GLFW VS glad

Compare GLFW vs glad and see what are their differences.


A multi-platform library for OpenGL, OpenGL ES, Vulkan, window and input (by glfw)


Multi-Language Vulkan/GL/GLES/EGL/GLX/WGL Loader-Generator based on the official specs. (by Dav1dde)
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GLFW glad
78 43
12,306 3,546
1.7% -
9.3 7.1
4 days ago 1 day ago
zlib License GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
Activity is a relative number indicating how actively a project is being developed. Recent commits have higher weight than older ones.
For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.


Posts with mentions or reviews of GLFW. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2024-03-16.
  • macOS 14.4 causes JVM crashes
    2 projects | | 16 Mar 2024
    Minecraft runs on various Javas.

    And there's a known issue with an interaction between minecraft, Java, and the video drivers that crashes out and it can be traced back all the way to here:

    It's not fixed.

  • Technical Considerations for GUI Toolkits [Discussion]
    1 project | /r/compsci | 11 Dec 2023
    Window context manager - glfw, sdl
    2 projects | /r/learnprogramming | 11 Dec 2023
    Types of tools for creating a gui (and how those tools approximately work): 1. Utilize the native _graphical interface API_, and depending on the platform, they have specific layers to interface: * Wayland, X11, for Linux * [GDI]( for windows * [Quartz](\_(graphics\_layer)) for macOS Example - GTK uses [wayland]( ([source code]( [X11]( ([source code]( GDI ([source code]( Quartz ([source code]( [How to use wayland display server]( (TODO missing "animation" section) 2. Utilize opengl _or other low level graphics api's_ with window context, use GPU to render widgets * Window context manager - [glfw](, [sdl]( * contexts and surfaces, reading input, handling events Example: ImGui, NanoVG, Nuklear, raylib Why? Mainly used for game development, but also good for gui's. _(i haven't seen any examples that uses this method that are used for developing general-use graphical user interfaces.)_
  • How to set-up GLFW 3.3.8 with C++ visual studio community 2022?
    1 project | /r/gamedev | 10 Dec 2023
  • Exploring Computer Graphics: Weekly Chronicle #1
    5 projects | | 16 Oct 2023
    GLFW: A library for window creation and managing user input.
  • New Vulkan Documentation Website
    10 projects | | 11 Oct 2023
    Not SDL2, but GLFW has something like that under the tests/ directory:

  • LWJGL = SFML vs Allegro vs SDL vs Ogre vs ???
    2 projects | /r/opengl | 5 Jul 2023
    I'm not familiar with LWJGL, my 5 seconds on their website makes me think you might be looking for something like GLFW to handle I/O and window creation/management.
  • I have spent two whole work days trying to install GLEW
    6 projects | /r/GraphicsProgramming | 3 Jul 2023
    Consider GLFW3 for windowing and GLAD for function loading. I've used this combination myself successfully. Granted, that is "two things" you need, but OTOH it'll work well.
  • OpenGL (GLFW and GLAD) not linking with cmake
    2 projects | /r/cmake | 30 May 2023
    There is a pattern to it which is usable with every GitHub repository. For example, GLFW v3.3.8 can be fetched from:
  • Help
    1 project | /r/cpp_questions | 24 May 2023
    That is a static or import library for glfw. You need add the path to the directory where this file is located to the "library directories", see:


Posts with mentions or reviews of glad. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2024-01-06.

What are some alternatives?

When comparing GLFW and glad you can also consider the following projects:

SDL - Simple Directmedia Layer

glew - The OpenGL Extension Wrangler Library

bgfx - Cross-platform, graphics API agnostic, "Bring Your Own Engine/Framework" style rendering library.

glew-cmake - GLEW(, source updated nightly) with Cmake and pre-generated sources

Skia - Skia is a complete 2D graphic library for drawing Text, Geometries, and Images.

opengl-imgui-cmake-template - 👾 template repo for getting started with opengl together with imgui using cmake

OpenSceneGraph - OpenSceneGraph git repository

ImGuizmo - Immediate mode 3D gizmo for scene editing and other controls based on Dear Imgui

Ogre 3D - scene-oriented, flexible 3D engine (C++, Python, C#, Java)

LearnOpenGL - Code repository of all OpenGL chapters from the book and its accompanying website

raylib - A simple and easy-to-use library to enjoy videogames programming

imgui - Dear ImGui: Bloat-free Graphical User interface for C++ with minimal dependencies