Tutorial: OpenGL 3.0 Context Creation (GLX)

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Overview

This tutorial illustrates (with a working program) how to create an OpenGL 3.0 context using the new glXCreateContextAttribsARB() API. In the event that this API is unsupported or fails, we fall back and create a standard (old-style) GL 2.1 context.

It also shows how to choose the X visual / framebuffer format that has the highest number of multisample subsamples in it.

The Code

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <X11/Xlib.h>
#include <X11/Xutil.h>
#include <GL/gl.h>
#include <GL/glx.h>
 
#define GLX_CONTEXT_MAJOR_VERSION_ARB       0x2091
#define GLX_CONTEXT_MINOR_VERSION_ARB       0x2092
typedef GLXContext (*glXCreateContextAttribsARBProc)(Display*, GLXFBConfig, GLXContext, Bool, const int*);
 
// Helper to check for extension string presence.  Adapted from:
//   http://www.opengl.org/resources/features/OGLextensions/
static bool isExtensionSupported(const char *extList, const char *extension)
{
  const char *start;
  const char *where, *terminator;
 
  /* Extension names should not have spaces. */
  where = strchr(extension, ' ');
  if (where || *extension == '\0')
    return false;
 
  /* It takes a bit of care to be fool-proof about parsing the
     OpenGL extensions string. Don't be fooled by sub-strings,
     etc. */
  for (start=extList;;) {
    where = strstr(start, extension);
 
    if (!where)
      break;
 
    terminator = where + strlen(extension);
 
    if ( where == start || *(where - 1) == ' ' )
      if ( *terminator == ' ' || *terminator == '\0' )
        return true;
 
    start = terminator;
  }
 
  return false;
}
 
static bool ctxErrorOccurred = false;
static int ctxErrorHandler( Display *dpy, XErrorEvent *ev )
{
    ctxErrorOccurred = true;
    return 0;
}
 
int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
  Display *display = XOpenDisplay(NULL);
 
  if (!display)
  {
    printf("Failed to open X display\n");
    exit(1);
  }
 
  // Get a matching FB config
  static int visual_attribs[] =
    {
      GLX_X_RENDERABLE    , True,
      GLX_DRAWABLE_TYPE   , GLX_WINDOW_BIT,
      GLX_RENDER_TYPE     , GLX_RGBA_BIT,
      GLX_X_VISUAL_TYPE   , GLX_TRUE_COLOR,
      GLX_RED_SIZE        , 8,
      GLX_GREEN_SIZE      , 8,
      GLX_BLUE_SIZE       , 8,
      GLX_ALPHA_SIZE      , 8,
      GLX_DEPTH_SIZE      , 24,
      GLX_STENCIL_SIZE    , 8,
      GLX_DOUBLEBUFFER    , True,
      //GLX_SAMPLE_BUFFERS  , 1,
      //GLX_SAMPLES         , 4,
      None
    };
 
  int glx_major, glx_minor;
 
  // FBConfigs were added in GLX version 1.3.
  if ( !glXQueryVersion( display, &glx_major, &glx_minor ) || 
       ( ( glx_major == 1 ) && ( glx_minor < 3 ) ) || ( glx_major < 1 ) )
  {
    printf("Invalid GLX version");
    exit(1);
  }
 
  printf( "Getting matching framebuffer configs\n" );
  int fbcount;
  GLXFBConfig* fbc = glXChooseFBConfig(display, DefaultScreen(display), visual_attribs, &fbcount);
  if (!fbc)
  {
    printf( "Failed to retrieve a framebuffer config\n" );
    exit(1);
  }
  printf( "Found %d matching FB configs.\n", fbcount );
 
  // Pick the FB config/visual with the most samples per pixel
  printf( "Getting XVisualInfos\n" );
  int best_fbc = -1, worst_fbc = -1, best_num_samp = -1, worst_num_samp = 999;
 
  int i;
  for (i=0; i<fbcount; ++i)
  {
    XVisualInfo *vi = glXGetVisualFromFBConfig( display, fbc[i] );
    if ( vi )
    {
      int samp_buf, samples;
      glXGetFBConfigAttrib( display, fbc[i], GLX_SAMPLE_BUFFERS, &samp_buf );
      glXGetFBConfigAttrib( display, fbc[i], GLX_SAMPLES       , &samples  );
 
      printf( "  Matching fbconfig %d, visual ID 0x%2x: SAMPLE_BUFFERS = %d,"
              " SAMPLES = %d\n", 
              i, vi -> visualid, samp_buf, samples );
 
      if ( best_fbc < 0 || samp_buf && samples > best_num_samp )
        best_fbc = i, best_num_samp = samples;
      if ( worst_fbc < 0 || !samp_buf || samples < worst_num_samp )
        worst_fbc = i, worst_num_samp = samples;
    }
    XFree( vi );
  }
 
  GLXFBConfig bestFbc = fbc[ best_fbc ];
 
  // Be sure to free the FBConfig list allocated by glXChooseFBConfig()
  XFree( fbc );
 
  // Get a visual
  XVisualInfo *vi = glXGetVisualFromFBConfig( display, bestFbc );
  printf( "Chosen visual ID = 0x%x\n", vi->visualid );
 
  printf( "Creating colormap\n" );
  XSetWindowAttributes swa;
  Colormap cmap;
  swa.colormap = cmap = XCreateColormap( display,
                                         RootWindow( display, vi->screen ), 
                                         vi->visual, AllocNone );
  swa.background_pixmap = None ;
  swa.border_pixel      = 0;
  swa.event_mask        = StructureNotifyMask;
 
  printf( "Creating window\n" );
  Window win = XCreateWindow( display, RootWindow( display, vi->screen ), 
                              0, 0, 100, 100, 0, vi->depth, InputOutput, 
                              vi->visual, 
                              CWBorderPixel|CWColormap|CWEventMask, &swa );
  if ( !win )
  {
    printf( "Failed to create window.\n" );
    exit(1);
  }
 
