Solution for high CPU load when using the flash player in the browser on Linux

September 17, 2014

For some time now I wondered why I had such a high CPU load while watching e.g. YouTube videos, even if I’ve a Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 in my PC. Ok thats not the latest card, but normal HD video should be accelerated with it also. 20% CPU load on my modern CPU is too much for a simple YouTube video:

youtube_without_hw

 

The solution is quite easy – the flash player has disabled the hardware acceleration by default. Following steps need to be done to enable it – as I only have an Nvidia card I was only able to test it for it, but looking around I found some tips for the other cards too.

  1. Check if you’ve libvdpau1 installed. On Ubuntu its done like this:
    # dpkg -l | grep vdpau
    ii libvdpau1:amd64 0.7-1 amd64 Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (libraries)
  2. You need a fitting graphics card driver:
    • Nvidia: Nouveau and Closed Source driver should work
    • AMD Radeon: You need the Mesa projects drivers (r300g, r600g or radeonsi)
    • Intel: You need also following library/packaged installed: libvdpau-va-gl1  (as Intel supports only the libva interface for video acceleration)
  3.  You need (most likely) to create following file /etc/adobe/mms.cfg with following content. It is possible that the directory and file exists in this case add the lines:
    EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1
    OverrideGPUValidation=1
  4. Now you need to make sure that the player is not running anymore:
    # ps aux | grep plugin-containe
    robert 8246 0.1 0.9 798312 153260 ? Sl Sep16 0:57 /usr/lib/firefox/plugin-container /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/libflashplayer.so -greomni /usr/lib/firefox/omni.ja -appomni /usr/lib/firefox/browser/omni.ja -appdir /usr/lib/firefox/browser 7066 true plugin
    # kill 8246
  5. Now open the YouTube page again you tried before and top should show following – under 10% CPU Load, thats better.

youtube_with_hw

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