Julia interface to GLUT


This package is intended to be a fully fledged Julia interface to the GLUT implementation on your machine.

NOTE: Since Julia code doesn't exactly have arguments like a C program would have, I made a small wrapper function called glutInit(), which can be called to initialize GLUT. glutInit() wraps the original glutInit(pargc::Ptr{Int32}, argv::Ptr{Ptr{Uint8}}), so that the user doesn't have to pass dummy arguments to make everything work.

Many of the commonly used GLUT functions are working, but most of the less commonly used functions are still not fully implemented. (You can edit the method signatures by hand, but it is a painful process. Jasper's FFI will soon handle this automatically!)



You will also need to install the GLUT libraries for your system.

On Ubuntu, install the following:


On Fedora, install the following:


The internet and the freeGLUT website seem to have instructions for Windows, which (as always) have a more detailed (and frustrating) install process. I think mac comes preinstalled with GLUT and should work out of the box.

Usage notes

Press 'q' in any of the NeHe examples to quit.

See the Examples/NeHe directory for translations of sixteen NeHe tutorials into Julia-GLUT. Controls are listed in the opening comments of each example.

Mouse and joystick versions of tutorial 7 can be found in the Examples/NeHe directory. The joystick version is currently untested.

(At the moment, NeHe tutorial 17 will run, but produces a glicthy output. I've yet to figure that out. It may be a while before I return to it, since fonts in 3D applications aren't terribly interesting to me.)

To try a NeHe example (e.g. tutorial 2), do


Some usage quirks:

  • You must use glutDestroyWindow() to quit a Julia-GLUT instance (press 'q' in any of the NeHe examples to quit), just like you would in C-GLUT code. Trying to 'break' out of the GLUT main loop does not work. glutDestroyWindow() will close your current Julia REPL session.

Loading and using images as OpenGL textures

NOTE: Examples with images will not work unless you have ImageMagick installed on your system, since imread depends on it.

  1. Load the image using glimread. This is a wrapper around imread for Tim Holy's Images.jl package. It parses the Image data returned by imread into a format that OpenGL prefers.
  2. Continue with the typical OpenGL image/texture process.
  3. See Examples 6 or greater in the Examples/NeHe directory for the relevant code.


At the moment, GLUT callbacks communicate with each other through globals, which can make for very messy code, so I suggest that you use the SDL.jl package, if you can. There must be a better way to have callbacks communicate with each other.


The VAST majority of work was done by Jasper den Ouden. Without his FFI, C header parser, original examples, and responses to my questions, I would never have been able to put this into a Julia package. All credit goes to him.

Thanks to Martin Giesel for testing all of the Examples. He found a number of bugs that prevented the package from running on 32-bits systems and provided some additional installation instructions for Ubuntu.

Thanks to NeHe Productions for making their excellent tutorials, which served as a wonderful test-bed for this interface.

We'd also like to thank the Khronos Group for making the original GLUT API, a simple and straight-forward way to open windows for OpenGL contexts. Plus, thanks to Pawel W. Olstza, Andreas Umbach, Steve Baker, and John Fay for the freeglut project, a free, open-source alternative that has found it's way onto many Linux boxes.

Thanks to the Julia team for making Julia, a programming language that many have been longing for, whether they knew about it or not. The "Octave-for-C-programmers," as one could think of it, is an incredibly fast and powerful programming language that is a welcome breath of fresh air in the technical and numerical programming communities.

Have fun! --rennis250 & o-jasper

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