NVIDIA-VAAPI-Driver 0.0.8 Introduces New Direct Backend

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 18 December 2022 at 06:53 AM EST. 3 Comments
Introduced at the start of the year was an experimental open-source project implementing the VA-API interface over NVIDIA's NVDEC video decoding API. In turn this VA-API support for running atop NVIDIA's proprietary Linux graphics driver allows for GPU video acceleration within Firefox and other software only targeting the Video Acceleration API. Now in closing out the year is a new NVIDIA-VAAPI-Driver release.

Over the course of several releases this year the independent open-source software project has added AV1 acceleration, multi-threaded decode, and other improvements. Released this week was NVIDIA-VAAPI-Driver 0.0.8 where the shiny new feature is a direct back-end.

The NVIDIA-VAAPI-Driver's new direct back-end is for interfacing with the NVIDIA kernel driver directly rather than going through the EGL code. This software will interface directly with the NVIDIA kernel graphics driver for allocating and exporting buffers rather than being tied into the EGL windowing system code. This direct back-end is important now that the EGL back-end is broken with the NVIDIA R525 driver series. Enabling the back-end can be done via the NVD_BACKEND=direct environment variable. This direct back-end does rely on undocumented NVIDIA APIs and thus subject to breakage of its own but at least should help for those wanting to enjoy VA-API acceleration currently on the R525 release series.

The current codec coverage for this project.

The NVIDIA-VAAPI-Driver 0.0.8 release also has improved error checking, support for 10/12-bit formats, adding the "NVD_GPU" environment variable for controlling the DRM node for opening the direct back-end mode, and documentation updates.

Downloads for this open-source VA-API to NVDEC video translation layer can be found via GitHub.
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