Graphics library

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.

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
GNU/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


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