Set up NVIDIA NVENC accelerated encoding on Ubuntu for Wowza Streaming Engine

The Wowza Streaming Engine™ media server software Transcoder supports NVIDIA's NVENC accelerated H.264 encoding technology, which is available with the Kepler and Maxwell line of NVIDIA graphics cards. This article describes how to set up the NVIDIA driver and Wowza Streaming Engine on Ubuntu Server to leverage this technology.

Notes:
  • Wowza Streaming Engine or Wowza Media Server™ 3.6 is required.
     
  • The procedure in this article was tested against Ubuntu Server 12.04.
     
  • Accelerated encoding isn't available when running on a virtual hardware environment such as VMware or Xen.
     
  • Older graphics drivers for your NVIDIA hardware may limit NVENC-based video encoding to approximately 30 simultaneous encoding sessions. Update your graphics driver to the latest version to avoid this limitation.

Set up NVENC accelerated encoding


  1. Download and install Ubuntu Server 12.04 on a server that includes an NVIDIA Kepler-based or Maxwell-based graphics card:
    1. Go to Download Ubuntu Server and click Get Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
       
    2. Burn the downloaded ISO image onto a DVD.
       
    3. Install the operating system from the DVD.
       
      Note: For best performance, only install the Standard system utilities option. Uncheck all other options.
  2. After the installation is complete and the server is rebooted, do the following to prepare the system for the NVIDIA driver installation:
    1. Log on to the system as root user.
       
    2. Update and upgrade all components.
      apt-get update
      apt-get upgrade
    3. Install Development Tools.
      apt-get install build-essential
    4. Install kernel headers.
      apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)
    5. Disable the Nouveau driver:
       
      1. Open the blacklist.conf file.
        vi /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
      2. Add the following line to the bottom of the blacklist.conf file and then save and close the file.
        blacklist nouveau
    6. Restart the server.
      shutdown -r 0
  3. Download and install the 64-bit Linux driver for your graphics card:
     
    1. Log on to the system as root user.
       
    2. Download the graphics driver for your hardware from NVIDIA Driver Downloads.
       
    3. Make the driver installation package executable.
      chmod +x NVIDIA-Linux-*
    4. Run the driver installation package.
      ./NVIDIA-Linux-*
      During the installation, acknowledge the following prompts as follows:
       
      • Accept: License Agreement
         
      • Yes: Install NVIDIA 32-bit compatibility OpenGL libraries
         
      • Yes: Run nvidia-xconfig utility
         
      • OK: Configuration successfully updated
    5. Restart the server.
      shutdown -r 0
  4. Install Java and Wowza Streaming Engine.

You can now use the NVENC encoding implementation in your Transcoder template. For more information, see Set up and run Transcoder in Wowza Streaming Engine.

More resources