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Core in version 4.5
Core since version 4.1
Core ARB extension ARB_get_program_binary

glProgramBinary: load a program object with a program binary

Function Definition

 void glProgramBinary(GLuint program​, GLenum binaryFormat​, const void *binary​, GLsizei length​);
Specifies the name of a program object into which to load a program binary.
Specifies the format of the binary data in binary.
Specifies the address an array containing the binary to be loaded into program​.
Specifies the number of bytes contained in binary​.


glProgramBinary loads a program object with a program binary previously returned from glGetProgramBinary. binaryFormat​ and binary​ must be those returned by a previous call to glGetProgramBinary, and length​ must be the length returned by glGetProgramBinary, or by glGetProgram when called with pname​ set to GL_PROGRAM_BINARY_LENGTH. If these conditions are not met, loading the program binary will fail and program​'s GL_LINK_STATUS will be set to GL_FALSE.

A program object's program binary is replaced by calls to glLinkProgram or glProgramBinary. When linking success or failure is concerned, glProgramBinary can be considered to perform an implicit linking operation. glLinkProgram and glProgramBinary both set the program object's GL_LINK_STATUS to GL_TRUE or GL_FALSE.

A successful call to glProgramBinary will reset all uniform variables to their initial values. The initial value is either the value of the variable's initializer as specified in the original shader source, or zero if no initializer was present. Additionally, all vertex shader input and fragment shader output assignments that were in effect when the program was linked before saving are restored with glProgramBinary is called.


GL_INVALID_OPERATION is generated if program​ is not the name of an existing program object.

GL_INVALID_ENUM is generated if binaryFormat​ is not a value recognized by the implementation.


A program binary may fail to load if the implementation determines that there has been a change in hardware or software configuration from when the program binary was produced such as having been compiled with an incompatible or outdated version of the compiler.

Associated Gets

glGetProgram with argument GL_PROGRAM_BINARY_LENGTH



See Also

glCreateShaderProgram, glGetProgram, glGetProgramBinary, glLinkProgram


Copyright © 2010 Khronos Group. This material may be distributed subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v 1.0, 8 June 1999.