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Modern and easy-to-use library for Vulkan


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A modern and easy-to-use library for the Vulkan® API

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lava provides essentials for low-level graphics - suited for prototyping, tooling, profiling and education.

This lean framework is written in neat C++23 and it strives for a modular rolling release as far as possible. We don't want to promise too much... but lava runs really smoothly on Windows and Linux.

➜   Download   •   Documentation (Tutorial + Guide)   •   Projects   •   Modules   •   Collaborate

In a nutshell

  • liblava is written in modern C++ with latest Vulkan support
  • Provides run loop abstraction for window and input handling
  • Plain renderer and command buffer model
  • Batteries included ➜ runtime shader compilation
  • Texture and mesh loading from virtual file system
  • Camera, imgui, logger and much more...

engine app frame   block asset resource base   file util core

Take a look

#include "liblava/lava.hpp"
#include "imgui.h"

int main(int argc, char* argv[]) {

    lava::engine app("imgui demo", { argc, argv });
    if (!app.setup())
        return lava::error::not_ready;

    app.imgui.layers.add("demo window", []() {



demo lava demo
free download on ➜

The collection includes all stages to play around. - You can easily switch between them.


light spawn
deferred shading + offscreen rendering

Small demo that showcases how to render to an offscreen framebuffer and sample from it. - It is a challenge in itself and also a compact solution.
spawn light
uniform buffer + camera

This loads a very large mesh from file and simply textures it. - Use your gamepad to control the camera if there is one around.
lamp lamp
push constants to shader

Classic lamp to relax and where colors can be easily switched. - Unfortunately it also consumes power - so be aware!
shapes shapes
generating primitives

Switch between basic shapes and use the camera to fly around. - A great start for your next interactive application.
generics generics
float, double & int meshes

This demo shows how to check GPU features and render mesh data with custom vertex layout. - There is a chapter about it in the Guide.
triangle triangle
unique classic mesh

Where graphics programming always begins. - An example that illustrates how little it actually takes to render a triangle.


rt cubes
raytraced reflecting cubes

Vulkan raytracing with liblava
Support for the Vulkan KHR ray tracing extensions with idiomatic wrappers. ➜ pezcode
Do you have a project? Submit it with a pull request


lava engine

engine producer props

  ➜   depends on app

lava app

app camera forward_shading

benchmark config imgui

  ➜   depends on frame + block + asset

lava frame

argh driver frame gamepad input

render_target renderer swapchain window

  ➜   depends on resource

lava block

attachment block descriptor render_pass subpass

compute_pipeline render_pipeline pipeline pipeline_layout

  ➜   depends on base

lava asset

load_image load_mesh load_texture write_image

  ➜   depends on resource + file

buffer mesh primitive

format image texture

  ➜   depends on base

lava base

base instance memory queue

platform device physical_device

  ➜   depends on util

lava file

file file_system file_utils json_file json

  ➜   depends on core

lava util

log math random thread

hex layer telegram

  ➜   depends on core

lava core

data id misc time types version


Use the issue tracker to report any bug or compatibility issue.

❤️   Thanks to all contributors making liblava flow...

If you want to contribute - we suggest the following:

  1. Fork the official repository
  2. Apply your changes to your fork
  3. Submit a pull request describing the changes you have made


Need help?   Please feel free to ask us on ➜ Discord

Help maintenance and development Every star and follow motivates
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liblava is licensed under MIT License which allows you to use the software for any purpose you might like - including commercial and for-profit use. However - this library includes several Third-Party libraries which are licensed under their own respective Open Source licenses ➜ They all allow static linking with closed source software.

All copies of liblava must include a copy of the MIT License terms and the copyright notice.

Vulkan and the Vulkan logo are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc.

Copyright (c) 2018-present - Lava Block OÜ and contributors