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Release notes for version 3.4

New features

Runtime platform selection

GLFW now supports being compiled for multiple backends and selecting between them at runtime with the GLFW_PLATFORM init hint. After initialization the selected platform can be queried with glfwGetPlatform. You can check if support for a given platform is compiled in with glfwPlatformSupported.

For more information see Runtime platform selection.

More standard cursor shapes

GLFW now provides the standard cursor shapes GLFW_RESIZE_NWSE_CURSOR and GLFW_RESIZE_NESW_CURSOR for diagonal resizing, GLFW_RESIZE_ALL_CURSOR for omnidirectional resizing and GLFW_NOT_ALLOWED_CURSOR for showing an action is not allowed.

Unlike the original set, these shapes may not be available everywhere and creation will then fail with the new GLFW_CURSOR_UNAVAILABLE error.

The cursors for horizontal and vertical resizing are now referred to as GLFW_RESIZE_EW_CURSOR and GLFW_RESIZE_NS_CURSOR, and the pointing hand cursor is now referred to as GLFW_POINTING_HAND_CURSOR. The older names are still available.

For more information see Standard cursor creation.

Mouse event passthrough

GLFW now provides the GLFW_MOUSE_PASSTHROUGH window hint for making a window transparent to mouse input, lettings events pass to whatever window is behind it. This can also be changed after window creation with the matching window attribute.

Ability to get window title

GLFW now supports querying the title of a window with the glfwGetWindowTitle function.

For more information see Window title.

Captured cursor mode

GLFW now supports confining the cursor to the window content area with the GLFW_CURSOR_CAPTURED cursor mode.

For more information see Cursor mode.

Support for custom heap memory allocator

GLFW now supports plugging a custom heap memory allocator at initialization with glfwInitAllocator. The allocator is a struct of type GLFWallocator with function pointers corresponding to the standard library functions malloc, realloc and free.

For more information see Custom heap memory allocator.

Window hint for framebuffer scaling

GLFW now allows provides the GLFW_SCALE_FRAMEBUFFER window hint for controlling framebuffer scaling on platforms that handle scaling by keeping the window size the same while resizing the framebuffer. The default value is to allow framebuffer scaling.

This was already possible on macOS via the GLFW_COCOA_RETINA_FRAMEBUFFER window hint. This is now another name for the same hint value.

For more information see Window content scale.

Window hints for initial window position

GLFW now provides the GLFW_POSITION_X and GLFW_POSITION_Y window hints for specifying the initial position of the window. This removes the need to create a hidden window, move it and then show it. The default value of these hints is GLFW_ANY_POSITION, which selects the previous behavior.

For more information see Window position.

ANGLE rendering backend hint

GLFW now provides the GLFW_ANGLE_PLATFORM_TYPE init hint for requesting a specific rendering backend when using ANGLE to create OpenGL ES contexts.

Windows window menu keyboard access hint

GLFW now provides the GLFW_WIN32_KEYBOARD_MENU window hint for enabling keyboard access to the window menu via the Alt+Space and Alt-and-then-Space shortcuts. This may be useful for more GUI-oriented applications.

Windows STARTUPINFO show command hint

GLFW now provides the GLFW_WIN32_SHOWDEFAULT window hint for applying the show command in the program's STARTUPINFO when showing the window for the first time. This may be useful for the main window of a windowed-mode tool.

Cocoa NSView native access function

GLFW now provides the glfwGetCocoaView native access function for returning the Cocoa NSView.

Wayland libdecor decorations

GLFW now supports improved client-side window decorations via libdecor. This provides fully featured window decorations on desktop environments like GNOME.

Support for libdecor can be toggled before GLFW is initialized with the GLFW_WAYLAND_LIBDECOR init hint. It is enabled by default.

This feature has also been available in GLFW 3.3 since 3.3.9.

Wayland surface app_id hint

GLFW now supports specifying the app_id for a Wayland window using the GLFW_WAYLAND_APP_ID window hint string.

X11 Vulkan window surface hint

GLFW now supports disabling the use of VK_KHR_xcb_surface over VK_KHR_xlib_surface where available, with the GLFW_X11_XCB_VULKAN_SURFACE init hint. This affects glfwGetRequiredInstanceExtensions and glfwCreateWindowSurface.


Multiple sets of native access functions

Because GLFW now supports runtime selection of platform (window system), a library binary may export native access functions for multiple platforms. Starting with version 3.4 you must not assume that GLFW is running on a platform just because it exports native access functions for it. After initialization, you can query the selected platform with glfwGetPlatform.

Version string format has been changed

Because GLFW now supports runtime selection of platform (window system), the version string returned by glfwGetVersionString has been expanded. It now contains the names of all APIs for all the platforms that the library binary supports.

The version string is intended for bug reporting and should not be parsed. See glfwGetVersion and glfwPlatformSupported instead.

