Mesa Can Now Be Built With Select Video Codecs Disabled For Software Patent Concerns

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 29 April 2022 at 05:18 AM EDT. 46 Comments
A change merged to Mesa 22.2 on Thursday adds a Meson build option for being able to optionally control the video codecs supported by Mesa for its video encoding/decoding paths.

While still dependent upon the GPU/driver for what video codecs can work with GPU acceleration on Mesa, this allows building Mesa code for certain video codecs if deemed undesirable. In particular, if concerned about software parents and wanting to restrict the Mesa build to select codecs where software patents wouldn't be of concern. This new Meson build option for Mesa will be of primary benefit to Linux distribution vendors where there is the greatest legal concern and aiming to reduce possible risks.

David Airlie of Red Hat authored the change.

Airlie commented, "This allows to turn on/off all hw implementations for a specific video codec across the tree. Patent encumbered codecs can cause problems for distributions due to the nature of at least MPEG-LA licensing...From a distro [point of view], codec fees are a jigsaw puzzle, you only seem to become a problem when you fit all the pieces. This patch will allow disabling the mesa piece of the puzzle."
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