WebRTC Audio/Video Codecs

Codecs signifies the media stream’s compession and decompression. For peers to have suceesfull excchange of media, they need a common set of codecs to agree upon for the session . The list codecs are sent  between each other as part of offeer and answer or SDP in SIP.

As WebRTC provides containerless bare mediastreamgtrackobjects. Codecs for these tracks is not mandated by webRTC . Yet the codecs are specified by two seprate RFCs

RFC 7878 WebRTC Audio Codec and Processing Requirements specifies least the Opus codec as well as G.711’s PCMA and PCMU formats.

RFC 7742 WebRTC Video Processing and Codec Requirnments specifies support for  VP8 and H.264’s Constrained Baseline profile for video .

In WebRTC video is protected using Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) / Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP). In this article we are going to dicuss Audio/Video Codecs processing requirnments only.

Quick links : If you are new to WebRTC read : Introduction to WebRTC is at https://telecom.altanai.com/2013/08/02/what-is-webrtc/ and Layers of WebRTC at https://telecom.altanai.com/2013/07/31/webrtc/

WebRTC Media Stack

Media Stream Trcaks in WebRTC

The MediaStreamTrack interface typically represents a stream of data of audio or video and a MediaStream may contain zero or more MediaStreamTrack objects.

The objects RTCRtpSender and RTCRtpReceiver can be used by the application to get more fine grained control over the transmission and reception of MediaStreamTracks.

Media Flow in VoIP system
Media Flow in WebRTC Call


Video Capture insync with hardware’s capabilities

WebRTC compatible browsers are required to support Whie-balance , light level , autofocus from video source

Video Capture Resolution

Minimum WebRTC video attributes unless specified in SDP ( Session Description protocl ) is minimum 20 FPS and resolution 320 x 240 pixels. 

Also supports mid stream resilution changes such as in screen source fromdesktop sharinig .

SDP attributes for resolution, frame rate, and bitrate

SDP allows for codec-independent indication of preferred video resolutions using a=imageattr to indicate the maximum resolution that is acceptable. 

Sender must send limiting the encoded resolution to the indicated maximum size, as the receiver may not be capable of handling higher resolutions.

Dynamic FPS control based on actual hardware encoding :

video source capture to adjust frame rate accroding to low bandwidth , poor light conditions and harware supported rate rather than force a higher FPS .

Stream Orientation

support generating the R0 and R1 bits of the Coordination of Video Orientation (CVO) mechanism and sharing with peer


WebRTC is free and opensource and its woring bodies promote royality free codecs too. The working groups RTCWEB and IETF make the sure of the fact that non-royality beraning codec are mandatory while other codecs can be optional in WebRTC non browsers .

WebRTC Browsers MUST implement the VP8 video codec as described in
RFC6386] and H.264 Constrained Baseline as described in [H264].

RFC 7442 WebRTC Video Codec and Processing Requirements

most of the codesc below follow Lossy DCT(discrete cosine transform (DCT) based algorithm for encoding.

Sample SDP from offer in Chrome browser v80 for Linux incliudes these profile :

m=video 9 UDP/TLS/RTP/SAVPF 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 122 127 121 125 107 108 109 124 120 123

a=rtpmap:96 VP8/90000
a=rtcp-fb:96 goog-remb
a=rtcp-fb:96 transport-cc
a=rtcp-fb:96 ccm fir
a=rtcp-fb:96 nack
a=rtcp-fb:96 nack pli
a=rtpmap:97 rtx/90000
a=fmtp:97 apt=96

a=rtpmap:98 VP9/90000
a=rtcp-fb:98 goog-remb
a=rtcp-fb:98 transport-cc
a=rtcp-fb:98 ccm fir
a=rtcp-fb:98 nack
a=rtcp-fb:98 nack pli
a=fmtp:98 profile-id=0
a=rtpmap:99 rtx/90000
a=fmtp:99 apt=98

a=rtpmap:100 VP9/90000
a=rtcp-fb:100 goog-remb
a=rtcp-fb:100 transport-cc
a=rtcp-fb:100 ccm fir
a=rtcp-fb:100 nack
a=rtcp-fb:100 nack pli
a=fmtp:100 profile-id=2
a=rtpmap:101 rtx/90000
a=fmtp:101 apt=100

a=rtpmap:102 H264/90000
a=rtcp-fb:102 goog-remb
a=rtcp-fb:102 transport-cc
a=rtcp-fb:102 ccm fir
a=rtcp-fb:102 nack
a=rtcp-fb:102 nack pli
a=fmtp:102 level-asymmetry-allowed=1;packetization-mode=1;profile-level-id=42001f
a=rtpmap:122 rtx/90000
a=fmtp:122 apt=102

a=rtpmap:127 H264/90000
a=rtcp-fb:127 goog-remb
a=rtcp-fb:127 transport-cc
a=rtcp-fb:127 ccm fir
a=rtcp-fb:127 nack
a=rtcp-fb:127 nack pli
a=fmtp:127 level-asymmetry-allowed=1;packetization-mode=0;profile-level-id=42001f
a=rtpmap:121 rtx/90000
a=fmtp:121 apt=127

a=rtpmap:125 H264/90000
a=rtcp-fb:125 goog-remb
a=rtcp-fb:125 transport-cc
a=rtcp-fb:125 ccm fir
a=rtcp-fb:125 nack
a=rtcp-fb:125 nack pli
a=fmtp:125 level-asymmetry-allowed=1;packetization-mode=1;profile-level-id=42e01f
a=rtpmap:107 rtx/90000
a=fmtp:107 apt=125

a=rtpmap:108 H264/90000
a=rtcp-fb:108 goog-remb
a=rtcp-fb:108 transport-cc
a=rtcp-fb:108 ccm fir
a=rtcp-fb:108 nack
a=rtcp-fb:108 nack pli
a=fmtp:108 level-asymmetry-allowed=1;packetization-mode=0;profile-level-id=42e01f
a=rtpmap:109 rtx/90000
a=fmtp:109 apt=108
a=rtpmap:124 red/90000
a=rtpmap:120 rtx/90000
a=fmtp:120 apt=124


Developed by on2 and then acquired and opensource by google . Now free of royality fees.

