Sunday, March 4, 2018

Yocto Recipe for Accelerated Video Playback with Qt on Raspberry Pi

Raspberry has a huge community that creates a considerable amount of material in a large number of projects. A relevant support for Yocto cannot therefore be missing for it. Months ago I started to work on using Yocto to create images for the Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately I had to stop for a few months to work on other projects, so the result could not be published immediately: the project is based on Pyro while current Yocto release is Rocko. The concept is however similar.

I created a test image for the Raspberry Pi 3 board, using the best compilation flags I found available, and added a recipe for POT to include hardware acceleration in Qt. The result is good: just invoke qmlscene on a little QML code and you have a hardware accelerated OpenGL scene rendering video with Qt API (QML) in your Yocto image.

You can find the layer here: It is based on the POT project that can be found here:


In the repo I also added a couple of examples of images I created for me. I'll improve those in case I'll find the time to do it.

All you have to do is include the recipe and POT will be installed in the image (satisfy the dependencies if some were missing).


I created some images using this setup (I included many things that are not mandatory at all for POT):

   ${WORKSPACE}/poky-pyro/meta \

   ${WORKSPACE}/poky-pyro/meta-poky \
   ${WORKSPACE}/poky-pyro/meta-openembedded/meta-oe \
   ${WORKSPACE}/poky-pyro/meta-openembedded/meta-multimedia \
   ${WORKSPACE}/poky-pyro/meta-openembedded/meta-networking \
   ${WORKSPACE}/poky-pyro/meta-openembedded/meta-python \
   ${WORKSPACE}/poky-pyro/meta-raspberrypi-crypto \
   ${WORKSPACE}/poky-pyro/meta-qt5 \
   ${WORKSPACE}/poky-pyro/meta-oracle-java \
   ${WORKSPACE}/poky-pyro/meta-java \
   ${WORKSPACE}/poky-pyro/meta-office \
   ${WORKSPACE}/meta-pot \

in my layer.conf I placed:

LICENSE_FLAGS_WHITELIST = "commercial oracle_java"
DISTRO_FEATURES = "ext2 ext3 ext4 pam gles2 usbhost ${DISTRO_FEATURES_LIBC}"
PACKAGE_CLASSES = "package_deb"
IMAGE_FEATURES += "package-management ssh-server-openssh"
DISTRO_FEATURES_remove = "X11 wayland"
EXTRA_IMAGE_FEATURES = "debug-tweaks dev-pkgs tools-sdk tools-debug"
PREFERRED_PROVIDER_jpeg = "libjpeg-turbo"
PREFERRED_PROVIDER_jpeg-native = "libjpeg-turbo-native"
PREFERRED_PROVIDER_virtual/java-initial-native = "cacao-initial-native"
PREFERRED_PROVIDER_virtual/java-native = "cacao-native"
PREFERRED_PROVIDER_virtual/javac-native = "ecj-bootstrap-native"
VIRTUAL_RUNTIME_init_manager = "sysvinit"
MACHINE_FEATURES_remove = "apm"
IMAGE_FSTYPES ?= "rpi-sdimg"
MACHINE = "raspberrypi3"
DISTRO = "poky"

At this point you can use something like pot-minimal ( and you should have a working image.

You can test it pretty simply by using a trivial QML like this:

import QtQuick 2.2
import QtMultimedia 5.5

Rectangle {
   color: "orange"

   Video {
      autoLoad: true
      autoPlay: true
      source: "file:///home/root/"
      anchors.fill: parent

and you should see your video in the QML scene right away with the command:

qmlscene -platform eglfs main.qml


I wanted to also create an image fully optimized for the Raspberry Pi 3 board, which is a Cortex-A53 armv8-a architecture which includes crc and new A64, A32, and T32 instructions to Advanced SIMD that accelerate Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption and decryption, and the Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) functions SHA-1, SHA-224, and SHA-256. Still I wanted a fully 32-bit system as hardware libraries are only supported for this bitness. To do this I had to apply a few patches to the Yocto repos. I uploaded every patch to these forks: (branch: pyro_cortexa53) (branch: pyro_cortexa53)

Bye! ;-)

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