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Welcome to the OpenGL Wiki!

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This Wiki is an attempt to collect answers to frequently asked questions on the forums. The hope is that by using a Wiki rather than a classic FAQ page, the information contained here will be kept relevant and up to date.

If you would like to contribute to this wiki please send a request to webmaster(at)khronos(dot)org, stating your account, your interest and your experience level.

Getting started

Discusses the things you need to know before you can get started with the OpenGL API. This includes how to set up OpenGL runtime libraries on your system, as well as information on setting up your development environment.

General OpenGL

Explains the basics of the OpenGL API and answers the most frequently asked questions about it.

OpenGL extensions

Introduces OpenGL's extension mechanism, and elaborates on the many extensions that are available.

Shading languages

Discusses the shading languages available for programmable vertex and fragment processing in OpenGL.


Offers various performance guidelines for OpenGL applications.

Math and algorithms

Offers API-agnostic discussion of 3D application design, rendering techniques, 3D mathematics, and other topics related to computer graphics.

Platform specifics

Focuses on OS-dependent issues that OpenGL applications may bump into.

Hardware specifics

Discusses the peculiarities of the different video cards and drivers that are out there.

Related toolkits and APIs

Provides an overview of various OpenGL toolkits (GLU, Glut, extension loading libraries, ...), higher-level APIs and other utility libraries.

Language bindings

Information on software languages that support OpenGL.

History of OpenGL

OpenGL 1.0 began life as an Open replacement for Iris GL, and after many releases we have OpenGL 2.0 today.


A list of frequently used terms and their definitions.