Supported conatiner – 3GP, Ogg, WebM

No limit on frame rate or data rate and provides maximum resolution of 16384×16384 pixels.

libvpx encoder library.

VP8 encoders must limit the streams they send to conform to the values indicated by receivers in the corresponding max-fr and max-fs SDP attributes.
encode and decode pixels with an implied 1:1 (square) aspect ratio.

supported simulcast


Video Processor 9 (VP9) is the successor to the older VP8 and comparable to HEVC as they both have simillar bit rates .

Open and free of royalties and any other licensing requirements
Its supported Containers are – MP4, Ogg, WebM

H264/AVC constrained

AVC’s Constrained Baseline (CBP ) profile compliant with WebRTC

Constrained Baseline Profile Level 1.2 and H.264 Constrained High Profile Level 1.3 . Contrained baseline is a submet of the main profile , suited to low dealy , low complexity. suited to lower processing device like mobile videos

Multiview Video Coding – can have multiple views of the same scene ,such as stereoscopic video.

Other profiles , which are not supporedt are Baseline (BP) , Extended (XP), Main (MP) , High (HiP) , Progressive High (ProHiP) , High 10 (Hi10P), High 4:2:2 (Hi422P) and High 4:4:4 Predictive

Its supported containers are 3GP, MP4, WebM

Parameter settings:

  • packetization-mode
  • max-mbps, max-smbps, max-fs, max-cpb, max-dpb, and max-br
  • sprop-parameter-sets: H.264 allows sequence and picture information to be sent both in-band and out-of-band. WebRTC implementations must signal this information in-band.
  • Supplemental Enhancement Information (SEI) “filler payload” and “full frame freeze” messages( used while video switching in MCU streams )

It is a propertiary , patented codec , mianted by MPEG / ITU

AV1 (AOMedia Video 1)

open format designed by the Alliance for Open Media
royality free
especially designed for internet video HTML element and WebRTC
higher data compression rates than VP9 and H.265/HEVC

offers 3 profiles in increasing support for color depths and chroma subsampling.
high, and

supports HDR
supports Varible Frame Rate

Supported container are ISOBMFF, MPEG-TS, MP4, WebM

Stats for Video based media stream track

timestamp 04/05/2020, 14:25:59
ssrc 3929649593
isRemote false
mediaType video
kind video
trackId RTCMediaStreamTrack_sender_2
transportId RTCTransport_0_1
codecId RTCCodec_1_Outbound_96
[codec] VP8 (payloadType: 96)
firCount 0
pliCount 9
nackCount 476
qpSum 912936
[qpSum/framesEncoded] 32.86666666666667
mediaSourceId RTCVideoSource_2
packetsSent 333664
[packetsSent/s] 29.021823604499957
retransmittedPacketsSent 0
bytesSent 342640589
[bytesSent/s] 3685.7715977714947
headerBytesSent 8157584
retransmittedBytesSent 0
framesEncoded 52837
[framesEncoded/s] 30.022576142586164
keyFramesEncoded 31
totalEncodeTime 438.752
[totalEncodeTime/framesEncoded_in_ms] 3.5333333333331516
totalEncodedBytesTarget 335009905
[totalEncodedBytesTarget/s] 3602.7091371103397
totalPacketSendDelay 20872.8
[totalPacketSendDelay/packetsSent_in_ms] 6.89655172416302
qualityLimitationReason bandwidth
qualityLimitationResolutionChanges 20
encoderImplementation libvpx
Graph for Video Track in chrome://webrtc-internals

Other RTP parameters

RTX(regtranmission ) – packet loss recovery technique for real-time applications with relaxed delay bounds.

Non WebRTC supported Video codecs

Need active realtime media transcoding


Already used for video conferencing on PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Networks), RTSP, and SIP (IP-based videoconferencing) systems.
suited for low bandwidth networks
Although it is not comaptible with WebRTC but many media gateways incldue realtime transcoding existed between H263 based SIP systems and vp8 based webrtc ones to enable video communication between them

H.265 / HEVC

proprietary format and is covered by a number of patents. Licensing is managed by MPEG LA .

Container – Mp4

Interoprabiloity between non WebRT Compatible and WebRTC compatible endpoints

With the rise of Internet of Things many Endpoints especially IP cameras connected to Raspberry Pi like SOC( system on chiops )n wanted to stream directly to the browser within theor own provate network or even on public network using TURN / STUN.

The figure below shows how such a call flow is possible between an IP cemera ( such as Baby Cam ) and its parent monitoring it over a WebRTC suppported mobile phone browser . The process includes streaming teh content from IOT device on RTSP stream and using realtime trans-coding between H264 and VP8

Interoprabiloity between non WebRT Compatible and WebRTC compatible endpoints


Audio Level

audio level for speech transmission to avoid users having to manually adjust the playback and to facilitate mixing in conferencing applications.

normalization considering frequencies above 300 Hz, regardless of the sampling rate used.

adapted to avoid clipping, either by lowering the gain to a level below -19 dBm0 or through the use of a compressor.

GAIN calculation

  • If the endpoint has control over the entire audio-capture path like a regular phone
    the gain should be adjusted in such a way that an average speaker would have a level of 2600 (-19 dBm0) for active speech.
  • If the endpoint does not have control over the entire audio capture like software endpoint
    then the endpoint SHOULD use automatic gain control (AGC) to dynamically adjust the level to 2600 (-19 dBm0) +/- 6 dB.
  • For music- or desktop-sharing applications, the level SHOULD NOT be automatically adjusted, and the endpoint SHOULD allow the user to set the gain manually.

Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC)

Endpoints shoudl allow echo control mechsnisms


WebRTC endpoints are should implement audio codecs: OPUS and PCMA / PCMU, along with Comforrt Noise and DTMF events.