Joystick support is initialized on demand

The joystick part of GLFW is now initialized when first used, primarily to work around faulty Windows drivers that cause DirectInput to take up to several seconds to enumerate devices.

This change is mostly not observable. However, if your application waits for events without having first called any joystick function or created any visible windows, the wait may never unblock as GLFW may not yet have subscribed to joystick related OS events.

To work around this, call any joystick function before waiting for events, for example by setting a joystick callback.

Tests and examples are disabled when built as a subproject

GLFW now by default does not build the tests or examples when it is added as a subdirectory of another CMake project. If you were setting GLFW_BUILD_TESTS or GLFW_BUILD_EXAMPLES to false in your CMake files, you can now remove this.

If you do want these to be built, set GLFW_BUILD_TESTS and GLFW_BUILD_EXAMPLES in your CMake files before adding the GLFW subdirectory.


Configuration header is no longer generated

The glfw_config.h configuration header is no longer generated by CMake and the platform selection macros are now part of the GLFW CMake target. The _GLFW_USE_CONFIG_H macro is still supported in case you are generating a configuration header in a custom build setup.

Documentation generation requires Doxygen 1.9.8 or later

Doxygen 1.9.8 or later is now required for the docs CMake target to be generated. This is because the documentation now uses more of the Markdown support in Doxygen and this support has until recently been relatively unstable.

Windows 7 framebuffer transparency requires DWM transparency

GLFW no longer supports per-pixel framebuffer transparency via GLFW_TRANSPARENT_FRAMEBUFFER on Windows 7 if DWM transparency is off (the Transparency setting under Personalization > Window Color).

macOS main menu now created at initialization

GLFW now creates the main menu and completes the initialization of NSApplication during initialization. Programs that do not want a main menu can disable it with the GLFW_COCOA_MENUBAR init hint.

macOS CoreVideo dependency has been removed

GLFW no longer depends on the CoreVideo framework on macOS and it no longer needs to be specified during compilation or linking.

Wayland framebuffer may lack alpha channel on older systems

On Wayland, when creating an EGL context on a machine lacking the new EGL_EXT_present_opaque extension, the GLFW_ALPHA_BITS window hint will be ignored and the framebuffer will not have an alpha channel. This is because some Wayland compositors treat any buffer with an alpha channel as per-pixel transparent.

If you want a per-pixel transparent window, see the GLFW_TRANSPARENT_FRAMEBUFFER window hint.

X11 empty events no longer round-trip to server

Events posted with glfwPostEmptyEvent now use a separate unnamed pipe instead of sending an X11 client event to the helper window.


Windows XP and Vista support is deprecated

Support for Windows XP and Vista has been deprecated and will be removed in a future release. Windows XP has been out of extended support since 2014.

Original MinGW support is deprecated

Support for the now unmaintained original MinGW distribution has been deprecated and will be removed in a future release.

This does not apply to the much more capable MinGW-w64, which remains fully supported, actively maintained and available on many platforms.

OS X Yosemite support is deprecated

Support for OS X 10.10 Yosemite and earlier has been deprecated and will be removed in a future release. OS X 10.10 has been out of support since 2017.


GLFW_VULKAN_STATIC CMake option has been removed

This option was used to compile GLFW directly linked with the Vulkan loader, instead of using dynamic loading to get hold of vkGetInstanceProcAddr at initialization. This is now done by calling the glfwInitVulkanLoader function before initialization.

If you need backward compatibility, this macro can still be defined for GLFW 3.4 and will have no effect. The call to glfwInitVulkanLoader can be conditionally enabled in your code by checking the GLFW_VERSION_MAJOR and GLFW_VERSION_MINOR macros.

GLFW_USE_WAYLAND CMake option has been removed

This option was used to compile GLFW for Wayland instead of X11. GLFW now supports selecting the platform at run-time. By default GLFW is compiled for both Wayland and X11 on Linux and other Unix-like systems.

To disable Wayland or X11 or both, set the GLFW_BUILD_WAYLAND and GLFW_BUILD_X11 CMake options.

The GLFW_USE_WAYLAND CMake variable must not be present in the CMake cache at all, or GLFW will fail to configure. If you are getting this error, delete the CMake cache for GLFW and configure again.

GLFW_USE_OSMESA CMake option has been removed

This option was used to compile GLFW for the Null platform. The Null platform is now always available. To produce a library binary that only supports this platform, the way this CMake option used to do, you will instead need to disable the default platforms for the target OS. This means setting the GLFW_BUILD_WIN32, GLFW_BUILD_COCOA or GLFW_BUILD_WAYLAND and GLFW_BUILD_X11 CMake options to false.

You can set all of them to false and the ones that don't apply for the target OS will be ignored.

wl_shell protocol support has been removed

Support for the deprecated wl_shell protocol has been removed and GLFW now only supports the XDG-Shell protocol. If your Wayland compositor does not support XDG-Shell then GLFW will fail to initialize.

New symbols

New functions

New types

New constants

Release notes for earlier versions