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Core in version 4.5
Core since version 2.0

glAttachShader: Attaches a shader object to a program object

Function Definition

 void glAttachShader(GLuint program​, GLuint shader​);
Specifies the program object to which a shader object will be attached.
Specifies the shader object that is to be attached.


In order to create a complete shader program, there must be a way to specify the list of things that will be linked together. Program objects provide this mechanism. Shaders that are to be linked together in a program object must first be attached to that program object. glAttachShader attaches the shader object specified by shader​ to the program object specified by program​. This indicates that shader​ will be included in link operations that will be performed on program​.

All operations that can be performed on a shader object are valid whether or not the shader object is attached to a program object. It is permissible to attach a shader object to a program object before source code has been loaded into the shader object or before the shader object has been compiled. It is permissible to attach multiple shader objects of the same type because each may contain a portion of the complete shader. It is also permissible to attach a shader object to more than one program object. If a shader object is deleted while it is attached to a program object, it will be flagged for deletion, and deletion will not occur until glDetachShader is called to detach it from all program objects to which it is attached.


GL_INVALID_VALUE is generated if either program​ or shader​ is not a value generated by OpenGL.

GL_INVALID_OPERATION is generated if program​ is not a program object.

GL_INVALID_OPERATION is generated if shader​ is not a shader object.

GL_INVALID_OPERATION is generated if shader​ is already attached to program​.

Associated Gets

glGetAttachedShaders with the handle of a valid program object





See Also

glCompileShader, glCreateShader, glDeleteShader, glDetachShader, glLinkProgram, glShaderSource


Copyright © 2003-2005 3Dlabs Inc. Ltd. This material may be distributed subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v 1.0, 8 June 1999.