Trace for audio codecs supported in chrome (Version 80.0.3987.149 (Official Build) (64-bit) on ubuntu)

m=audio 9 UDP/TLS/RTP/SAVPF 111 103 104 9 0 8 106 105 13 110 112 113 126

a=rtpmap:111 opus/48000/2
a=rtcp-fb:111 transport-cc
a=fmtp:111 minptime=10;useinbandfec=1
a=rtpmap:103 ISAC/16000
a=rtpmap:104 ISAC/32000
a=rtpmap:9 G722/8000
a=rtpmap:0 PCMU/8000
a=rtpmap:8 PCMA/8000
a=rtpmap:106 CN/32000
a=rtpmap:105 CN/16000
a=rtpmap:13 CN/8000
a=rtpmap:110 telephone-event/48000
a=rtpmap:112 telephone-event/32000
a=rtpmap:113 telephone-event/16000
a=rtpmap:126 telephone-event/8000


stabdardised by IETF

container- Ogg, WebM, MPEG-TS, MP4

supportes multiple comptression algorithms

For all cases where the endpoint is able to process audio at a sampling rate higher than 8 kHz, it is w3C recommenda that Opus be offered before PCMA/PCMU.

AAC (Advanvced Audio Encoding)

part of the MPEG-4 (H.264) standard
supported congainers – MP4, ADTS, 3GP

Lossy compression but has number pf profiles suiting each usecase like high quality surround sound to low-fidelity audio for speech-only use.

G.711 (PCMA and PCMU)

ITU published Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) with either µ-law or A-law encoding.
vital to interface with the standard teelcom network and carriers

Fixed 64Kbpd bit rate

supports 3GP container formats

G.711 PCM (A-law) is known as PCMA and G.711 PCM (µ-law) is known as PCMU


ncoded using Adaptive Differential Pulse Code Modulation (ADPCM) which is suited for voice compression
conatiners used 3GP, AMR-WB

Comfort noise (CN)

artificial background noise which is used to fill gaps in a transmission instead of using pure silence

avoids jarring or RTP Timeout

for streams encoded with G.711 or any other supported codec that does not provide its own CN.
Use of Discontinuous Transmission (DTX) / CN by senders is optional

Internet Low Bitrate Codec (iLBC)

opensource narrow band codec
designed specifically for streaming voice audio

Internet Speech Audio Codec (iSAC)

designed for voice transmissions which are encapsulated within an RTP stream.

DTMF and ‘audio/telephone-event’ media type

endpoints may send DTMF events at any time and should suppress in-band dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) tones, if any.

DTMF events list
| 0 | DTMF digit “0”
| 1 | DTMF digit “1”
| 2 | DTMF digit “2”
| 3 | DTMF digit “3”
| 4 | DTMF digit “4”
| 5 | DTMF digit “5”
| 6 | DTMF digit “6”
| 7 | DTMF digit “7”
| 8 | DTMF digit “8”
| 9 | DTMF digit “9”
| 10 | DTMF digit “*”
| 11 | DTMF digit “#”
| 12 | DTMF digit “A”
| 13 | DTMF digit “B”
| 14 | DTMF digit “C”
| 15 | DTMF digit “D”

Stats for Audio Media track

timestamp 04/05/2020, 14:25:59
ssrc 3005719707
isRemote fals
mediaType audio
kind audio
trackId RTCMediaStreamTrack_sender_1
transportId RTCTransport_0_1
codecId RTCCodec_0_Outbound_111
[codec] opus (payloadType: 111)
mediaSourceId RTCAudioSource_1
packetsSent 88277
[packetsSent/s] 50.03762690431027
retransmittedPacketsSent 0
bytesSent 1977974
[bytesSent/s] 150.11288071293083
headerBytesSent 2118648
retransmittedBytesSent 0
Graphs in chrome://webrtc-internals for Audio


m=application 9 UDP/DTLS/SCTP webrtc-datachannel
c=IN IP4
a=fingerprint:sha-256 18:2F:B9:13:A1:BA:33:0C:D0:59:DB:83:9A:EA:38:0B:D7:DC:EC:50:20:6E:89:54:CC:E8:70:10:80:2B:8C:EE

Stats for Datachannel

Statistics RTCDataChannel_1
timestamp 04/05/2020, 14:25:59
label sctp
datachannelid 1
state open
messagesSent 1
[messagesSent/s] 0
bytesSent 228
[bytesSent/s] 0
messagesReceived 1
[messagesReceived/s] 0
bytesReceived 228
[bytesReceived/s] 0

Refrenecs :

RTP engine on kamailio SIP server

This article focuses on setting up sipwise rtpegine to proxy rtp traffic from kamailio app server. This is an updated version of the the old article .

RTPengine is a proxy for RTP traffic and other UDP based media traffic over either IPv4 or IPv6. It can even bridge between diff IP networks and interfaces . It can do TOS/QoS field setting. It is Multi-threaded , can advertise different addresses for operation behind NAT.

It bears in-kernel packet forwarding for low-latency and low-CPU performance .

When used with kamailio RTP engine module it adds more features . I wrote an article covering all relevant and important kamailio modules earlier including RTPProxy and RTP engine ;https://telecom.altanai.com/2014/11/18/kamailio-modules/.

  • Full SDP parsing and rewriting
  • Supports non-standard RTCP ports (RFC 3605)
  • ICE (RFC 5245):
    • Bridging between ICE-enabled and ICE-unaware user agents
    • Optionally acting only as additional ICE relay/candidate
    • Optionally forcing relay of media streams by removing other ICE candidates
  • SRTP (RFC 3711):
    • Support for SDES (RFC 4568) and DTLS-SRTP (RFC 5764)
    • AES-CM and AES-F8 ciphers, both in userspace and in kernel
    • HMAC-SHA1 packet authentication
    • Bridging between RTP and SRTP user agents
  • RTCP profile with feedback extensions (RTP/AVPF, RFC 4585 and 5124)
  • Arbitrary bridging between any of the supported RTP profiles (RTP/AVP, RTP/AVPF, RTP/SAVP, RTP/SAVPF)
  • RTP/RTCP multiplexing (RFC 5761) and demultiplexing
  • Breaking of BUNDLE’d media streams (draft-ietf-mmusic-sdp-bundle-negotiation)
  • Recording of media streams, decrypted if possible
  • Transcoding and repacketization
  • Playback of pre-recorded streams/announcements

Sipwise NGCP RTP Engine Source Code

There are 3 parts of the source structure in sipwise NGCP ( Next Generation communication Platform) rtpengine :


The userspace daemon and workhorse, minimum requirement for anything to work. Running make will compile the binary, which will be called rtpengine.

