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C Framework for OpenCL
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Build Status codecov Coverity Scan Build Status Latest release LGPL Licence Supported platforms


4 July 2016

Version 2.1.0 is available for download in the releases page.


The C Framework for OpenCL, cf4ocl, is a cross-platform pure C object-oriented framework for developing and benchmarking OpenCL projects. It aims to:

  1. Promote the rapid development of OpenCL host programs in C (with support for C++) and avoid the tedious and error-prone boilerplate code usually required.
  2. Assist in the benchmarking of OpenCL events, such as kernel execution and data transfers. Profiling comes for free with cf4ocl.
  3. Simplify the analysis of the OpenCL environment and of kernel requirements.
  4. Allow for all levels of integration with existing OpenCL code: use as much or as few of cf4ocl required for your project, with full access to the underlying OpenCL objects and functions at all times.


  • Object-oriented interface to the OpenCL API
    • New/destroy functions, no direct memory alloc/free
    • Easy (and extensible) device selection
    • Simple event dependency mechanism
    • User-friendly error management
  • OpenCL version and platform independent
  • Integrated profiling
  • Advanced device query utility
  • Offline kernel compiler and linker


Feedback and collaboration

Download or clone cf4ocl, build and install it, and code a small example, such as the one below, which shows a clean and fast way to create an OpenCL context with a user-selected device:

#include <cf4ocl2.h>
int main() {

    /* Variables. */
    CCLContext * ctx = NULL;

    /* Code. */
    ctx = ccl_context_new_from_menu(NULL);
    if (ctx == NULL) exit(-1);

    /* Destroy context wrapper. */

    return 0;

If you like this project and want to contribute, take a look at the existing issues. We also need help with binary packaging for different OSes. Other improvements or suggestions are of course, welcome. We appreciate any feedback.

Not yet integrated

A few OpenCL API calls, most of which introduced with OpenCL 2.1, are not yet integrated with cf4ocl. However, this functionality is still available to client code, because cf4ocl can be used simultaneously with raw OpenCL objects and functions.



Library code is licensed under LGPLv3, while the remaining code (utilities, examples and tests) is licensed under GPLv3.

Other useful C frameworks/utilities for OpenCL

If cf4ocl does not meet your requirements, take a look at the following projects:

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