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This page contains information on the Cisco OpenH264 codec.

Background

Cisco provides an OpenH264 codec (as a source and a binary), which is their of implementation H.264 codec, and they cover all licensing fees for all parties using their binary. This codec allows you to use H.264 in WebRTC with gstreamer and Firefox. It does not enable generic H.264 playback, only WebRTC (see Mozilla bug 1057646).

The code source is available at https://github.com/cisco/openh264 under a BSD license. The binary is released under this agreement from Cisco: http://www.openh264.org/BINARY_LICENSE.txt

Upstream Firefox versions download and install the OpenH264 plugin by default automatically. Due to it's binary nature, Fedora disables this automatic download.

Installation from fedora-cisco-openh264 repository

A fedora-cisco-openh264 repository is distributed since Fedora 24 by default (if you have at least fedora-repos-24-0.5 package or newer). It contains OpenH264 binary built inside the Fedora infrastructure, but distributed by Cisco, so that the all licensing fees are still covered by them. This repository also contains OpenH264 plugins for gstreamer and Firefox. It is disabled by default. In order to install OpenH264, you first need to enable it:

$ sudo dnf config-manager --set-enabled fedora-cisco-openh264

and then install the plugins:

$ sudo dnf install gstreamer1-plugin-openh264 mozilla-openh264

Afterwards you need open Firefox, go to menu -> Add-ons -> Plugins and enable OpenH264 plugin.

You can do a simple test whether your H.264 works in RTC on this page (check Require H.264 video).

Manual install of binary

Example installation for version 1.1:

wget http://ciscobinary.openh264.org/openh264-linux64-v1.1-Firefox33.zip
mkdir -p ~/.mozilla/firefox/<yourprofile>/gmp-gmpopenh264/1.1/
cd ~/.mozilla/firefox/<yourprofile>/gmp-gmpopenh264/1.1/
unzip ~/openh264-linux64-v1.1-Firefox33.zip

Firefox config changes

Type about:config into the Firefox address/URL field and accept the warning.

  • From the Search field type in 264 and a handful of options will appear. Give the following Preference Names a value of true by double-clicking on false:
 media.gmp-gmpopenh264.autoupdate
 media.gmp-gmpopenh264.enabled
 media.gmp-gmpopenh264.provider.enabled
 media.peerconnection.video.h264_enabled
  • Restart Firefox
  • After restarting, the following string in about:config will change to the current version that has been installed from the web:
 media.gmp-gmpopenh264.version