• How to set up Wowza Transcoder Quick Sync accelerated encoding on Fedora Core

    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 Fedora Core 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 Fedora Core.

    IMPORTANT: We have seen an issue with Quick Sync encoding that seems to be specific to Fedora Core 17. Pausing can occur during the encoding process that leads to dropped frames. The pausing seems to be system-wide and may also cause streaming issues as well. This problem does not occur with other operating systems.

    Note: Wowza Media Server™ 3.5.0 or later is required.

    Note: The steps in this article were tested against Fedora Core 17. Older versions of Fedora Core may not work properly because the Intel LibVA driver technology that Quick Sync acceleration relies on is quite new.

    Note: Accelerated encoding is not available when running on a virtual hardware environment such as VMWare or XEN.

    Note: Currently, the pre-built Intel Video Acceleration API (VAAPI) release only supports the H.264 Baseline Profile. The following article includes generic build instructions for the staging environment of the Intel VAAPI library, which includes support for the H.264 Main Profile (this is for advanced users who are comfortable with compiling and linking code on Linux): How build Intel Quick Sync VAAPI components on Linux (advanced, main profile)

    To set up Quick Sync accelerated encoding on Fedora Core

    1. Download and install Fedora Core 17 (Fedora-17-x86_64-DVD.iso) on a server that contains either a Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processor. You can download Fedora 17 DVD 64-bit from the Get Fedora webpage.

    2. Run the install and be sure to select the Graphical Desktop default option during the installation process.

    3. 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):
      yum -y localinstall --nogpgcheck http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm
      yum -y update
      yum -y install libva
      yum -y install libva-utils
      yum -y install libva-intel-driver
    4. Test to be sure LibVA is properly installed by executing the following command:
      export DISPLAY=:0.0
      The output should look like this:
      libva: VA-API version 0.32.1
      libva: va_getDriverName() returns 0
      libva: Trying to open /usr/lib64/dri/i965_drv_video.so
      libva: va_openDriver() returns 0
      vainfo: VA-API version: 0.32 (libva 1.0.16)
      vainfo: Driver version: Intel i965 driver - 1.0.18
      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 +

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