  // Done with the visual info data
  XFree( vi );
 
  XStoreName( display, win, "GL 3.0 Window" );
 
  printf( "Mapping window\n" );
  XMapWindow( display, win );
 
  // Get the default screen's GLX extension list
  const char *glxExts = glXQueryExtensionsString( display,
                                                  DefaultScreen( display ) );
 
  // NOTE: It is not necessary to create or make current to a context before
  // calling glXGetProcAddressARB
  glXCreateContextAttribsARBProc glXCreateContextAttribsARB = 0;
  glXCreateContextAttribsARB = (glXCreateContextAttribsARBProc)
           glXGetProcAddressARB( (const GLubyte *) "glXCreateContextAttribsARB" );
 
  GLXContext ctx = 0;
 
  // Install an X error handler so the application won't exit if GL 3.0
  // context allocation fails.
  //
  // Note this error handler is global.  All display connections in all threads
  // of a process use the same error handler, so be sure to guard against other
  // threads issuing X commands while this code is running.
  ctxErrorOccurred = false;
  int (*oldHandler)(Display*, XErrorEvent*) =
      XSetErrorHandler(&ctxErrorHandler);
 
  // Check for the GLX_ARB_create_context extension string and the function.
  // If either is not present, use GLX 1.3 context creation method.
  if ( !isExtensionSupported( glxExts, "GLX_ARB_create_context" ) ||
       !glXCreateContextAttribsARB )
  {
    printf( "glXCreateContextAttribsARB() not found"
            " ... using old-style GLX context\n" );
    ctx = glXCreateNewContext( display, bestFbc, GLX_RGBA_TYPE, 0, True );
  }
 
  // If it does, try to get a GL 3.0 context!
  else
  {
    int context_attribs[] =
      {
        GLX_CONTEXT_MAJOR_VERSION_ARB, 3,
        GLX_CONTEXT_MINOR_VERSION_ARB, 0,
        //GLX_CONTEXT_FLAGS_ARB        , GLX_CONTEXT_FORWARD_COMPATIBLE_BIT_ARB,
        None
      };
 
    printf( "Creating context\n" );
    ctx = glXCreateContextAttribsARB( display, bestFbc, 0,
                                      True, context_attribs );
 
    // Sync to ensure any errors generated are processed.
    XSync( display, False );
    if ( !ctxErrorOccurred && ctx )
      printf( "Created GL 3.0 context\n" );
    else
    {
      // Couldn't create GL 3.0 context.  Fall back to old-style 2.x context.
      // When a context version below 3.0 is requested, implementations will
      // return the newest context version compatible with OpenGL versions less
      // than version 3.0.
      // GLX_CONTEXT_MAJOR_VERSION_ARB = 1
      context_attribs[1] = 1;
      // GLX_CONTEXT_MINOR_VERSION_ARB = 0
      context_attribs[3] = 0;
 
      ctxErrorOccurred = false;
 
      printf( "Failed to create GL 3.0 context"
              " ... using old-style GLX context\n" );
      ctx = glXCreateContextAttribsARB( display, bestFbc, 0, 
                                        True, context_attribs );
    }
  }
 
  // Sync to ensure any errors generated are processed.
  XSync( display, False );
 
  // Restore the original error handler
  XSetErrorHandler( oldHandler );
 
  if ( ctxErrorOccurred || !ctx )
  {
    printf( "Failed to create an OpenGL context\n" );
    exit(1);
  }
 
  // Verifying that context is a direct context
  if ( ! glXIsDirect ( display, ctx ) )
  {
    printf( "Indirect GLX rendering context obtained\n" );
  }
  else
  {
    printf( "Direct GLX rendering context obtained\n" );
  }
 
  printf( "Making context current\n" );
  glXMakeCurrent( display, win, ctx );
 
  glClearColor( 0, 0.5, 1, 1 );
  glClear( GL_COLOR_BUFFER_BIT );
  glXSwapBuffers ( display, win );
 
  sleep( 1 );
 
  glClearColor ( 1, 0.5, 0, 1 );
  glClear ( GL_COLOR_BUFFER_BIT );
  glXSwapBuffers ( display, win );
 
  sleep( 1 );
 
  glXMakeCurrent( display, 0, 0 );
  glXDestroyContext( display, ctx );
 
  XDestroyWindow( display, win );
  XFreeColormap( display, cmap );
  XCloseDisplay( display );
 
  return 0;
}

Compilation

  cc -o gl3 gl3.cxx -lGL -lX11

Execution

 > gl3
 Getting matching framebuffer configs
 Found 3 matching FB configs.
 Getting XVisualInfos
   Matching fbconfig 0, visual ID 0x23: SAMPLE_BUFFERS = 0, SAMPLES = 0
   Matching fbconfig 1, visual ID 0x37: SAMPLE_BUFFERS = 1, SAMPLES = 2
   Matching fbconfig 2, visual ID 0x39: SAMPLE_BUFFERS = 1, SAMPLES = 4
 Chosen visual ID = 0x39
 Creating colormap
 Creating window
 Mapping window
 Creating context
 Created GL 3.0 context
 Direct GLX rendering context obtained
 Making context current