Ubuntu Gets Snappier Video Playback With Chromium Snap For VA-API Acceleration
For Ubuntu users running the Chromium web browser and wanting to enjoy better video acceleration with Gallium3D or Intel hardware, there is now a Chromium Snap for testing that features VA-API video acceleration support for GPU-based decoding.
Fedora Linux recently began offering Chromium patched with VA-API support due to Google not really trusting Linux GPU video acceleration and thus not having the support upstream. Fedora users testing out this VA-API video acceleration support with Chromium has been panning out well so now Ubuntu is taking the patch and offering a Chromium snap with this experimental functionality.
Ubuntu developer Olivier Tilloy took the patch and spun a Chromium VA-API enabled Snap. Currently this snap is in the candidate/vaapi channel or available here for Ubuntu or other Snap-supported platforms.
Granted, to enjoy this VA-API video acceleration you need supported hardware/driver, which principally comes down to Intel graphics with their VA-API driver stack or there is also the VA state tracker with Mesa's Gallium3D providing VA-API support for Radeon GPUs and friends. NVIDIA hardware meanwhile is limited to the CUDA-based Video Codec SDK (NVENC/NVDEC) and VDPAU. Also, for watching YouTube videos with Chromium VA-API, you need to be using the h264ify extension.