Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Setup Modern OpenGL with GLFW, GLEW and GLM in Codeblocks

Modern OpenGL 3 and above version may be difficult especially for beginner because of  new shaders and buffer object concepts. OpenGL 1.x is simple to understand and to setup the project also which you can find in my previous articles here. By setting the GLUT or just by including gl.h and glu.h we can acess the OpenGL function because all the API function are determined in compiled time but in modern OpenGL concept is different that all the API function are determined in run time not in compiled time. 
Introduction to GLFW,GLEW and GLM
Lets discusses about all this open source library why they are necessary.
GLEW (OpenGL Extension Wrangler ) will handle the run time loading of the OpenGL API. This will give access to the OpenGL 3.2 and above API functions. It is important because accessing OpenGL functions isn't as simple as #include <GL/gl.h> unless we want to use an ancient version of OpenGL. In modern OpenGL , the API functions are determined at run time,not compile time.

GLFW (OpenGL Frame Work) is used to create a window, and receive mouse and keyboard input in a cross-platform way. We can use freeglut as a alternative of GLFW . GLFW is especially design for game. OpenGL does not handle window creation or input, so this must be done with the help of GLFW or other alternatives. 
GLM(OpenGL Mathematics) is a mathematics libray that handles vectors and metrices. Older versions of OpenGL provided functions like glRotate, glTranslate and glScale which would do some of the mathematics but in modern OpenGL previously mentioned functions do not exist and we have to do by ourselves. GLM will help us to do math.

Setup instruction for GLFW,GLEW and GLM 
Step 1st : Download and Extract all these library 
                GLEW from here 
                GLFW from here
                GLM from here
Step 2nd : Copy header files,library files and dll files to following directories.

A. Copy Header Files
                 Copy glfw3.h, form GLFW library include folder, and glew.h,glxew.h,wglew.h from GLEW library include folder to the directory C:\Program Files\CodeBlocks\MinGW\include\GL
Since GLM is header only library copy the whole glm folder to the directory C:\Program Files\CodeBlocks\MinGW\include

B. Copy Library Files
                Copy libglfw3.a and glfw3dll.a form GLFW library lib-mingw folder and glew32glew32sglew32mxglew32mxs from GLEW library lib folder to the directory C:\Program Files\CodeBlocks\MinGW\lib

C. Copy DILL Files
                Copy glfw3.dll form GLFW library lib-mingw folder, and glew32.dll ,glew32mx.dll from GLEW library bin folder to the directory C:\Windows\System32
Step 3rd: Change CodeBlocks linker setting
Open the Codeblocks IDE.
go to menu ->Settings->Compiler options
From there click the Linker setting tab.
From Link libraries box. Click add button and add libraries glew32.lib, glew32s.lib,libglfw3.a and libopengl32.a
All the linker must be link from the directory C:\Program Files\CodeBlocks\MinGW\lib
Note: make sure that glew32s.lib must be top of the list.
Press ok . Now your library is completely setup. You can write modern OpenGL program by creating new empty cpp file. Check weather all libraries are setup successfully or not run the source code from here(simple modern OpenGL program)


  1. Where do I find "libopengl.a" ?

    1. inside the directory programfiles->codeblocks->Mingw->lib you can find

    2. sorry not libopengl.a it is libopengl32.a. I have edited my post.

  2. When I download GLFW, I don't get glfw.dll. I get glfw3.dll and so on. In every file there is a 3 at the end. Am I downloading the wrong file or is it just a newer version?

    1. yes it is new version release at june 17,2013.

    2. Ok, thanks for the answer. However, when I run the test-code I get loads of errors with GLFW, like "glfwOpenWindowHint was not declared in this scope" and so on. I've followed the instructions carefully, so I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

    3. In test-code there is #include so change it to $include and try. If this is not the problem then check wheather your GLFW is 64-bit and glew is 32-bit something like that. I suggest you although you computer is 64-bit use both GLFW and glew 32-bit.

  3. In latest GLFW use glfwWindowHint instead glfwOpenWindowHint

  4. I think all of these need updating as their have been many function name and parameter changes.

    That and if the version number of the libraries was known it would help in removing the need to hunt and attempt to figure out what got changed to what in trying to get these samples running.

    Either that or the removal of GLFW from the samples as it is the library causing the most headaches in trying to get these samples to run.

    Thought the best sure fire way of having usable samples with minimal headache would be samples only using the glm Library,
    as this would keep the dependance and setup simple and without the headache to many libraries that are getting updated constantly.

  5. can you write a tutorial on using GLFW3 with GLew 1.10? The documentation is very vague on setting up a simple window.

    This site implements GLew 1.10, but it does a bit too much and eats up resources:

  6. i have been trying to get it running for quiet a while, is it possible to rar the whole directory of codeblocks and put it on the newsgroups ... thanks in advance


  7. here(simple modern OpenGL program) program is not running. please help me. the error is given bellow
    ||=== Build: Debug in dsf (compiler: GNU GCC Compiler) ===|
    D:\openGL\dsf\main.cpp||In function 'void Render()':|
    D:\openGL\dsf\main.cpp|125|error: too few arguments to function 'void glfwSwapBuffers(GLFWwindow*)'|
    c:\program files (x86)\codeblocks\mingw\bin\..\lib\gcc\mingw32\4.7.1\..\..\..\..\include\GL\glfw.h|2209|note: declared here|
    D:\openGL\dsf\main.cpp||In function 'void AppMain()':|
    D:\openGL\dsf\main.cpp|145|error: 'glfwOpenWindowHint' was not declared in this scope|
    D:\openGL\dsf\main.cpp|147|error: 'GLFW_OPENGL_VERSION_MAJOR' was not declared in this scope|
    D:\openGL\dsf\main.cpp|149|error: 'GLFW_OPENGL_VERSION_MINOR' was not declared in this scope|
    D:\openGL\dsf\main.cpp|151|error: 'GLFW_WINDOW_NO_RESIZE' was not declared in this scope|
    D:\openGL\dsf\main.cpp|153|error: 'GLFW_WINDOW' was not declared in this scope|
    D:\openGL\dsf\main.cpp|153|error: 'glfwOpenWindow' was not declared in this scope|
    D:\openGL\dsf\main.cpp|197|error: 'GLFW_OPENED' was not declared in this scope|
    D:\openGL\dsf\main.cpp|197|error: 'glfwGetWindowParam' was not declared in this scope|
    ||=== Build failed: 9 error(s), 0 warning(s) (0 minute(s), 0 second(s)) ===|

  8. Same errors as the above guy ... Probably there are some changes in glfw.h (which in fact is glfw3.h) ...

  9. I have updated the program now such error will not occur.

  10. I did everything exactly as stated,but when i build and run the program ,nothing happens,it does not do anything.
    Do you start with a empty project or a glfw project or something else ?

  11. How is this going to work if you haven't put the location of the 'bin' files in codeblocks-> compiler-> toolchain executables-> additional paths ?

  12. I did add link libraries
    and copy lib to CodeBlocks\MinGW\lib
    but i cant build source. error is "cannot find -lglew32s.lib"

  13. ERROR: "glm/glm.hpp no such file or directory"