How to Enable Nvidia NVENC for OBS in Linux

By | 2016/09/12

OBS on Linux supports using the Nvidia NVENC for H.264 encoding. To get this working, one must compile ffmpeg wtih nvenc support. Check it out!


– nvidia proprietary driver installed
– kepler or maxwell (or later) nvidia GPU
– OBS Studio 0.14 or later

Step 1:

Grab the nvEncoder header

FFmpeg 3.1.3 and later includes this header so one does not need to download any nvenc sdk from nvidia if building FFmpeg 3.1.3+.


Download and extract Nvidia nvenc sdk from:

From that download, copy the file

Step 2:

Download and extract the Nvidia cuda sdk from:


Step 3:

Configure and the install ffmpeg with:

--enable-nonfree --enable-nvenc

This may vary wildly by distro, or you may have your own preferred way to compile and build ffmpeg.

Debian Example

Below are debian specific steps using the latest nvidia driver from which will result in a .deb file installed and ffmpeg executable at /usr/local/bin/ffmpeg

sudo apt build-dep ffmpeg

sudo apt install yasm nasm \
                build-essential automake autoconf \
                libtool pkg-config libcurl4-openssl-dev \
                checkinstall libavcodec-extra57

git clone git://

cd ffmpeg

./configure --prefix=/usr/local --extra-version=1+b3 --toolchain=hardened --libdir=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu --incdir=/usr/include/x86_64-linux-gnu --shlibdir=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu --cc=cc --cxx=g++ --enable-gpl --disable-stripping --enable-shared --disable-decoder=libopenjpeg --disable-decoder=libschroedinger --enable-avresample --enable-avisynth --enable-gnutls --enable-ladspa --enable-libass --enable-libbluray --enable-libbs2b --enable-libcaca --enable-libcdio --enable-libebur128 --enable-libflite --enable-libfontconfig --enable-libfreetype --enable-libfribidi --enable-libgme --enable-libgsm --enable-libmodplug --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libopus --enable-libpulse --enable-librubberband --enable-librtmp --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libshine --enable-libsnappy --enable-libsoxr --enable-libspeex --enable-libssh --enable-libtheora --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvorbis --enable-libvpx --enable-libwavpack --enable-libwebp --enable-libx265 --enable-libxvid --enable-libzvbi --enable-openal --enable-opengl --enable-x11grab --enable-libdc1394 --enable-libiec61883 --enable-libzmq --enable-frei0r --enable-chromaprint --enable-libopencv --enable-libx264 --enable-pic --enable-nonfree --enable-nvenc

make -j4

sudo checkinstall

Step 4: OBS Setup

In OBS, there will now be an encoder option NVENC H.264. Now the bitrate can be cranked up to blu-ray or better quality for local recording if you have a recent video card. I’ve got mine set at 50000.


Note that NVENC encoding can be used in other apps as well. For instance in openshot, one can use nvenc for encoding videos.

Example video

Below is a video recorded using obs in Linux using the NVENC encoder, 1080p60 @ 50Mb/s bitrate: