Hetzner - Using iGPU for Hardware Acceleration


A basic guide for enabling the internal GPU (iGPU) on Intel CPUs for Hetzner servers. Only tested on the machines with i7 CPUs.

This is loosely based off a reddit comment, with some changes to work with Ubuntu 18.04.

EDIT - December 21st, 2021: I've also followed my own guide for Debian 11, with an i7-8700k (on Hetzner). So it should work for Ubuntu 20.04 and Debian 10 as well. You might need to install some Intel drivers from apt (e.g. intel-media-va-driver), but I'm not entirely sure.


Remove hetzner's default grub config "nomodeset" which blocks loading of video card drivers. Open /etc/default/grub.d/hetzner.cfg, and comment out #GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="nomodeset"

This file doesn't exist on Hetzner's Ubuntu 18.04 minimal image, so here are the correct steps.

  1. sudo nano /etc/default/grub
  2. Remove nomodeset from GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT
    • I don't recommend commenting the whole line out, since there might be other options supplied there. If there aren't, it should be safe to comment I guess.
  3. sudo update-grub to update the bootloader.
    • Don't reboot yet.

Enabling drivers

Pretty much follow this as written:

Comment all line referencing i915 in this file.
sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-hetzner.conf

  1. Open sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-hetzner.conf
  2. Comment blacklist i915 and blacklist i915_bdw by adding a # in front:
    • #blacklist i915
    • #blacklist i915_bdw
  3. Here's how my file looks like:
### Hetzner Online GmbH - installimage
### silence any onboard speaker
blacklist pcspkr
blacklist snd_pcsp
### i915 driver blacklisted due to various bugs
### especially in combination with nomodeset
#blacklist i915
#blacklist i915_bdw
### mei driver blacklisted due to serious bugs
blacklist mei
blacklist mei-me
blacklist sm750fb

Allowing Plex to use iGPU (non-Docker)

Add user emby (or plex) to the video group:
sudo usermod -a -G video emby

Doing it for Plex is practically the same.

  1. sudo adduser plex video or sudo usermod -aG video plex
    • You only need to use one of them.

Allowing Plex to use iGPU (Docker)

I recommend using LinuxServer's Docker image. Though with that said, I don't have any experience with it lol.

Docker Compose

With a docker-compose.yml file, add a devices: to your container config:

	- "/dev/dri:/dev/dri"

Here's an example config file with devices specified:

version: "2"
    image: linuxserver/plex
    container_name: plex
    network_mode: host
      - "/dev/dri:/dev/dri"
      - PUID=1000
      - PGID=1000
      - VERSION=docker
      - ./config:/config
      - /data/PlexMedia:/data/PlexMedia
    restart: unless-stopped

docker run (not recommended)

If you're running your Docker image manually (why?) then add --device=/dev/dri:/dev/dri as documented on LinuxServer's GitHub

Revision #5
Created 30 March 2020 15:32:02 by Alex Thomassen
Updated 21 December 2021 14:01:48 by Alex Thomassen