Understanding video issues with Vivaldi for Linux snapshots

The following is an explanation of video issues that some Linux users encounter when running Vivaldi snapshots.

Vivaldi snapshot’s are not stable releases. As test versions, they will normally be based on the current beta version of Chromium.

This can occasionally cause problems with proprietary media (H.264/AAC) playback on sites like Netflix, Twitter and Facebook due to the shared library used to play these formats (provided by the distribution), being based on stable Chromium and hence too old.

Normally, by the time a given Vivaldi version finishes the stablisation process and becomes a final release, the distribution will have upgraded their associated Chromium libraries and the versions will again be in sync, thus proprietary media will play without issues.

Workaround for Vivaldi 1.14 snapshots

Below you will find manual steps to workaround video playback issues for Vivaldi 1.14 Linux snapshot users on x86_64. If you are reading this post in the future and have a different Vivaldi version, use a different platform architecture or encounter some other issue, you may wish to use the script included with this gist to automatically install a suitable shared library.

If you want to proceed with the manual steps, start a Terminal window and copy & paste each of the following three lines, pressing “Enter” after each one:

  • Fetch the beta version of the chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra package from the Ubuntu, Chromium team’s testing archive: wget https://launchpadlibrarian.net/353917794/chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra_64.0.3282.99-0ubuntu0.17.10.1_amd64.deb
  • Extract the support library: ar p chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra_64*.deb data.tar.xz | tar Jx ./usr/lib/chromium-browser/libffmpeg.so --strip 4
  • Install the library into Vivaldi Snapshot installation directory: sudo cp libffmpeg.so /opt/vivaldi-snapshot/libffmpeg.so

Alternatively use the script included with this gist to automatically install a suitable shared library.

Testing Vivaldi proprietary media support

After completing the workaround steps, you will need to restart Vivaldi. You can then test support by atttempting to play the first video on this page.