VDPAU backend driver for NVIDIA Tegra 20/30 SoC's
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This is a VDPAU backend driver for the NVIDIA Tegra SoC's.




The VDE linux kernel driver is optional, it is required for HW accelerated video decoding. Currently VDE driver supports CAVLC H.264 videos only. The accelerated video output works without the VDE driver.

Usage of the most recent mainline upstream Linux kernel is very recommended, not all DRM fixes are backportable and some usability-critical features may be missed in older kernels.


From sources

$ sh autogen.sh --prefix=/
$ make
$ make install


Add this PPA https://launchpad.net/~grate-driver/+archive/ubuntu/ppa and apt-get install libvdpau-tegra.


Add this overlay https://github.com/grate-driver/grate-overlay and emerge libvdpau-tegra-driver.

Usage example:

If you are going to use the VDE for accelerated video decoding, first make sure that your user account has access to the VDE device. Giving access to everyone should be fine, driver uses dmabuf and performs all necessary validations, however it will be better if you change the device owner to your user or add it to the groups (video for example) relevant for your account.

$ ls -l /dev/tegra_vde
crw------- 1 root root 10, 61 Jun 21 05:37 /dev/tegra_vde
$ sudo chmod 0666 /dev/tegra_vde
$ ls -l /dev/tegra_vde
crw-rw-rw- 1 root root 10, 61 Jun 21 05:37 /dev/tegra_vde

For a usage example we use mpv (https://mpv.io/). Other players that support VDPAU are also (kinda) working, but mpv is known to work fine and is recommended.

$ VDPAU_DRIVER=tegra VDPAU_DRIVER_PATH=/path/to/libvdpau_tegra.so mpv --hwdec=vdpau --vo=vdpau video.mp4

The VDPAU_DRIVER and VDPAU_DRIVER_PATH environment variables aren't required if mesa (https://github.com/grate-driver/mesa) is installed.

You should see the following lines in the terminal:

Using hardware decoding (vdpau).
VO: [vdpau] 1280x720 vdpau[yuv420p]

If you don't see anything related to VDPAU, it means that it doesn't work for some reason. Check that /usr/lib/vdpau/libvdpau_tegra.so.1 exists, note that VDPAU_DRIVER_PATH must point to the directory containing the shared library, not the library file.

Resolving issues:

Debug messages could be enabled using these environment variables: VDPAU_TRACE=1 VDPAU_TEGRA_DEBUG=1.

Other environment variables:

  • VDPAU_TEGRA_FORCE_XV=1 force display output to Xv overlay
  • VDPAU_TEGRA_FORCE_DRI=1 force display output using DRI


  • Accelerated output to overlay
  • Offload color conversion, blitting and blending to HW
  • H.264 CABAC support (reverse-engineering pending)
  • Support other codecs, like VC-1 or H.263