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HWA Tutorial On Rockchip VPU

This tutorial guides you on setting up full video hardware acceleration on Rockchip VPU via RKMPP.


RKMPP hardware acceleration requires Jellyfin 10.9 or above.

Acceleration Methods

Hardware accelerated transcoding is supported and verified with the Rockchip VPU of RK3588/3588S SoC.

Linux is the only supported platform and RKMPP is the only available method.

RKMPP in Jellyfin includes two components: MPP and RGA. Jellyfin uses them to achieve a zero-copy transcoding pipeline.

Usually in ARM-based SoCs, the VPU is responsible for decoding and encoding video, while the GPU is only responsible for graphics and computes. For example, the Mali-G610 GPU on the RK3588 SoC is only used for OpenCL-based HDR tone-mapping.

The MPP interface is part of the SDK and BSP kernel provided by Rockchip. Its kernel driver and user-mode runtime library are both open source implementations and do not rely on proprietary firmware. Rockchip has experimented with using the upstream V4L2 interface, but it cannot meet Rockchip's actual needs in their products. Until there is a mature transcoding solution in the Linux mainline, users need to use RKMPP.

The RGA interface is Rockchip's 2D post-processing unit, used for video scaling, pixel format conversion, subtitle burn-in, etc.

  • Unlike NVIDIA NVENC, there is no concurrent encoding sessions limit on Rockchip VPU.

  • RKMPP support headless server on Linux, which means a connected monitor is not required.

Tone-mapping Methods

Hardware accelerated HDR to SDR tone-mapping is only supported on RK3588/3588S SoC due to hardware pixel format limitations.

OpenCL is the only available tone-mapping method. It supports zero-copy.

Select SoC/VPU Hardware

RK3588/3588S is currently the most recommended SoC. In addition to common codecs, it also supports 10-bit H.264 (High10) and AV1 decoding, and has an H.264/HEVC encoding speed of up to 1080p@480fps or 4k@120fps. Older chips may be supported but we were unable to test, such as RK356x and RK33xx. They have fairly limited encoding resolution support, as well as lacking of hardware HDR tone-mapping support. Best to check the datasheet of Rockchip SoC before purchasing a new SBC for hardware acceleration.

Transcode H.264

AVC / H.264 8-bit is still widely used due to its excellent compatibility. All Rockchip SoCs that support RKMPP can decode and encode it.

  • Decoding & Encoding H.264 8-bit - Any Rockchip SoCs supporting RKMPP.

  • Decoding H.264 10-bit - Almost all Rockchip SoCs from RK33xx onwards.

Transcode HEVC

HEVC / H.265 remains the first choice for storing 4K 10-bit, HDR and Dolby Vision video. It has mature software encoding support thanks to x265, as well as the widely implemented hardware encoding support in most GPUs released after 2016.

The HEVC support on Rockchip is complicated:

  • Decoding HEVC 8-bit - Almost all Rockchip SoCs from RK33xx onwards.

  • Encoding HEVC 8-bit - Almost all Rockchip SoCs from RK35xx onwards.

  • Decoding HEVC 10-bit - Almost all Rockchip SoCs from RK33xx onwards.

Transcode AV1

AV1 is a royalty-free, future-proof video codec. It saves a lot of storage space and network bandwidth due to smaller file size. The downside is that decoding and encoding is very demanding on the CPU. Hardware acceleration makes it possible to transcode AV1 streams on the fly. AV1 encoding support in Jellyfin 10.9 and newer versions.

Rockchip added support for AV1 acceleration in their latest SoCs:

  • Decoding AV1 8/10-bit - Rockchip RK3588/3588S SoC.

  • Encoding AV1 8/10-bit - As of the RK3588 series, there is no Rockchip SoC that supports AV1 encoder.

Transcode Other Codecs

Please refer to these links:

Speed And Quality

  • Rk3588/3588S supports up to 1080p@480fps or 4k@120fps transcoding.

  • RK356x has the resolution limit of the encoder, which is 1080p@100fps. It cannot meet the needs of real-time 4k encoding.

  • RK33xx and older are not recommended, their encoders are only H.264 1080p@30fps.

Due to the lack of test devices, we cannot compare the quality differences between different Rockchip SoC generations. Generally speaking, the newer the SoC, the better the encoding quality. From first impression, the VPU on RK3588 series can meet the quality requirements of real-time streaming media very well.

Linux Setups

A 64-bit Linux distribution is recommended. The Rockchip BSP kernel (6.1 or 5.10 LTS) is required.

Configure On Linux Host

Debian And Ubuntu Linux

The jellyfin-ffmpeg6 deb package required by Jellyfin 10.9 comes with all necessary user mode Rockchip MPP & RGA drivers.

Besides that you only need to install the OpenCL runtime (libmali) and configure the the device permissions.


Root permission is required.

  1. Assuming you have added the jellyfin repository to your apt source list and installed the jellyfin-server, jellyfin-web and jellyfin-ffmpeg6.

