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This article explains how to use TI's OpenMAX-IL with GStreamer (e.g. on BeagleBoard).

OpenMAX IL is a standardized API to communicate with multimedia codecs (implemented either in hardware or software).

GstOpenMAX is a GStreamer plug-in that allows communication with OpenMAX IL components.


As the TI's OMXIL is hardware accelerated by DSP, you need to have the DSP properly set up following the DSP howto.


The easiest way to use the DSP capabilities is through the OpenMAX IL API, but in order to compile TI's implementation a special DSP library is required.


libdspbridge is a library which wraps up the ioctl calls to the dspbridge kernel driver. Originally it is in the userspace-dspbridge repository. But it is bloated and its build process is over-complicated. That is why we have started a slimmed version of it.

git clone git://
cd libbridge
git co -b mybranch 23.3.3
make DESTDIR=/media/rootfs install


The original distribution of the TI's OpenMAX IL is in its gforge site. Nevertheless, its build process is overcomplicated. For that reason we started a repository which simplifies the build machinery, and also we are targeting a general code cleanup.

git clone git://
cd ti-omxil
git co -b my-branch v3.28-2
make DBAPI_CFLAGS=-I/media/rootfs/usr/include/libbridge \
     DBAPI_LIBS="-L/media/rootfs/usr/lib -lbridge" DESTDIR=/media/rootfs install


The official gst-openmax repository is git://

Nevertheless, for the TI's OpenMAX IL implementation some hacks are still required. And because of that, a unofficial repository is set up, which is the one we use in this document.

git clone git://
cd gst-openmax
git checkout -b omap origin/omap
/ --build=i686-linux --host=arm-linux --target=arm-linux
make DESTDIR=/media/rootfs install

Related stuff

In order to get the omapfb usable for video playback you need this kernel argument:


And the GStreamer element:

git clone git://
cd gst-omapfb
make DESTDIR=/media/rootfs install


You should be able to use the gst-openmax elements now:

gst-launch-0.10 filesrc location="foobar.avi" ! avidemux ! omx_mpeg4dec ! omapfbsink

See also