Thursday, 10 April 2014

I.MX6 - gstreamer-imx

gstreamer-imx is set of gstreamer 1.0 imx6 video plugins principally developed by Carlos Giani a.k.a dv_ (great work!). Once stable these plugins "hopefully" will supersede the Freescale BSP gstreamers 0.10 plugins which are showing their age given that gstreamer 0.10 is longer maintained.

The main driver for this work was to get a usb webcam streaming via these plugins this will be covered in the next post. In meantime below are build instructions for deploying the latest code to the debian rootfs if you fancy experimenting.  I'm finding the debian jessie build useful to jump start prototype development on the imx6 mainly due to the availability of prebuilt packages.

Here is a short video demonstrating the use of color key along with the imxipusink to hide/view video within XFCE. The video only appears for the color key 'black' hence it is visible in the terminal windows and menu. The test device was a AR6MXQ board provide by BCM Advanced Research. As a designer/provider of industrial motherboards BCM have done a good job with their first feature rich ARM development board.

The current debian rootfs already includes an older build of the gstreamer-imx plugins. Upgrading these to a newer release is fairly trivial, you can build the latest sources natively on debian as follows:

1. Remove the existing plugins

 rm /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/gstreamer-1.0/ 
 rm /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/gstreamer-1.0/ 
 rm /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/gstreamer-1.0/ 

 rm /usr/lib/ 
 rm /usr/lib/ 
 rm /usr/lib/ 

2. Build lastest sources

 git clone git://  
 cd gstreamer-imx  
 ./waf configure --prefix=usr --kernel-headers=/usr/include  
 ./waf install  

3. Deploy plugins

 cp usr/lib/gstreamer-1.0/ /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/gstreamer-1.0  
 cp usr/lib/gstreamer-1.0/ /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/gstreamer-1.0  
 cp usr/lib/gstreamer-1.0/ /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/gstreamer-1.0  
 cp usr/lib/gstreamer-1.0/ /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/gstreamer-1.0  
 cp usr/lib/ /usr/lib  
 cd /usr/lib  
 ln -s  
 ln -s  

4. Reboot

5. Verify the plugins are present

 root@debian-imx6:~# gst-inspect-1.0 | grep imx  
 imxipu: imxipuvideotransform: Freescale IPU video transform element  
 imxipu: imxipusink: Freescale IPU video sink  
 imxvpu: imxvpudec: Freescale VPU video decoder  
 imxvpu: imxvpuenc_h263: Freescale VPU h.263 video encoder  
 imxvpu: imxvpuenc_h264: Freescale VPU h.264 video encoder  
 imxvpu: imxvpuenc_mpeg4: Freescale VPU MPEG-4 video encoder  
 imxvpu: imxvpuenc_mjpeg: Freescale VPU motion JPEG video encoder  
 imxeglvivsink: imxeglvivsink: Freescale EGL video sink  
 imxv4l2src: imxv4l2src: V4L2 CSI Video Source  

6. Test video playback (under X11)

 gst-launch-1.0 playbin uri=file://<video file> video-sink=imxeglvivsink  

Unfortunately the elements/sinks aren't documented so you may need to refer to the source code to determine features or properties. There is also a new plugin for CSI camera sources (imxv4l2src) provided by  Philip Craig.


  1. Hi,
    I'm trying to do this on Cubox i4 pro with Debian Jessie.
    I could not install this, since it needed libfslvpuwrap dependancy of greater than 1.0.45. Could you tell me where to resolve this dependancy ?

  2. Hi,
    Did you try this using the i.MX6 Debian Jessie 3.10.17_beta (which was posted previously) ?

    1. Hi, yes it was tested on 3.10.17_beta.

  3. Hi,I installed these plugins and got a error when playing mp3.
    gst-launch-1.0 playbin uri=file:///opt/test/1.mp3 Setting pipeline to PAUSED ...
    Pipeline is PREROLLING ...
    ERROR: from element /GstPlayBin:playbin0/GstURIDecodeBin:uridecodebin0/GstDecodeBin:decodebin0/GstTypeFindElement:typefind: Could not determine type of stream.
    Additional debug info:
    gsttypefindelement.c(1067): gst_type_find_element_loop (): /GstPlayBin:playbin0/GstURIDecodeBin:uridecodebin0/GstDecodeBin:decodebin0/GstTypeFindElement:typefind
    ERROR: pipeline doesn't want to preroll.
    Setting pipeline to NULL ...
    Freeing pipeline ...

    Could you help me with this error?

    1. Unfortunately the trace output doesn't provide much. You would need to increase the log level by adding 'GST_DEBUG=2' to your pipeline. I suspect the problem is because there is no codec available to decode your mp3 file.