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Plutonium - an easy-to-use UI framework for Nintendo Switch homebrew

What is Plutonium?

Plutonium is a high-level, C++ graphical library with the aim of making UIs in a more user-firendly way.

It uses libnx and SDL2, so both libraries are required.

To be more exact, this libraries should be installed via pacman:

pacman -S switch-sdl2 switch-sdl2_ttf switch-sdl2_image switch-sdl2_gfx switch-sdl2_mixer switch-mesa switch-glad switch-glm switch-libdrm_nouveau switch-libwebp switch-libpng switch-freetype switch-bzip2 switch-libjpeg-turbo switch-opusfile switch-libopus

Internal structure and performance

Plutonium uses SDL2 for UI rendering.

Plutonium's performance is based on WPF's system. The user doesn't directly interact with the rendering, as it's done via a main rendering system and different objects to render.

Same way WPF does, you can create an UI by making a custom Application class inheriting from pu::Application class, or simply creating a variable and adding elements to it.

The main function to initialize the application is Show().

Check the examples for a basic usage of the libraries. In case you want to see a really powerful app which really shows what Plutonium is capable of, take a look at Goldleaf.

Check the documentation for a more detailed explanation of the library's usage.

Using this libraries

On the releases page you have all the released versions. All of them are zipped files, containing include and lib directories.

Simple project layout

This is how a regular Plutonium project would (more or less) have its Makefile and project layout using Plutonium:

  • Makefile

LIBS := -lpu -lfreetype -lSDL2_mixer -lopusfile -lopus -lmodplug -lmpg123 -lvorbisidec -logg -lSDL2_ttf -lSDL2_gfx -lSDL2_image -lSDL2 -lEGL -lGLESv2 -lglapi -ldrm_nouveau -lwebp -lpng -ljpeg `sdl2-config --libs` `freetype-config --libs` -lnx

  • Project directory
 |-- Makefile
 |-- source
 |-- include
 |-- Plutonium
      |-- include
      |-- lib


Clone the repository, cd into Plutonium directory and run make.

You will need devkitPro, libnx and all the libraries mentioned above installed via pacman.


If you would like to be more informed about my projects' status and support, you should check H&H, my Discord server. It's a simple server for Homebrew and Hacking, focused on my projects. If you would like to be a beta-tester, you might be interested on the nightly building system we have there for testers.

If you like my work, you should take a look at my Patreon page. For those who support me, you will be credited on my projects, and you'll gain some nice extras on H&H!

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