If you have a laptop with Intel integrated card and it gets little bit hot when watching YouTube or running BlueJeans or Google Meet, you should try this guide to enable video-acceleration API (VAAPI). This will work with Fedora 32+ with updates applied (Firefox 81+).

To find out if your hardware meets requirements for this article, do this:

$ lspci | grep VGA
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation UHD Graphics 620 (rev 07)

This ThinkPad X1 has Intel IGP. Cool. Install required packages:

sudo dnf install libva libva-intel-driver \
    libva-vdpau-driver \

Verify VAAPI works:

$ vainfo
libva info: VA-API version 1.7.0
libva info: Trying to open /usr/lib64/dri/iHD_drv_video.so
libva info: va_openDriver() returns -1
libva info: Trying to open /usr/lib64/dri/i965_drv_video.so
libva info: Found init function __vaDriverInit_1_7
libva info: va_openDriver() returns 0
vainfo: VA-API version: 1.7 (libva 2.7.0.pre1)
vainfo: Driver version: Intel i965 driver for Intel(R) Kaby Lake - 2.4.1
vainfo: Supported profile and entrypoints
      VAProfileMPEG2Simple            :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileMPEG2Simple            :	VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileMPEG2Main              :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileMPEG2Main              :	VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileH264ConstrainedBaseline:	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264ConstrainedBaseline:	VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileH264ConstrainedBaseline:	VAEntrypointEncSliceLP
      VAProfileH264Main               :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264Main               :	VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileH264Main               :	VAEntrypointEncSliceLP
      VAProfileH264High               :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264High               :	VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileH264High               :	VAEntrypointEncSliceLP
      VAProfileH264MultiviewHigh      :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264MultiviewHigh      :	VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileH264StereoHigh         :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileH264StereoHigh         :	VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileVC1Simple              :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileVC1Main                :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileVC1Advanced            :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileNone                   :	VAEntrypointVideoProc
      VAProfileJPEGBaseline           :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileJPEGBaseline           :	VAEntrypointEncPicture
      VAProfileVP8Version0_3          :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileVP8Version0_3          :	VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileHEVCMain               :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileHEVCMain               :	VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileHEVCMain10             :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileHEVCMain10             :	VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileVP9Profile0            :	VAEntrypointVLD
      VAProfileVP9Profile0            :	VAEntrypointEncSlice
      VAProfileVP9Profile2            :	VAEntrypointVLD

If the tool prints vaInitialize failed with error code -1 (unknown libva error) try to install package named libva-intel-hybrid-driver which works with older chips. If that does not help, you are out of luck - your hardware is probably too old.

Start Firefox and visit about:config page and set the following flags:

  • layers.acceleration.force-enabled = TRUE
  • gfx.webrender.all = TRUE
  • media.ffmpeg.vaapi-drm-display.enabled = TRUE
  • media.ffmpeg.vaapi.enabled = TRUE
  • media.ffvpx.enabled = FALSE

In my case, YouTube video playback dropped CPU utilization in top utility from 150-170% to about 40-60%. That’s quite huge improvement!

I haven’t tried meeting software, but these use similar codecs as YouTube and it should help as well. Let me know on twitter if this worked for you! I am @lzap. Cheers.