Required packages including their development headers are required to compile the daemon:

  • pkg-config
  • GLib including GThread and GLib-JSON version 2.x
  • zlib
  • OpenSSL
  • PCRE library
  • XMLRPC-C version 1.16.08 or higher
  • hiredis library
  • gperf
  • libcurl version 3.x or 4.x
  • libevent version 2.x
  • libpcap
  • libsystemd
  • MySQL or MariaDB client library (optional for media playback and call recording daemon)
  • libiptc library for iptables management (optional)
  • ffmpeg codec libraries for transcoding (optional) such as libavcodec, libavfilter, libswresample
  • bcg729 for full G.729 transcoding support (optional)

options for make – with_iptables_option , with_transcoding

 with_transcoding=no make 


Required for in-kernel packet forwarding. With the iptables development headers installed, issuing make will compile the plugin for iptables and ip6tables. The file will be called libxt_RTPENGINE.so and needs to be copied into the xtables module directory. The location of this directory can be determined through pkg-config xtables –variable=xtlibdir on newer systems, and/or is usually either /lib/xtables/ or /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/xtables/.


Required for in-kernel packet forwarding. Compilation of the kernel module requires the kernel development headers to be installed in/lib/modules/$VERSION/build/, where $VERSION is the output of the command uname -r.

Successful compilation of the module will produce the file xt_RTPENGINE.ko. The module can be inserted into the running kernel manually through insmod xt_RTPENGINE.ko

It is recommended to copy the module into /lib/modules/$VERSION/updates/, followed by running depmod -a.

After this, the module can be loaded by issuing modprobe xt_RTPENGINE.


Follow instructions on https://gist.github.com/altanai/0d8cadbe6876d545fd63d6b3e79dcf73


sudo su 
apt-get install debhelper iptables-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libglib2.0-dev  libjson-glib-dev libxmlrpc-core-c3-dev libhiredis-dev build-essential:native
for pcap
apt install ibpcap-dev

some ffmpeg pakages like

apt install libavcodec-dev libavfilter-dev libavformat-dev libavresample-dev  libavutil-dev

for dpkg

libcrypt-openssl-rsa-perl libdigest-crc-perl libio-multiplex-perl libnet-interface-perl libsystemd-dev markdown

for debhelper>10

vi /etc/apt/sources.list

add line

deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-backports main restricted universe multiverse
sudo apt update

check version

apt-cache policy debhelper dh-autoreconf
Installed: 9.20160115ubuntu3
Candidate: 9.20160115ubuntu3
Version table:
10.2.2ubuntu1~ubuntu16.04.1 100
100 http://us-east-1.ec2.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-backports/main amd64 Packages
100 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-backports/main amd64 Packages
*** 9.20160115ubuntu3 500
500 http://us-east-1.ec2.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial/main amd64 Packages
100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
Installed: (none)
Candidate: 11
Version table:
12~ubuntu16.04.1 100
100 http://us-east-1.ec2.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-backports/main amd64 Packages
100 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-backports/main amd64 Packages
11 500
500 http://us-east-1.ec2.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial/main amd64 Packages

Force installing the version from backports repo as it have low priority.

sudo apt install dh-autoreconf=12~ubuntu16.04.1 debhelper=10.2.2ubuntu1~ubuntu16.04.1

so now new priority will be


  Installed: 10.2.2ubuntu1~ubuntu16.04.1
  Candidate: 10.2.2ubuntu1~ubuntu16.04.1
  Version table:
 *** 10.2.2ubuntu1~ubuntu16.04.1 100
        100 http://us-east-1.ec2.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-backports/main amd64 Packages
        100 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-backports/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     9.20160115ubuntu3 500
        500 http://us-east-1.ec2.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial/main amd64 Packages
  Installed: 12~ubuntu16.04.1
  Candidate: 12~ubuntu16.04.1
  Version table:
 *** 12~ubuntu16.04.1 100
        100 http://us-east-1.ec2.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-backports/main amd64 Packages
        100 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-backports/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     11 500
        500 http://us-east-1.ec2.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial/main amd64 Packages

ref :https://askubuntu.com/questions/863221/need-help-building-debhelper-10-2-2-bpo8-from-source

Get sourcecode

cd /usr/local/src
git clone https://github.com/sipwise/rtpengine.git
cd rtpengine

use dpkg-checkbuilddeps to find any missing dependices

For missing dependencies

dpkg-checkbuilddeps: error: Unmet build dependencies: libbcg729-dev
remove the encoder for G.729 which is not supported by ffmoeg by exporting varible

export DEB_BUILD_PROFILES="pkg.ngcp-rtpengine.nobcg729"

Ref :ref : https://github.com/sipwise/rtpengine#g729-support

for defaultlibmysqlclient-dev and libiptc-dev

vi debian/control
change from default-libmysqlclient-dev to libmysqlclient-dev, change from libiptcdata-dev to libiptc-dev and install the alternatives such as

apt install libmysqlclient-dev libiptcdata-dev 

Generated deb files should be outside the rtpegine home folder

generated ngcp-rtpegine deb files
cd ..
dpkg -i ngcp-rtpengine-daemon_7.3.0.0+0~mr7.3.0.0_amd64.deb
dpkg -i ngcp-rtpengine-iptables_7.3.0.0+0~mr7.3.0.0_amd64.deb
dpkg -i ngcp-rtpengine-kernel-dkms_7.3.0.0+0~mr7.3.0.0_all.deb
dpkg -i ngcp-rtpengine-kernel-source_7.3.0.0+0~mr7.3.0.0_all.deb
dpkg -i ngcp-rtpengine-recording-daemon_7.3.0.0+0~mr7.3.0.0_amd64.deb
dpkg -i ngcp-rtpengine-utils_7.3.0.0+0~mr7.3.0.0_all.deb
dpkg -i ngcp-rtpengine_7.3.0.0+0~mr7.3.0.0_all.deb
After depackaging

