Is hardware video decoding supported in Linux?

Is hardware video decoding supported in Linux?

@xuncq I think maybe it’s not ready. KHADAS said they would start to support it from kernel 5.10.

Spikerguy Am I correct?

@xuncq No, Hardware decoding is not yet supported,

@ru719iz283 are you referring to the panfrost driver ?

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If we talk about Coreelec, then there is a complete order with hardware decoding!

Also on Khadas Ubuntu, Kodi runs accelerated. Acceleration not yet available system-wide.

Hello and welcome to the forum,

Hardware Video Decoding is still not supported on Mainline Linux while on legacy linux like 3.1 and 4.19 there is proprietary drivers by amlogic which are used by CoreElec project.

In short answer for your question is YES & NO :wink:
Yes for Legacy Kernel projects like Khadas Ubuntu 4.9 , CoreElec, RetroPie etc.
No for Mainline Kernel projects Like Khadas Ubuntu 5.7, Manjaro - 5.9-rc7, Ubuntu etc.


@Spikerguy So, I could say that now the Legacy kernel supports the hardware decode. But the mainline kernel is not ready now. Maybe the mainline kernel will support it in the next release.
Question 1: what’s the main difference between the legacy kernel and the mainline kernel?
Question 2: Can I have any sample for hardware decode in the legacy kernel?

Mainline is the kernel with the latest features and is what is currently being developed by the Linux community,

whereas Legacy kernel is “in ambiguous tems” a stable version of the kernel, and is what is used where every thing “just works”, but is not the greatest at it in terms of functionality…

Legacy kernel is a very old version of the kernel for which the proprietary drivers of Mali GPU was made for, so for those who wants to make use of the proprietary drivers provided by ARM they have to use legacy kernel.
Try CoreElec it works flawlessly for video playback using the Hardware Decoding.

Thanks for your reply.
So you think CoreElec is flawless in hardware decoding.
Now I want to receive RTSP h264 streams and decode then output it on the HDMI.
Could you suggest me to use CoreElec or ubuntu kernel 4.9?
And could you give me more samples for hardware decode.


No i don’t use it much, ask at coreelec forum or someone using it.

Good luck.

The reality is that Mainline for ARM/AMLogic may never be fully mature unless and until ARM starts to cooperate (which they look like they are starting to do). If you want and need full hardware support of the AMLogic platform then you have no choice but to run the legacy kernel that came with the hardware - and this maybe the situation for a near indefinite timeframe. If what you want is working hardware - this is not really an issue since as a user things will simply work (well) on the provided Kernel.

What is more important is that since AMLogic is targeted almost exclusively at Android or proprietory media platforms - the only body with the muscle to make mainline a reality for AMLogic is Google. If hardware providers want to keep on the current Android bandwagon - they will have to meet Googles requirements to release up to date kernels. No one else has that power. However that doesn’t means that those kernels will be fully in tree and offer Open Source hardware drivers.

People should be careful about what they promise with regard to Kernel support because there is a lot of disappointment when to much is promised and they fail to deliver.