Graphics library

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Graphics API)

A graphics library is a program library designed to aid in rendering computer graphics to a monitor. This typically involves providing optimized versions of functions that handle common rendering tasks. This can be done purely in software and running on the CPU, common in embedded systems, or being hardware accelerated by a GPU, more common in PCs. By employing these functions, a program can assemble an image to be output to a monitor. This relieves the programmer of the task of creating and optimizing these functions, and allows them to focus on building the graphics program. Graphics libraries are mainly used in video games and simulations.

The use of graphics libraries in connection with video production systems, such as Pixar RenderMan, is not covered here.

Latest Graphics Library usage across Operating Systems:
OS Vulkan Direct X GNMX Metal
Windows 10 Free, Nvidia and AMD Free, MS no no
Mac Free, MoltenVK no no Free, Apple
Linux Free no no no
Android Free no no no
iOS Free, MoltenVK no no Free, Apple
Tizen in Development no no no
Sailfish in Development no no no
Xbox One no Free no no
Orbis OS (PS4) no no Free no
Nintendo Switch Free no no no

Some APIs use Graphics Library (GL) in their name, notably OpenGL and WebGL.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "". Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  2. ^ "Clutter Project – Have fun!". Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  3. ^ "DirectX". DirectX Graphics and Gaming (Windows) - MSDN - Microsoft.
  4. ^ "emWin Graphics Library |". Archived from the original on 2016-03-29.
  5. ^ "FLTK GUI and Graphics Library |".
  6. ^ "The Mesa 3D Graphics Library".
  7. ^ "victords/minigl".
  8. ^ "Open Inventor® | Open Inventor 3D SDK".
  9. ^ "Qt - Home".
  10. ^ "SFML".
  11. ^ "SIGIL: Sound, Input, and Graphics Integration Library". Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  12. ^ "Simple DirectMedia Layer - Homepage".
  13. ^ "Skia Graphics Library".