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X-Video Motion Compensation (XvMC) is an extension for the X.Org Server. The XvMC API allows video programs to offload portions of the video decoding process to the GPU video-hardware. Particularly, features that have the tendency of heavily depending on the processor. Since XvMC acceleration takes the load off the CPU, thereby reducing processor requirements for video playback, it is an ideal solution for HDTV video playback scenarios.

Note: XvMC is obsoleted by VA-API and VDPAU nowadays, which have better support for recent GPUs.

Supported hardware

Only MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 videos are supported by all driver.


The open source drivers should work without any configuration. For the proprietary drivers create a new file /etc/X11/XvMCConfig and add:

  • For NVIDIA GPUs:
  • For AMD GPUs:

Supported software

Tip: Using full screen mode and disabling GUI elements may prevent flickering while playing the video.


Install mplayer package, available in the official repositories.

$ mplayer -vo xvmc -fs foobar.mpeg
  • -vo - Select xvmc video output driver
  • -fs - Fullscreen playback (optional)

MPlayer based players:

  • gnome-mplayer: open preferences and set the video output to "xvmc", and select "Enable Video Hardware Support".
  • smplayer: open preferences and set the video driver to "xvmc", and deselect "Enable screenshots".


Install xine-ui package, available in the official repositories.

$ xine -V xvmc -f -g --no-splash foobar.mpeg


$ xine -V xxmc -f -g --no-splash foobar.mpeg
  • -V - Select the xvmc or xxmc video driver
  • -f - Start in fullscreen mode (optional)
  • -g - Hide GUI (optional)
  • --no-splash - Don't display the splash screen (optional)