Manual installation and running all test cases

cd rtpengine
make check

If you dont find a package you are looking for , some alternatives are to do apt-cache search like

apt-cache search libavfilter
libavfilter-dev - FFmpeg library containing media filters - development files
libavfilter-ffmpeg5 - FFmpeg library containing media filters - runtime files

or to search in ubuntu packages web https://packages.ubuntu.com/

Running RTPEngine

rtpegine application options

  • -v, –version Print build time and exit
  • –config-file=FILE Load config from this file
  • –config-section=STRING Config file section to use
  • –log-facility=daemon|local0|…|local7 Syslog facility to use for logging
  • -L, –log-level=INT Mask log priorities above this level
  • -E, –log-stderr Log on stderr instead of syslog
  • –no-log-timestamps Drop timestamps from log lines to stderr
  • –log-mark-prefix Prefix for sensitive log info
  • –log-mark-suffix Suffix for sensitive log info
  • -p, –pidfile=FILE Write PID to file
  • -f, –foreground Don’t fork to background
  • -t, –table=INT Kernel table to use
  • -F, –no-fallback Only start when kernel module is available
  • -i, –interface=[NAME/]IP[!IP] Local interface for RTP
  • -k, –subscribe-keyspace=INT INT … Subscription keyspace list
  • -l, –listen-tcp=[IP:]PORT TCP port to listen on
  • -u, –listen-udp=[IP46|HOSTNAME:]PORT UDP port to listen on
  • -n, –listen-ng=[IP46|HOSTNAME:]PORT UDP port to listen on, NG protocol
  • -c, –listen-cli=[IP46|HOSTNAME:]PORT UDP port to listen on, CLI
  • -g, –graphite=IP46|HOSTNAME:PORT Address of the graphite server
  • -G, –graphite-interval=INT Graphite send interval in seconds
  • –graphite-prefix=STRING Prefix for graphite line
  • -T, –tos=INT Default TOS value to set on streams
  • –control-tos=INT Default TOS value to set on control-ng
  • -o, –timeout=SECS RTP timeout
  • -s, –silent-timeout=SECS RTP timeout for muted
  • -a, –final-timeout=SECS Call timeout
  • –offer-timeout=SECS Timeout for incomplete one-sided calls
  • -m, –port-min=INT Lowest port to use for RTP
  • -M, –port-max=INT Highest port to use for RTP
  • -r, –redis=[PW@]IP:PORT/INT Connect to Redis database
  • -w, –redis-write=[PW@]IP:PORT/INT Connect to Redis write database
  • –redis-num-threads=INT Number of Redis restore threads
  • –redis-expires=INT Expire time in seconds for redis keys
  • -q, –no-redis-required Start no matter of redis connection state
  • –redis-allowed-errors=INT Number of allowed errors before redis is temporarily disabled
  • –redis-disable-time=INT Number of seconds redis communication is disabled because of errors
  • –redis-cmd-timeout=INT Sets a timeout in milliseconds for redis commands
  • –redis-connect-timeout=INT Sets a timeout in milliseconds for redis connections
  • -b, –b2b-url=STRING XMLRPC URL of B2B UA
  • –log-facility-cdr=daemon|local0|…|local7 Syslog facility to use for logging CDRs
  • –log-facility-rtcp=daemon|local0|…|local7 Syslog facility to use for logging RTCP
  • –log-facility-dtmf=daemon|local0|…|local7 Syslog facility to use for logging DTMF
  • –log-format=default|parsable Log prefix format
  • -x, –xmlrpc-format=INT XMLRPC timeout request format to use. 0: SEMS DI, 1: call-id only, 2: Kamailio
  • –num-threads=INT Number of worker threads to create
  • –media-num-threads=INT Number of worker threads for media playback
  • -d, –delete-delay=INT Delay for deleting a session from memory.
  • –sip-source Use SIP source address by default
  • –dtls-passive Always prefer DTLS passive role
  • –max-sessions=INT Limit of maximum number of sessions
  • –max-load=FLOAT Reject new sessions if load averages exceeds this value
  • –max-cpu=FLOAT Reject new sessions if CPU usage (in percent) exceeds this value
  • –max-bandwidth=INT Reject new sessions if bandwidth usage (in bytes per second) exceeds this value
  • –homer=IP46|HOSTNAME:PORT Address of Homer server for RTCP stats
  • –homer-protocol=udp|tcp Transport protocol for Homer (default udp)
  • –homer-id=INT ‘Capture ID’ to use within the HEP protocol
  • –recording-dir=FILE Directory for storing pcap and metadata files
  • –recording-method=pcap|proc Strategy for call recording
  • –recording-format=raw|eth File format for stored pcap files
  • –iptables-chain=STRING Add explicit firewall rules to this iptables chain
  • –codecs Print a list of supported codecs and exit
  • –scheduling=default|none|fifo|rr|other|batch|idle Thread scheduling policy
  • –priority=INT Thread scheduling priority
  • –idle-scheduling=default|none|fifo|rr|other|batch|idle Idle thread scheduling policy
  • –idle-priority=INT Idle thread scheduling priority
  • –log-srtp-keys Log SRTP keys to error log
  • –mysql-host=HOST|IP MySQL host for stored media files
  • –mysql-port=INT MySQL port
  • –mysql-user=USERNAME MySQL connection credentials
  • –mysql-pass=PASSWORD MySQL connection credentials
  • –mysql-query=STRING MySQL select query
rtpengine --interface="" --listen-ng=25061 --listen-cli=25062 --foreground --log-stderr --listen-udp=25060 --listen-tcp=25060

In-Kernal Packet Forwarding

To avoid the overhead involved in processing each individual RTP packet in userspace-only operation, especially as RTP traffic consists of many small packets at high rates, rtpengine provides a kernel module to offload the bulk of the packet forwarding duties from user space to kernel space. This also results in increasing the number of concurrent calls as CPU usage decreases.In-kernel packet forwarding is implemented as an iptables module (x_tables) and has 2 parts – xt_RTPENGINE and plugin to the iptables and ip6tables command-line utilities

Sequence of events for a newly established media stream is then:

  1. Kamailio as SIP proxy controls rtpengine and signals it about a newly established call.
  2. Rtpengine daemon allocates local UDP ports and sets up preliminary forward rules based on the info received from the SIP proxy.
  3. An RTP packet is received on the local port.
  4. It traverses the iptables chains and gets passed to the xt_RTPENGINE module.
  5. The module doesn’t recognize it as belonging to an established stream and thus ignores it.
  6. The packet continues normal processing and eventually ends up in the daemon’s receive queue.
  7. The daemon reads it, processes it and forwards it. It also updates some internal data.
  8. This userspace-only processing and forwarding continues for a little while, during which time information about additional streams and/or endpoints may be obtained from the SIP proxy.
  9. After a few seconds, when the daemon is satisfied with what it has learned about the media endpoints, it pushes the forwarding rules to the kernel.
  10. From this moment on, the kernel module will recognize incoming packets belonging to those streams and will forward them on its own. It will stop those packets from traversing the network stacks any further, so the daemon will not see them any more on its receive queues.
  11. In-kernel forwarding is allowed to cease to work at any given time, either accidentally (e.g. by removal of the iptablesrule) or deliberatly (the daemon will do so in case of a re-invite), in which case forwarding falls back to userspace-only operation.