  2. Make sure dma_heap, dri, mpp_service and rga exist in /dev. Otherwise upgrade your BSP kernel to 5.10 LTS and newer.

    $ ls -l /dev | grep -E "mpp|rga|dri|dma_heap"
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 80 Jan 1 1970 dma_heap
    drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 140 Jan 18 18:50 dri
    crw-rw---- 1 root video 241, 0 Jan 18 18:50 mpp_service
    crw-rw---- 1 root video 10, 122 Jan 18 18:50 rga
  3. Add the following lines into /etc/udev/rules.d/99-rk-device-permissions.rules. Restart to make it take effect.

    KERNEL=="mpp_service", MODE="0660", GROUP="video"
    KERNEL=="rga", MODE="0660", GROUP="video"
    KERNEL=="system", MODE="0666", GROUP="video"
    KERNEL=="system-dma32", MODE="0666", GROUP="video"
    KERNEL=="system-uncached", MODE="0666", GROUP="video"
    KERNEL=="system-uncached-dma32", MODE="0666", GROUP="video" RUN+="/usr/bin/chmod a+rw /dev/dma_heap"
  4. Add the jellyfin user to the render and video group, then restart the jellyfin service:


    On some distros, the group may be input.

    sudo usermod -aG render jellyfin
    sudo usermod -aG video jellyfin
    sudo systemctl restart jellyfin
  5. Install the ARM Mali OpenCL runtime (libmali) on host:


    Only needed before using HDR tone-mapping on RK3588/3588S. This is done to ensure that the user space firmware and kernel driver versions match, otherwise OpenCL will not work properly.

  6. Check the OpenCL runtime status:

    sudo /usr/lib/jellyfin-ffmpeg/ffmpeg -v debug -init_hw_device rkmpp=rk -init_hw_device opencl=ocl@rk

    arm_release_ver: g13p0-01eac0, rk_so_ver: 10
    [AVHWDeviceContext @ 0xaaaae8321360] 1 OpenCL platforms found.
    [AVHWDeviceContext @ 0xaaaae8321360] 1 OpenCL devices found on platform "ARM Platform".
    [AVHWDeviceContext @ 0xaaaae8321360] 0.0: ARM Platform / Mali-G610 r0p0
    [AVHWDeviceContext @ 0xaaaae8321360] cl_arm_import_memory found as platform extension.
    [AVHWDeviceContext @ 0xaaaae8321360] cl_khr_image2d_from_buffer found as platform extension.
    [AVHWDeviceContext @ 0xaaaae8321360] DRM to OpenCL mapping on ARM function found (clImportMemoryARM).
  7. Enable RKMPP in Jellyfin and uncheck the unsupported codecs.

Configure With Linux Virtualization

Official Docker

The official Docker image comes with all necessary user mode Rockchip MPP & RGA & OpenCL drivers.

What you need to do is to pass the device files of VPU from host to Docker and enable the privileged mode.


Root permission is required.

  1. Use Docker command line: (the extensive device names between for...done is used to ensure backward compatiblity)

    sudo docker run -d \
    --privileged \
    --name=jellyfin \
    --volume /path/to/config:/config \
    --volume /path/to/cache:/cache \
    --volume /path/to/media:/media \
    --user 1000:1000 \
    --net=host \
    --restart=unless-stopped \
    `for dev in dri dma_heap mali0 rga mpp_service \
    iep mpp-service vpu_service vpu-service \
    hevc_service hevc-service rkvdec rkvenc vepu h265e ; do \
    [ -e "/dev/$dev" ] && echo " --device /dev/$dev"; \
    done` \
  2. Check the OpenCL runtime status, make sure you have installed the GPU firmware of the libmali.


    Only needed before using HDR tone-mapping on RK3588/3588S.

    # Check the OpenCL (GPU firmware) on host with clinfo
    sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y clinfo && clinfo

    # Check the OpenCL runtime of Docker image with jellyfin-ffmpeg
    sudo docker exec -it jellyfin /usr/lib/jellyfin-ffmpeg/ffmpeg -v debug -init_hw_device rkmpp=rk -init_hw_device opencl=ocl@rk
  3. Enable RKMPP in Jellyfin and uncheck the unsupported codecs.

Verify On Linux

There is no reliable way to read the occupancy of the VPU on Rockchip SoC.

But you can still verify this by reading other engines, such as the RGA (2D hwaccel blitter).


Root permission is required.

  1. Play a video in the Jellyfin web client and trigger a video transcoding by setting a lower resolution or bitrate.

  2. Use sudo watch -n 1 cat /sys/kernel/debug/rkrga/load command to check the occupancy of RGA engines.

    Every 1.0s: cat /sys/kernel/debug/rkrga/load
    num of scheduler = 3
    ================= load ==================
    scheduler[0]: rga3_core0
    load = 42%
    scheduler[1]: rga3_core1
    load = 27%
    scheduler[2]: rga2
    load = 0%
    process 17: pid = 217002, name: /usr/lib/jellyfin-ffmpeg/ffmpeg ... -init_hw_device rkmpp=rk -hwaccel rkmpp -hwaccel_output_format drm_prime ...