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Original author(s) Harm Hanemaayer
Stable release 1.4.3 / June 2, 2001; 14 years ago (2001-06-02)
Preview release 1.9.25
Written in C
Operating system Linux, FreeBSD
Platform x86, x86-64
Type Library

SVGAlib is an open-source low-level graphics library which runs on Linux and FreeBSD and allows programs to change video mode and display full-screen graphics. Some popular games like Quake and Doom have been ported to use SVGAlib.


The library was popular in mid-1990s. Toward 2000, many applications that used it migrated to X11 and SDL, which itself can make use of SVGAlib as a video driver.

A sample of SVGAlib code is shown below.

#include <stdlib.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <vga.h>

int main(void)
   int color = 4;
   int x = 10;
   int y = 10;
   unsigned int seconds = 5;

   /* detect the chipset and give up supervisor rights */
   if (vga_init() < 0)
        return EXIT_FAILURE;

   vga_drawpixel(x, y);
   /* restore textmode and fall back to ordinary text console handling */
   return EXIT_SUCCESS;

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