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Vulkano

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See also vulkano.rs.

Vulkano is a Rust wrapper around the Vulkan graphics API. It follows the Rust philosophy, which is that as long as you don't use unsafe code you shouldn't be able to trigger any undefined behavior. In the case of Vulkan, this means that non-unsafe code should always conform to valid API usage.

What does vulkano do?

  • Provides a low-levelish API around Vulkan. It doesn't hide what it does, but provides some comfort types.
  • Plans to prevent all invalid API usages, even the most obscure ones. The purpose of vulkano is not to simply let you draw a teapot, but to cover all possible usages of Vulkan and detect all the possible problems in order to write robust programs. Invalid API usage is prevented thanks to both compile-time checks and runtime checks.
  • Can handle synchronization on the GPU side for you (unless you choose do that yourself), as this aspect of Vulkan is both annoying to handle and error-prone. Dependencies between submissions are automatically detected, and semaphores are managed automatically. The behavior of the library can be customized thanks to unsafe trait implementations.
  • Tries to be convenient to use. Nobody is going to use a library that requires you to browse the documentation for hours for every single operation.

Note that in general vulkano does not require you to install the official Vulkan SDK. This is not something specific to vulkano (you don't need the SDK to write programs that use Vulkan, even without vulkano), but many people are unaware of that and install the SDK thinking that it is required. However, macOS and iOS platforms do require a little more Vulkan setup since it is not natively supported. See below for more details.

Development status

Vulkano is still in heavy development and doesn't yet meet its goals of being very robust. However the general structure of the library is most likely definitive, and all future breaking changes will likely be straight-forward to fix in user code.

Documentation

To get started you are encouraged to use the following resources:

  • The guide on vulkano.rs - Starts with trivial compute examples (~50 lines of code) then works up to rendering triangles and mandelbrots.
  • The vulkano-examples repository - Includes examples in the repo and also a list of projects that use vulkano.
  • docs.rs - Full Vulkano API documentation

Setup

Vulkano uses shaderc-rs for shader compilation. In order to build the shaderc-rs crate the following tools must be installed and available on PATH:

These requirements can be either installed with your favourite package manager or with installers from the projects' websites. Below are some example ways to get setup.

windows-msvc Specific Setup

  1. rustup default stable-x86_64-pc-windows-msvc
  2. Install Build Tools for Visual Studio 2017. If you have already been using this toolchain then its probably already installed.
  3. Install msys2, following ALL of the instructions.
  4. Then in the msys2 terminal run: pacman --noconfirm -Syu mingw-w64-x86_64-cmake mingw-w64-x86_64-python3
  5. Add the msys2 mingw64 binary path to the PATH environment variable.

Windows-gnu Specific Setup

windows-gnu toolchain is not supported but you can instead cross-compile to windows-gnu from windows-msvc

Steps 1 and 2 are to workaround https://github.com/rust-lang/rust/issues/49078 by using the same mingw that rust uses.

  1. Download and extract https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/rust-lang-ci2/rust-ci-mirror/x86_64-6.3.0-release-posix-seh-rt_v5-rev2.7z
  2. Add the absolute path to mingw64\bin to your PATH environment variable. (This path needs to be before the msys2 path)
  3. Run the command: rustup default stable-x86_64-pc-windows-msvc
  4. Run the command: rustup target install x86_64-pc-windows-gnu
  5. Install Build Tools for Visual Studio 2017. If you have already been using this toolchain then its probably already installed.
  6. Install msys2, following ALL of the instructions.
  7. Then in the msys2 terminal run: pacman --noconfirm -Syu mingw64/mingw-w64-x86_64-pkg-config mingw-w64-x86_64-gcc mingw-w64-x86_64-cmake mingw-w64-x86_64-make mingw-w64-x86_64-python3
  8. Add the msys2 mingw64 binary path to the PATH environment variable.
  9. Any cargo command that builds the project needs to include --target x86_64-pc-windows-gnu e.g. to run: cargo run --target x86_64-pc-windows-gnu

Linux Specific Setup

Use your package manager to install the required dev-tools and vulkan drivers

For example on ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install build-essential git python cmake libvulkan-dev vulkan-utils

macOS and iOS Specific Setup

Vulkan is not natively supported by macOS and iOS. However, there exists MoltenVK a Vulkan implementation on top of Apple's Metal API. This allows vulkano to build and run on macOS and iOS platforms.

The easiest way to get vulkano up and running on macOS is to install the Vulkan SDK for macOS. To install the SDK so that Vulkano will find it and dynamically link with libvulkan.dylib:

  1. Download the latest macOS release and unpack it somewhere, for the next step we'll assume that's ~/vulkan_sdk.
  2. Modify your environment to contain the SDK bin directory in PATH and the SDK lib directory in DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH. We also need to set VK_ICD_FILENAMES and VK_LAYER_PATH. When using the Bash shell, which is the default for macOS, it's easiest to do this by appending the following to the ~/.bash_profile file and then restarting the terminal.
export VULKAN_SDK=$HOME/vulkan_sdk/macOS
export PATH=$VULKAN_SDK/bin:$PATH
export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=$VULKAN_SDK/lib:$DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH
export VK_ICD_FILENAMES=$VULKAN_SDK/etc/vulkan/icd.d/MoltenVK_icd.json
export VK_LAYER_PATH=$VULKAN_SDK/etc/vulkan/explicit_layer.d

It is also possible to link with the MoltenVK framework (as vulkano did in previous versions) by adding the appropriate cargo output lines to your build script and implementing your own vulkano::instance::loader::Loader that calls the MoltenVK vkGetInstanceProcAddr implementation.

On iOS vulkano links directly to the MoltenVK framework. There is nothing else to do besides installing it. Note that the Vulkan SDK for macOS also comes with the iOS framework.

Note that as of writing, MoltenVK has some bugs that show up in the examples. Some minor modifications may be required as workarounds: see https://github.com/vulkano-rs/vulkano/pull/1027. The examples also do not work properly on macOS 10.11 and lower without workarounds due to MoltenVK's Metal backend not getting the required features until macOS 10.12. See https://github.com/vulkano-rs/vulkano/issues/1075 for workarounds.

Donate

Rukai (Current maintainer) Become a patron

Tomaka (Original developer) Become a patron

Contributing

Contributions are welcome! Feel free to submit pull requests.

Pull requests that fix bugs or improve documentation are likely to be quickly reviewed, while pull requests that add features or change the API may be more controversial and take more time.

If your change adds, removes or modifies a trait or a function, please add an entry to the CHANGELOG.md file as part of your pull request.

Structure

This repository contains six libraries:

  • vulkano is the main one.
  • vulkano-shaders Provides the shader! macro for compiling glsl shaders.
  • vulkano-win provides a safe link between vulkano and the winit library which can create a window to render to.
  • vk-sys contains raw bindings for Vulkan. You can use it even if you don't care about vulkano.

In order to run tests, run cargo test --all at the root of the repository. Make sure your Vulkan driver is up to date before doing so.

License

Licensed under either of

Contribution

Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.