VLC Libva Error Troubleshooting

VLC player is well-designed and powerful, and I prefer this type of software designing. (Although UNIX's politically correct answer is Keep It Simple, Stupid, In the multimedia region I prefer a powerful and what-you-see-is-what-you-get interface, just the same design of those old cassette recorder.)

VLC is preinstalled with KDE, or some basic structures. I couldn't play video, but audio is OK since then.

Problem Description

Everytime I tried to play a video, e.g. MP4 with VLC, the interface just flashed and nothing displayed.

using journalctl I got

kernel: vlc[33836]: segfault at 168 ip 00007fb96213e11c sp 00007fb920207320 error 4 in libva.so.2.600.0[7fb96212d000+13000]

and I tried vlc -vvv to show the verbose messages, I got

[00007f82180017f0] egl_x11 gl debug: EGL version 1.4 by Mesa Project
[00007f82180017f0] egl_x11 gl debug: extensions: EGL_ANDROID_blob_cache EGL_ANDROID_native_fence_sync EGL_CHROMIUM_sync_control EGL_EXT_buffer_age EGL_EXT_create_context_robustness EGL_EXT_image_dma_buf_import EGL_EXT_image_dma_buf_import_modifiers EGL_IMG_context_priority EGL_KHR_config_attribs EGL_KHR_create_context EGL_KHR_create_context_no_error EGL_KHR_fence_sync EGL_KHR_get_all_proc_addresses EGL_KHR_gl_colorspace EGL_KHR_gl_renderbuffer_image EGL_KHR_gl_texture_2D_image EGL_KHR_gl_texture_3D_image EGL_KHR_gl_texture_cubemap_image EGL_KHR_image EGL_KHR_image_base EGL_KHR_image_pixmap EGL_KHR_no_config_context EGL_KHR_reusable_sync EGL_KHR_surfaceless_context EGL_EXT_pixel_format_float EGL_KHR_wait_sync EGL_MESA_configless_context EGL_MESA_drm_image EGL_MESA_image_dma_buf_export EGL_MESA_query_driver EGL_NOK_texture_from_pixmap EGL_WL_bind_wayland_display
[00007f82180017f0] main gl debug: using opengl module "egl_x11"
[00007f8218658f00] main generic debug: looking for glconv module matching "any": 4 candidates
[00007f82180017f0] glconv_vaapi_x11 gl error: vaInitialize: unknown libva error
[00007f82180017f0] glconv_vaapi_drm gl error: vaInitialize: unknown libva error
[00007f82180017f0] glconv_vaapi_drm gl error: vaInitialize: unknown libva error
[00007f8218658f00] main generic debug: using glconv module "glconv_vaapi_drm"
[00007f82180013b0] main vout display debug: using vout display module "gl"
[1] 32678 segmentation fault (core dumped) vlc -vvv

Way to Solution

microcode problem?

Though the Archwiki page VLC has some suggestions on segmentation fault, it indicates it as a microcode problem. That's something happens as missing VLC interface. I can play audio file with VLC, after trying the solution I think it's not the microcode problem.

VLC bug?

Some reports says it's a bug, that older VLC uses strlen() on a null pointer, but they were posted years ago and I believe it's not my problem. My VLC is fully updated.

libva error: Display drivers

When checking vaapi and libva error, I found it might be a problem with NVIDIA GPU. Some articles point out that Intel uses vaapi and Nvidia uses vaapu. After updated nvidia, libva, the problem still happens.

Checking VLC's optional dependencies, I found

libva-vdpau-driver: vdpau backend nvidia
libva-intel-driver: video backend intel

not installed. It could be essential if you have these GPUs. After installing these two (my laptop uses both intel and Nvidia to display) drivers, my problem finally solved.

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