Ubuntu Gets Snappier Video Playback With Chromium Snap For VA-API Acceleration
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 22 January 2019 at 01:00 AM EST. 27 Comments
UBUNTU --
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.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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