Nuklear – A single-header ANSI C immediate mode cross-platform GUI library

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on

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  • nuklear

    A single-header ANSI C immediate mode cross-platform GUI library (by Immediate-Mode-UI)

  • lvgl

    Embedded graphics library to create beautiful UIs for any MCU, MPU and display type.

    You can check out LVGL:

    It's geared more for embedded, but you can use an sdl back end for desktop (which might kill your light weight requirement depending on your strictness level). I wrote my own tty/framebuffer driver for it and use it directly on the frame buffer (not Linux) but it's pretty nice to work with. But if you need metal/openGL/Vulcan/directX and hardware acceleration, it's probably not what you're after.

  • InfluxDB

    Power Real-Time Data Analytics at Scale. Get real-time insights from all types of time series data with InfluxDB. Ingest, query, and analyze billions of data points in real-time with unbounded cardinality.

  • microui

    A tiny immediate-mode UI library

    The price for the 'lightest' UI toolkit probably goes to microui:

    Just around 1100 lines of C code.

    You need to bring your own renderer, but that's the same for Nuklear or Dear ImGui.

    I wrote a WASM wrapper for the microui demo too:

  • nanogui

    Minimalistic C++/Python GUI library for OpenGL, GLES2/3, Metal, and WebAssembly/WebGL (by mitsuba-renderer)

    I've been using nanogui[0] to fit the bill for personal uses.

    To be honest though, I'm at the point where I'd really prefer an easy and lightweight library to setup a http and/or websocket server, and just make a ui in the browser. I've got a simple use case -- I'm just making a simple scene editor & debugging ui for a toy ray tracer.

    I know there are a ton of different libraries out there for the task, but that just makes it hard to evaluate the quality of any given library. I haven't given any a shot, I've only gone so far as to look at them and ponder what the size of the user base is, and question if the project will go inactive in a couple years. Or if it's going to require me to pull in some other host of dependencies.

    Recommendations from HNers welcome!


  • model-view-projection

    view changes to model-view-projection matrix calculations in real time

    I used Nuklear for a little demo project I put together to wrap my head around matrix transforms in graphics programming. It's very easy to use and pleasant to work with!

  • µWebSockets

    Simple, secure & standards compliant web server for the most demanding of applications

    Not exaclty -- it looks like it's pretty overkill for my needs

    I'm looking for something more like websocketpp[0], or even just grpc without a requisite proxy. uWebsockets looks really promising, being header only, but in the fine print requires a runtime library. unfortunately, none of that ecosystem seems to use cmake, making integrating it that much more of a pain.

    why use cpp for this, I'm sure some HNer will ask. the ray tracer itself is using cuda, that's why. I've also debated

    - running it as a grpc server and having some proxy in a more web-accessible language

    - creating python bindings and using python to make a websocket/http server for it

    neither of those are out of the question, but they're not my first choices, because I'd like to keep the build & execution simple. introducing dependencies, especially other executables, is in conflict with that.

    i don't need anything particularly scalable -- a threaded implementation, or one using select() would be fine, if not preferable.



  • nuklear-quickdraw

    quickdraw backend for nuklear (

    Nuklear is great. I’ve spent countless hours hacking around with it. I’ve also built a customized version for classic Macintosh systems (down to System 2.0 or so) and built some simple Macintosh software for it. I put it on GitHub here:

  • WorkOS

    The modern identity platform for B2B SaaS. The APIs are flexible and easy-to-use, supporting authentication, user identity, and complex enterprise features like SSO and SCIM provisioning.

  • cimgui

    c-api for imgui ( Look at: for other widgets

    DearIMGUI has both an unofficial C wrapper and a new official C binding generator. I have personally used the CIMGUI wrapper with C99 apps using the Direct3D11 backend and it works great. The new API is started by the DearIMGUI creator but is still adding features that are available in CIMGUI.

    Unofficial C API -

  • dear_bindings

    C header (and language binding metadata) generator for Dear ImGui

  • imgui-app

    Dear IMGUI + Render + Window handling, amalgamation in two files ready to use

    Then someone put Sokol and IMGUI together into a single .h + .cpp combo and you get

  • raylib

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

    I really like this trend. Also see:

    * Raylib - A single header file game engine

  • miniaudio

    Audio playback and capture library written in C, in a single source file.

    * Miniaudio - A single header file audio library

    Both (actually, not just three systems) cross-platform.

    For their design and cross-platform support they make for great bases for Go libraries, unlike most C code out there.

  • malgo

    Mini audio library

    Yes, I found it by accident, because I dug into a Go code base I don't even use for fun, because I wondered about how they do audio, noticed it wasn't actually cross-platform. So I wondered if it's solved overall and found this, which seems to be the most straight-forward way of supporting pretty much all platforms that Go supports. Not completely sure about Plan 9 though.

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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