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Ubuntu Haswell and VAAPI

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01 Staff's picture
01 Staff (not verified)

Jun 07, 2013 - 12:24pm

  • 01 Staff's picture
    01 Staff (not verified)

    Has anyone had any luck with running VAAPI on Haswell?  All I see is green screen output whenever vaapi is enabled.



    Jun 07, 2013 - 12:24pm
  • randall's picture
    randall (not verified)

    I have similar problem. Green screen in VLC. i7 4770K with HD4600 graphics. Ubuntu 13.04.

    Jun 10, 2013 - 11:21am
  • Hi seth and randall,

    I have a Haswell (4th Generation Core Processor) unit here, and I am playing a H264/AVC 1080p video stream with VA-API and gstreamer with 2013Q1 media components. Looks great, no green screen.

    But this is a generic linux test environment (with kernel 3.9.5), and I'm using the lower-level "gst-launch" command so I can manually setup the "pipeline" (demux, decode, display) to ensure I'm using all necessary VAAPI components.

    Indications and gut tell me this is an Ubuntu "integration issue." The next steps involve identifying which component(s) on Ubuntu have insufficient (or no) VAAPI awareness, from VLC/fill-in-the-blank player down to the libva-intel-driver.


    Jun 12, 2013 - 08:40am
  • Hi again, seth and randall, (long post)

    It would appear that libva-intel-driver and libva are not the troublemakers here-- I was able to construct a gstreamer pipeline and play back my h264 videos through VAAPI on Ubuntu 13.04. If running `sudo vainfo` in a terminal window outputs something like this, your libva and libva-intel-driver are healthy:

    libva info: VA-API version 0.33.0
    libva info: va_getDriverName() returns 0
    libva info: Trying to open /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/dri/
    libva info: Found init function __vaDriverInit_0_33
    libva info: va_openDriver() returns 0
    vainfo: VA-API version: 0.33 (libva 1.1.1)
    vainfo: Driver version: Intel i965 driver - 1.0.20
    vainfo: Supported profile and entrypoints
    [snipped the rest]

    I also tried VLC* 2.0.7 from the VideoLAN* website. I was able to get a green screen from it as well during playback, despite having a (seemingly) healthy libva and libva-intel-driver. This tells me VLC's VAAPI support is incomplete (or buggy) at the present time, so I would encourage a different player until things change.

    (tl;dr) I am working with vivijim on the best way to approach this complex problem. There appears to be a drought of VAAPI-friendly media players available for Ubuntu that "do the right thing" and use VAAPI when it's available. Ubuntu does package a gstreamer "vaapi" package, but it's for an older version of gstreamer that's not supported by the default "totem" player. I haven't an answer to the implied "why?"

    While vivijim and I toil behind the scenes, consult the Ubuntu wiki and other websites, perhaps someone has found and easy way to make VAAPI video playback "just work" on Ubuntu.


    Jun 12, 2013 - 03:15pm
  • gbeauche's picture
    gbeauche (not verified)


    I could reproduce this issue. Thanks for reporting it to us. The root cause is independent from VA-API as this is specific to SNA, which is enabled by default in Ubuntu 13.04. i.e. you will also get this green screen with mplayer or GStreamer with Xv output. The SNA issue was fixed a couple of weeks ago, and we are evaluating various options to bring it to you.


    Meanwhile, you can workaround this problem as follows:

    • From the command line, please add -V xcb_glx to the arguments ;
    • or, from the VLC GUI: Tools > Preferences > Video: uncheck the "Accelerated video output (Overlay)" box.

    Please also note that, in order to enable VA-API in VLC, you would need to perform the following:

    • From the command line, add --ffmpeg-hw to the arguments ;
    • or, from the VLC GUI: Tools > Preferences > Input & Codecs: check the "Use GPU accelerated decoding" box.
    Jun 26, 2013 - 07:27am
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