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  • Developer The Khronos® Group
  • Version 4.6
  • License Freeware
  • Language en

OpenGL is an operating system independent graphics API that enables software developers to create visually appealing and high-performance 2D and 3D graphics.

What are the key features of OpenGL?

  • Cross-platform: OpenGL is compatible with all major desktop operating systems. It has become the industry's most widely used graphics application programming interface (API).
  • Visual performance: This software fosters innovative and high-speed development by providing a broad range of effects, including rendering, texture mapping, special effects, CAD/CAM/CAE, and virtual reality.
  • Easy-to-use: OpenGL is carefully structured, and its commands are logical. Developers can create visual applications using a relatively low amount of lines of code.

How to install OpenGL?

OpenGL is distributed to Windows, macOS and Linux. In most cases, OpenGL is considered a default application within those operating systems, as it is a part of the driver of your graphics cards (GPU). This means that OpenGL automatically receives updates if you have automatic updates activated on your machine.

If you want to try to find an OpenGL update manually, you can go to the manufacturer’s website of your GPU (NVIDIA, ATI, AMD, etc.) and see if a new driver is available for your device.

Is OpenGL free?

Yes, it is free to download.

OpenGL vs DirectX

OpenGL and DirectX can be considered competitors. Both graphics API have been around since the beginning of the 90s. The main difference between them is that DirectX is more than just a graphics API, as it also supports music and multimedia. Another big difference is that DirectX is only available on Windows and Xbox, whereas OpenGL is cross-platform.

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