The Kernel Module

The kernel module supports multiple forwarding tables, identified through their ID number , bydefault 0 to 63

Each running instance of the rtpengine daemon controls one such table. To load use

modprobe xt_RTPENGINE and to unload rmmod xt_RTPENGINE,. With the module loaded, a new directory will appear in /proc/, namely /proc/rtpengine/ , containing pseudo-files, control ( to create and delete forwarding tables) and list ( list of currently active forwarding tables)

To manually create a forwarding table with ID 33, the following command can be used:

echo ‘add 43’ > /proc/rtpengine/control

The iptables module

In order for the kernel module to be able to actually forward packets, an iptables rule must be set up to send packets into the module. Each such rule is associated with one forwarding table. In the simplest case, for forwarding table 33, this can be done through:

iptables -I INPUT -p udp -j RTPENGINE –id 33

To restrict the rules to the UDP port range used by rtpengine, e.g. by supplying a parameter like –dport 30000:40000. If the kernel module receives a packet that it doesn’t recognize as belonging to an active media stream, it will simply ignore it and hand it back to the network stack for normal processing.

A typical start-up sequence including in-kernel forwarding might look like this:

modprobe xt_RTPENGINE
iptables -I INPUT -p udp -j RTPENGINE --id 0
ip6tables -I INPUT -p udp -j RTPENGINE --id 0

ensure that the table we want to use doesn’t exist – usually needed after a daemon restart, otherwise will error

echo 'del 0' > /proc/rtpengine/control

start daemon

/usr/sbin/rtpengine --table=0 --interface= --interface=2001:db8::4f3:3d \
--listen-ng= --tos=184 --pidfile=/run/rtpengine.pid --no-fallback

Running Multiple Instances

To run multiple instances of rtpengine on the same machine run multiple instances of the daemon using different command-line options ( local addresses and listening ports), together with multiple different kernel forwarding tables.

For example, if one local network interface has address and another has address, then the start-up sequence might look like this:

modprobe xt_RTPENGINE
iptables -I INPUT -p udp -d -j RTPENGINE --id 0
iptables -I INPUT -p udp -d -j RTPENGINE --id 1
echo 'del 0' > /proc/rtpengine/control
echo 'del 1' > /proc/rtpengine/control
/usr/sbin/rtpengine --table=0 --interface=<ip> \
--listen-ng= --tos=184 --pidfile=/run/rtpengine-10.pid --no-fallback
/usr/sbin/rtpengine --table=1 --interface=<ip_pvy>\
--listen-ng= --tos=184 --pidfile=/run/rtpengine-192.pid --no-fallback

With this setup, the SIP proxy can choose which instance of rtpengine to talk to and thus which local interface to use by sending its control messages to either port 2223 or port 2224.


Currently transcoding is supported for audio streams. Can we turned off with with_transcoding=no option in makeFile

Normally rtpengine leaves codec negotiation up to the clients involved in the call and does not interfere. In this case, if the clients fail to agree on a codec, the call will fail.

transcoding options in the ng control protocol,  transcode or ptime . If a codec is requested via the transcode option that was not originally offered, transcoding will be engaged for that call. With transcoding active for a call, all unsupported codecs will be removed from the SDP.

Transcoding happens in userspace only, so in-kernel packet forwarding will not be available for transcoded codecs. Codecs that are supported by both sides will simply be passed through transparently (unless repacketization is active). In-kernel packet forwarding will still be available for these codecs.

codecs supported by rtpengine can be shown with –codecs options

  • rtpengine –codecs
  • PCMA: fully supported
  • PCMU: fully supported
  • G723: fully supported
  • G722: fully supported
  • QCELP: supported for decoding only
  • G729: supported for decoding only
  • speex: fully supported
  • GSM: fully supported
  • iLBC: not supported
  • opus: fully supported
  • vorbis: codec supported but lacks RTP definition
  • ac3: codec supported but lacks RTP definition
  • eac3: codec supported but lacks RTP definition
  • ATRAC3: supported for decoding only
  • ATRAC-X: supported for decoding only
  • AMR: supported for decoding only
  • AMR-WB: supported for decoding only
  • PCM-S16LE: codec supported but lacks RTP definition
  • PCM-U8: codec supported but lacks RTP definition
  • MP3: codec supported but lacks RTP definition

ng Control Protocol

advanced control protocol to pass SDP body from the SIP proxy to the rtpengine daemon, has the body rewritten in the daemon, and then pas back to the SIP proxy to embed into the SIP message. It is  based on the bencode standard and runs over UDP transport.

