Lightweight Java Game Library

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Lightweight Java Game Library (LWJGL)
Developer(s) LWJGL team
Stable release 3.0.0b / 20 November 2015 (2015-11-20)
Preview release 3.0.0b / 20 November 2015 (2015-11-20)
Development status Active
Written in Java, C, Kotlin[1][2]
Operating system Windows, Linux, OS X
Platform Java platform
Type Free computer library
License BSD license[3]

The Lightweight Java Game Library (LWJGL) is an open source Java software library for video game developers.

LWJGL exposes high performance cross-platform libraries commonly used in developing video games and multimedia titles, such as OpenGL (Open Graphics Library), OpenAL (Open Audio Library) and OpenCL (Open Computing Language). It further provides access to controllers such as gamepads, steering wheels and joysticks in a platform-neutral way.[4]

The primary goal of the project is to provide a way for Java developers to get access to resources that are otherwise unavailable or poorly implemented on the existing Java platform. The main philosophy is to expose underlying technology as a thin wrapper, thus creating a simple API. It is also the basis of many high-level Java game engines and libraries, such as LibGDX or the JMonkeyEngine.

LWJGL is available under a BSD license.[3]

On 13 November 2014 version 3 was announced, which was released in alpha version on 27 April 2015 and is a complete rewrite of LWJGL.[5][6][7] Many new bindings, including GLFW, EGL and Objective-C, were added.[3][6] Support for Oculus Rift development was also added with LibOVR bindings.[3][7]


The library accesses native C code through the Java Native Interface (JNI). Bindings to each of the native libraries exist as different modules so developers can make custom builds with only the things they need in a certain program.[3][7][8]

While utility classes are written in pure Java, most of the binding classes are automatically generated by a custom generator implemented in Kotlin.[1][2]

Provided bindings[3]
Binding Description Notes
GLFW Window management library needed for handling an OpenGL context.
OpenGL 3D graphics specification implemented by most GPU vendors. Most extensions supported, but less popular ones will be added on request.
OpenAL Three-dimensional audio API. ALC and other extensions are supported.
OpenCL API for cross-platform parallel computing.
OpenGL ES OpenGL for embedded systems like mobile phones, tablets or consoles.
Vulkan Upcoming, as of August 2015.[3]
LibOVR API of the Oculus Rift. As of July 2015 still in beta status.
Objective-C Interface to Apple's Cocoa API.
STB Lightweight single-file library for loading images, sounds and fonts.
libffi Library for calling generic native functions.
jemalloc Low-level memory management.
NanoVG 2D Low-level graphics rendering.

See also[edit]

  • Java OpenGL, another wrapper library that allows OpenGL to be used in the Java programming language
  • JMonkeyEngine, game engine using LWJGL
  • Minecraft, popular game using LWJGL
  • LibGDX, game-development application framework using LWJGL[9]


  1. ^ a b "LWJGL/lwjgl3". GitHub. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "lwjgl3/doc – Generator". GitHub. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "LWJGL Website". Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "LWJGL Wiki". GitHub. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Tsakpinis, Ioannis (13 November 2014). "Welcome to LWJGL 3". LWJGL Blog. 
  6. ^ a b "LWJGL 3 Roadmap". GitHub. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Tsakpinis, Ioannis (27 April 2015). "LWJGL 3.0.0a released". LWJGL Blog. 
  8. ^ "Bindings FAQ". GitHub. 27 December 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "libGDX github page". GitHub. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 

External links[edit]