h264, h265, and VC1 in Fedora >= 37

Posted on | 208 words | ~1 min

Mesa 22.2 made the support for hardware acclerated h264, h265, and VC1 optional due to patent claims. Fedora followed suit and is now distributing the version without hw acceleration support for those codecs.

This might affect you, if you’re using the nouveau or amdgpu open source drivers.

The patent claims seem to make it illegal to use the accelerated drivers in some parts of the world, e.g. the US. But if you live in a part of the world where those claims have no effect, you can get the hw acceleration back using rpmfusion.

If you don’t have the rpmfusion repository set up already, you can add it using:

sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

# nonfree repository is not needed, but if you still want it, you can add it using:
sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

You might already have mesa-va-drivers and mesa-vdpau-drivers installed. You can exchange them with the hw accelerated version by running

sudo dnf swap mesa-va-drivers mesa-va-drivers-freeworld
sudo dnf swap mesa-vdpau-drivers mesa-vdpau-drivers-freeworld

or install them from scratch by running

sudo dnf install mesa-va-drivers-freeworld mesa-vdpau-drivers-freeworld

You can find more details in this GitHub comment/thread .

If you speak German, you can also find more details on the whys in this article on heise.de .