Each message passed between the SIP proxy and the media proxy contains of two parts: message cookie ( to match requests to responses, and retransmission detection) and bencoded dictionary

The dictionary of each request must contain at least one key called command and corresponding value must be a string and determines the type of message. Currently the following commands are defined:

  • ping
  • offer
  • answer
  • delete
  • query
  • start recording
  • stop recording
  • block DTMF
  • unblock DTMF
  • block media
  • unblock media
  • start forwarding
  • stop forwarding
  • play media
  • stop media

The response dictionary must contain at least one key called result. The value can be either ok (optional key warning) or error( to be accompanied by error-reason ). For the ping command, the additional value pong is allowed.



table = 0
no-fallback = false
for userspace forwarding only:
table = -1

// separate multiple interfaces with semicolons:
interface = internal/;external/

listen-ng =
listen-tcp = 25060
listen-udp = 12222

timeout = 60
silent-timeout = 3600
tos = 184
control-tos = 184
delete-delay = 30
final-timeout = 10800

foreground = false
pidfile = /run/ngcp-rtpengine-daemon.pid
num-threads = 16

port-min = 30000
port-max = 40000
max-sessions = 5000

recording-dir = /var/spool/rtpengine
recording-method = proc
recording-format = raw

redis =
redis-write = password@x.x.x.x:6379/42
redis-num-threads = 8
no-redis-required = false
redis-expires = 86400
redis-allowed-errors = -1
redis-disable-time = 10
redis-cmd-timeout = 0
redis-connect-timeout = 1000

b2b-url =
xmlrpc-format = 0

log-level = 6
log-stderr = false
log-facility = daemon
log-facility-cdr = local0
log-facility-rtcp = local1

graphite =
graphite-interval = 60
graphite-prefix = foobar.

homer = 123.234.345.456:65432
homer-protocol = udp
homer-id = 2001

sip-source = false
dtls-passive = false

To start the ngcp-rtpengine-daemon service

/etc/init.d/ngcp-rtpengine-daemon start
[ ok ] Starting ngcp-rtpengine-daemon (via systemctl): ngcp-rtpengine-daemon.service.

checking status ngcp-rtpengine-daemonservice

# systemctl status ngcp-rtpengine-daemon.service

● ngcp-rtpengine-daemon.service - NGCP RTP/media Proxy Daemon
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/ngcp-rtpengine-daemon.service; disabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Thu 2019-04-11 10:16:20 UTC; 24s ago
  Process: 13751 ExecStopPost=/usr/sbin/ngcp-rtpengine-iptables-setup stop (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
  Process: 13797 ExecStartPre=/usr/sbin/ngcp-rtpengine-iptables-setup start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
 Main PID: 13814 (rtpengine)
    Tasks: 19
   Memory: 10.5M
      CPU: 102ms
   CGroup: /system.slice/ngcp-rtpengine-daemon.service
           └─13814 /usr/sbin/rtpengine -f -E --no-log-timestamps --pidfile /run/ngcp-rtpengine-daemon.pid --config-file /etc/rtpengine/rtpengine.conf --table 0

To start recording service

/etc/init.d/ngcp-rtpengine-recording-daemon start

RTP engine receives command offer

Received command 'offer' from :53888
Dump for 'offer' from :53888: {  
 o=- 1554978148897419 1 IN IP4 pvt_ip 
 s=Bria 3 release 3.5.5 stamp 71243 
 c=IN IP4 
 t=0 0 
 m=audio 50754 RTP/AVP 0 98 101 
 a=rtpmap:98 ILBC/8000 
 a=rtpmap:101 telephone-event/8000 
 a=fmtp:101 0-15 
Creating new call
Turning on call recording.
Wrote metadata file to temporary path: /var/spool/rtpengine/tmp/

RTP engine receives command delete

Received command 'delete' from :57304
 Dump for 'delete' from :57304: { "call-id": "732597d6-6d96-485b-b6dc-7d93703c1405", "received-from": [ "IP4", "" ], "from-tag": "cb8a1e30", "command": "delete" }
Deleting call branch 'cb8a1e30' (via-branch '')
Call branch 'cb8a1e30' (via-branch '') deleted, no more branches remaining
  Deleting entire call
 INFO: [ID="732597d6-6d96-485b-b6dc-7d93703c1405"]: Final packet stats:
 --- Tag 'cb8a1e30', created 0:05 ago for branch '', in dialogue with ''
 ------ Media #1 (audio over RTP/AVP) using unknown codec
 --------- Port   :10044 <>    :50754, SSRC 0, 0 p, 0 b, 0 e, 5 ts
 freeing send_timer
 --------- Port   :10045 <>    :50755 (RTCP), SSRC 0, 0 p, 0 b, 0 e, 5 ts
 freeing send_timer
 --- Tag '', created 0:05 ago for branch '', in dialogue with 'cb8a1e30'
 ------ Media #1 (audio over RTP/AVP) using unknown codec
--------- Port   :10032 <>          (null):0    , SSRC 0, 0 p, 0 b, 0 e, 5 ts
freeing send_timer
--------- Port   :10033 <>          (null):0     (RTCP), SSRC 0, 0 p, 0 b, 0 e, 5 ts
freeing send_timer
 rtpengine: ci=732597d6-6d96-485b-b6dc-7d93703c1405, created_from=:53888, 

continue : Streaming / broadcasting Live Video call to non webrtc supported browsers and media players

This blog is in continuation to the attempts / outcomes and problems in building a WebRTC to RTP media framework that successfully stream / broadcast WebRTC content to non webrtc supported browsers ( safari / IE ) / media players ( VLC )

Attempt 4: Stream the content to a WebRTC endpoint which is hidden in a video call . Pick the stream from vp8 object URL send to a streaming server

This process involved the following components :

  • WebRTC API : simplewebrtc on Chrome
  • Transfer mechanism from client to Streaming server:  webrtc media channel

Problems : No streaming server is qualified to handle a direct webrtc input and stream it on network .

Attempt 4.1 : Stream the content to a WebRTC endpoint . Do WebRTC Endpoint to RTP Endpoint bridge using Kurento APIs. 

Use the RTP port and ip address to input into a ffmpeg or gstreamer or VLC terminal command and out put a live H264 stream on another ip and port address .  

This process involved the following components :

  • API : Kurento
  • Transfer mechanism : HTML5 webrtc client -> application server hosting java -> media server -> application for webrtc media to RTP media conversation -> RTP player

Screenshots of attempts with Wowza to stream from a ip and port


problems :

  • The stream was black ie no video content .

