelerated environment is plausible. Lastly, I used VLC in terminal to read the output. It mainly just spewed errors for VDPAU, but that is Team Green and I only have an iGPU.

2.) What differences in the Intel drivers make certain codecs not work?

The driver for Windows 10 is probably optimized in some way but in what ways that give it an upper hand when compared to the opensource driver. Or drivers from other sources such as oibaf. Are both opensource or one strictly closed?

3.) Do the codecs have a proprietary license restricting them from use?

I know an opensource item can't add in proprietary software, so I thought I'd ask. I can understand that it won't accelerate MP4 or H.265, or something like that. Does this restriction mean that acceleration for these codecs will never see the light of day?

4.) assuming 3 is false, how can hardware acceleration be enabled for the specified codecs?

What libraries, extensions, or alternative drivers are needed to decode and encode these proprietary formats? The hardware does support them, but it seems the software, at least out of the box, doesn't.

5.) If 4 can't be done, will Skylake ever be able to decode/encode these foramts, or has been abandoned due to age?

I know it's outdated now, and probably has been abandoned for the newer 8th Gen hardware, but it doesn't hurt to ask... except on the internet.

6.) Does using Wayland or Xorg matter for acceleration at the current time?

I use Budgie and can only assume it uses Xorg by default, especially since it can run GUI apps as root. This part is for those wondering whether they should switch Xorg or Wayland (at least 1 of the points/reasons)


So, after a while of poking around I learned the answer to a degree.

1.) Because it is not enabled by default and/or the driver does not support on Linux

2.) The blob I guess, they can deny things that weren't designed to run certain codecs natively or directly (non-microcode)

3.) Some do, but it's mainly the fact they are new and were not built for yet.

4.) Best way I found was MPV, I think that's what it was called. You can force hardware acceleration even if not supported.

5.) Yes, skylake has been abandoned for newer technology.

6.) Yes, everything has been made with xorg in mind, that's why the setting was called "Hardware acceleration through x-server".

That's as much I could gather on this.

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