How to set up Wowza Transcoder Quick Sync accelerated encoding on Ubuntu Desktop

Note: This article is for an older Wowza™ product or technology that either has been updated or is no longer supported. For the current version of this article, see How to configure Quick Sync accelerated encoding on Linux.
Wowza Transcoder contains preview technology that makes the best use of 3rd generation Intel Core processors on the Linux Ubuntu Desktop operating system distribution by adding support for Intel Quick Sync Video. Using Intel Quick Sync Video can double transcoding speeds over 2nd generation Intel Core processors by moving video-conversion tasks to dedicated media processing space. The final version of the technology that supports Quick Sync Video will be available in a later release of Wowza Transcoder.

This article describes how to set up Quick Sync acclerated encoding on Ubuntu Desktop.
 
Note: Wowza Media Server™ 3.5.0 or later is required.
 
Note: The steps in this article were tested against Ubuntu Desktop 12.04.1. Older versions of Ubuntu Desktop may not work properly because the Intel LibVA driver technology that Quick Sync acceleration relies on is quite new.
 
Note: Ubuntu Server will not work with Quick Sync accelerated encoding because the Quick Sync system requires the X Window System (X11) to be running to work properly.
 
Note: Accelerated encoding is not available when running on a virtual hardware environment such as VMWare or XEN.
 
To set up Quick Sync accelerated encoding on Ubuntu Desktop
 
  1. Download and install Ubuntu Desktop (ubuntu-12.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso) on a server that contains either a Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processor. You can download Ubuntu Desktop from the Get Ubuntu webpage.
     
  2. After the installation is complete and the server is rebooted, execute the following commands in a terminal window to update the system and install the Intel LibVA software (be sure to be logged in as root user):
    sudo su -
    
    [enter password]
    
    apt-get update
    apt-get upgrade
    
    apt-get install vainfo
    apt-get install i965-va-driver
  3. Configure access to the X11 system for the root user by executing the following commands:
    [if logged in as root user execute the exit command]
    [as non-root user execute the following command]
    
    xauth list $DISPLAY
    
    [copy the out of this command to the clipboard]
    [should look something like "cgood-System-Product-Name/unix:0  MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1  8a2e3d31efa5d179974039de4e79f229"]
    
    sudo su -
    
    [enter password]
    
    chmod 775 /root/.Xauthority
    xauth add [output of "xauth list $DISPLAY" from above]
    
    [example: "xauth add cgood-System-Product-Name/unix:0  MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1  8a2e3d31efa5d179974039de4e79f229"]
  4. Test to be sure LibVA is properly installed by executing the following command:
    export DISPLAY=:0.0
    vainfo
    The output should look like this:
    libva: VA-API version 0.32.0
    libva: va_getDriverName() returns 0
    libva: Trying to open /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/dri/i965_drv_video.so
    libva: va_openDriver() returns 0
    vainfo: VA-API version: 0.32 (libva 1.0.15)
    vainfo: Driver version: Intel i965 driver - 1.0.15
    vainfo: Supported profile and entrypoints
          VAProfileMPEG2Simple            : VAEntrypointVLD
          VAProfileMPEG2Main              : VAEntrypointVLD
          VAProfileH264Baseline           : VAEntrypointVLD
          VAProfileH264Baseline           : VAEntrypointEncSlice
          VAProfileH264Main               : VAEntrypointVLD
          VAProfileH264Main               : VAEntrypointEncSlice
          VAProfileH264High               : VAEntrypointVLD
          VAProfileH264High               : VAEntrypointEncSlice
          VAProfileVC1Simple              : VAEntrypointVLD
          VAProfileVC1Main                : VAEntrypointVLD
          VAProfileVC1Advanced            : VAEntrypointVLD
    QuickSync acceleration will not work properly unless you see the following entries in the Supported profile and entrypoints list:
    VAProfileH264Baseline           : VAEntrypointEncSlice
    VAProfileH264Main               : VAEntrypointEncSlice
    If you do not see these entries in the list, then either LibVA is not configured properly or your system does not support Quick Sync acceleration.
     
  5. Install Java and Wowza Media Server 3.5. You can now use the QuickSync encoding implementation in your transcoder template.
 
Note: When running as root user, you may receive an error messages like the following:
error: can't connect to X server!
Xlib: No protocol specified
One solution is to do the following:
 
  1. Login as a non-root user and execute the following command:
    xhost +
    -or-

    Login as root user using the following command:
    su -
  2. Test the VAAP install using the following commands:
    export DISPLAY=:0.0
    vainfo