Simple Directmedia Layer (by libsdl-org)

SDL Alternatives

Similar projects and alternatives to SDL

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a better SDL alternative or higher similarity.

Suggest an alternative to SDL

Reviews and mentions

Posts with mentions or reviews of SDL. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2021-09-02.
  • I wish I knew about this feature months ago... | 2021-09-09
  • AM2R @ Raspberry Pi - Take 4 | 2021-09-02
    Now, we'll need to source the latest SDL source tarball. You can find it [here](, but you can source the latest as of this writing with the command below. Run cd, and then run:
  • (When) will xdg-decoration become stable? | 2021-08-17
    if the applications you’re thinking of is using SDL, then this will get fixed soon (depending on the update speed of your distribution):
  • Release of SDL 2.0.16
  • SDL 2.0.16 Released | 2021-08-10
  • Nvidia Driver 470.63.01 released
    It's needed to run pure vulkan wayland applications on Nvidia. This is pretty huge as it was one of the major blockers to SDL2 defaulting to wayland.
  • The Grim GUI Landscape | 2021-07-31
    I'm waiting for SDL to get around to merging the PR that opens up a rendering API[0], which should make writing native cross-platform GUIs a lot easier. Currently something like Dear ImGUI does work with SDL but only if you use OpenGL. I can imagine (maybe even write, if I feel like a masochist) a lightweight GUI library that uses QML like syntax in Lua.


  • Hoping Steam OS 3.0 brings DS4 emulation for SC
    Right now, Windows.Gaming.Input API, Raw Input API and SDL2 Gamepad API is a better method right now.
  • Tools to make a game without engine? | 2021-07-28
    If you use SDL, that handles most of that for you.
  • SDL will now support client side decorations in native wayland mode using libdecor | 2021-07-26
  • Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War adds Dualsense feature support on PC | 2021-07-15
    Last time i checked: Adaptive Triggers already exposed to the end-user, but may requires reverse engineering to make that work. Stuffs like DS4Windows (I tested that and it works on Bluetooth) and more recently, SDL2 (currently in dev build) can handle it without requiring a driver solution.
  • Developing Games on Linux: An Interview with Little Red Dog Games | 2021-06-24
    X is only a problem if you use Xlib direcly. Instead use SDL [0] which will handle pretty much all window manager peculiarities for you.

    [0] | 2021-06-24
  • X1nput - a XInput hook to emulate Xbox One Controller Impulse Triggers | 2021-06-24
    Currently, SDL2 Gamepad API (which kinda powers Steam Input) supports Impulse Triggers. They're the only major Gamepad API players to support it outside of Microsoft's...alongside Motion Sensor support. | 2021-06-24
    knowing how they overcame "Added experimental support for more than 4 Xbox controllers" issue (by moving to Raw Input Controller driver), it speaks volume to how Microsoft generally treats Gamepad APIs on Windows OS.


Basic SDL repo stats
about 23 hours ago

libsdl-org/SDL is an open source project licensed under zlib License which is an OSI approved license.

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