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Briefly, this is the VDPAU driver with VA-API/OpenGL backend.

There are applications exists that can use VDPAU. Amongst them are Adobe Flash Player and Mplayer. They both can use VDPAU, but since there is no VDPAU available on Intel chips, they fall back to different drawing techniques. And while Mplayer can use XVideo extension to offload scaling to GPU, Flash Player can not and does all scaling in software. If there was VDPAU available, CPU usage could be significantly lower.

VDPAU is not vendor-locked technology. Even official documentation mentions possibility of other drivers. They should be named as and placed where linker could find them. /usr/lib usually works fine. Which driver to use is determined by asking X server about current driver name or by using VDPAU_DRIVER environment variable.

Here is one. Named, it uses OpenGL under the hood to accelerate drawing and scaling and VA-API (if available) to accelerate video decoding. For now VA-API is available on some Intel chips, and on some AMD video adapters with help of xvba-va-driver. OpenGL is available, you know, on systems with OpenGL available.


  1. sudo apt-get install cmake libva-dev libgl1-mesa-dev
  2. mkdir build; cd build
  4. sudo make install
  5. Add VDPAU_DRIVER=va_gl to your environment

Commands above should work for any Debian-based distro. Fedora names packages in a different way, so package installation step will look like: sudo yum install cmake libva-devel mesa-libGL-devel.

Run time configuration

Besides VDPAU_DRIVER variable which selects which driver to use there are other variables that control runtime behavior of va_gl driver.

VDPAU_QUIRKS contains comma-separated list of enabled quirks. Here is the list:

  • XCloseDisplay Disables calling of XCloseDisplay which may segfault on some video drivers
  • ShowWatermark Enables displaying string "va_gl" in bottom-right corner of window
  • AvoidVA Makes libvdpau-va-gl NOT use VA-API

Parameters of VDPAU_QUIRKS are case-insensetive.


libvdpau-va-gl is distributed under the terms of the MIT license. See LICENSE file for details.


Author can be reached at email or at github:

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