Attempt 4.2 : Build a WebRTC Endpoint to Http endpoint in kurento and force the video audio encoding to be that of H264 and PCMU.

code for adding constraints to output media and forcing choice of codecs

MediaPipeline pipeline = kurento.createMediaPipeline();
WebRtcEndpoint webRtcEndpoint = new WebRtcEndpoint.Builder(pipeline).build();
HttpGetEndpoint httpEndpoint=new HttpGetEndpoint.Builder(pipeline).build();

org.kurento.client.Fraction fr= new org.kurento.client.Fraction(1, 30);
VideoCaps vc= new VideoCaps(VideoCodec.H264,fr);

AudioCaps ac= new AudioCaps(AudioCodec.PCMU, 65536);


code for using gstreamer filter to force the output in raw format . It is a alternate solution to above

//basic media operation of 1 pipeline and 2 endpoinst
MediaPipeline pipeline = kurento.createMediaPipeline();
WebRtcEndpoint webRtcEndpoint = new WebRtcEndpoint.Builder(pipeline).build();
RtpEndpoint rtpEndpoint = new RtpEndpoint.Builder(pipeline).build();

//adding Gstream filters
GStreamerFilter filter1 = new GStreamerFilter.Builder(pipeline, &quot;videorate max-rate=30&quot;).withFilterType(FilterType.VIDEO).build();
GStreamerFilter filter2 = new GStreamerFilter.Builder(pipeline, &quot;capsfilter caps=video/x-h264,width=1280,height=720,framerate=30/1&quot;).withFilterType(FilterType.VIDEO).build();
GStreamerFilter filter3 = new GStreamerFilter.Builder(pipeline, &quot;capsfilter caps=audio/x-mpeg,layer=3,rate=48000&quot;).withFilterType(FilterType.AUDIO).build();

//connecting all poin ts to one another
webRtcEndpoint.connect (filter1);
filter1.connect (filter2);
filter2.connect (filter3);
filter3.connect (rtpEndpoint);

// RTP SDP offer and answer
String requestRTPsdp = rtpEndpoint.generateOffer();

problem : The output is still webm

Attempt 5  : Use a RTP SDP Endpoint ( ie a SDP file valid for a given session ) and use it to play the WebRTC media over Wowza streaming server

This process involved the following components

  1. WebRTC Stream and object URL of the blob containing VP8 media
  2. Kurento  WebRTC Endpoint  bridge to generate SDP
  3. Wowza Streaming server

code for kurento to generate a SDP file from WebRTC to RTP bridge

@RequestMapping(value = &quot;/rtpsdp&quot;, method = RequestMethod.POST)
private String processRequestrtpsdp(@RequestBody String sdpOffer)
throws IOException, URISyntaxException, InterruptedException {

//basic media operation of 1 pipeline and 2 endpoinst
MediaPipeline pipeline = kurento.createMediaPipeline();
WebRtcEndpoint webRtcEndpoint = new WebRtcEndpoint.Builder(pipeline).build();
RtpEndpoint rtpEndpoint = new RtpEndpoint.Builder(pipeline).build();

//connecting all poin ts to one another
webRtcEndpoint.connect (rtpEndpoint);

// RTP SDP offer and answer
String requestRTPsdp = rtpEndpoint.generateOffer();

// write the SDP conector to an external file
PrintWriter out = new PrintWriter(&quot;/tmp/test.sdp&quot;);

HttpGetEndpoint httpEndpoint = new HttpGetEndpoint.Builder(pipeline).build();
PlayerEndpoint player = new PlayerEndpoint.Builder(pipeline, requestRTPsdp).build();

// Playing media and opening the default desktop browser
String videoUrl = httpEndpoint.getUrl();
System.out.println(&quot; ------- video URL -------------&quot;+ videoUrl);

// send the response to front client
String responseSdp = webRtcEndpoint.processOffer(sdpOffer);

return responseSdp;

problems : wowza doesnt not recognize the WebRTC SDP and play the video

screenshot of wowza with SDP input

Screenshot from 2015-01-30 15:28:59

Attempt 5.1 : Use a RTP SDP Endpoint ( ie a SDP file valid for a given session ) and use it to play the WebRTC media over Default Ubuntu media player 

SDP file formed contains contents such as :

o=- 3631611195 3631611195 IN IP4
s=Kurento Media Server
c=IN IP4
t=0 0
m=audio 42802 RTP/AVP 98 99 0
a=rtpmap:98 OPUS/48000/2
a=rtpmap:99 AMR/8000/1
a=rtpmap:0 PCMU/8000
a=ssrc:2713728673 cname:user59375791@host-ad1117df
m=video 35946 RTP/AVP 96 97 100 101
a=rtpmap:96 H263-1998/90000
a=rtpmap:97 VP8/90000
a=rtpmap:100 MP4V-ES/90000
a=rtpmap:101 H264/90000
a=ssrc:93449274 cname:user59375791@host-ad1117df

problem : deformed media

screenshot of playing from a SDP file

Screenshot from 2015-01-29 17:42:21

Attempt 5.2 : Use a RTP SDP Endpoint ( ie a SDP file valid for a given session ) and use it to play the WebRTC media over VLC using socket input

problem : nothing plays

screenshot of VLC connected to play from socket and failure to play anything

Screenshot from 2015-01-21 17:49:52

Attempt 5.3: Create a WebRTC endpoint and connected it to RTP endpoint via media pipelines . Also make the RTP SDP offer and answering the same . Play with ffnpeg / ffplay / gst playbin

String requestRTPsdp = rtpEndpoint.generateOffer();

Write the requestRTPsdp to a file and obtain a RTP connector endpoint with Application/SDP .It plays okay with gst playbin ( 10 secs without audio )

Successful attempt to play from a gst playbin

gst-launch -vvv playbin uri=file:///tmp/test.sdp 

donekurento streaming

but refuses to be played by VLC , ffplay and even wowza . The error generated with

ffmpeg -i test.sdp -vcodec copy -acodec copy -f mpegts output-file.ts


ffmpeg -re -i test.sdp -vcodec h264 -acodec mp3 -f mpegts “udp://”


Could not find codec parameter for stream1 ( video:h263, none ) .Other errors types are , Could not write header for output file output file is empty nothing was encoded

Error screenshots of trying to play the RTP SDP file with ffmpeg

ffmpeg error kurebto1
ffmpeg error kurebto2

Attempt 6 : Use a WebRTC capable media and streaming server ( eg Kurento )  to pick a live stream of VP8 .

Convert the VP8 to H264  ( ffmpeg / RTP endpoint ) .

Convert H264 to Mp4 using MP4 parser and pass to a streaming server  ( wowza)

In process to be updated .