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(This is the documentation for SDL3, which is under heavy development and the API is changing! SDL2 is the current stable version!)


Dynamically load the Vulkan loader library.


int SDL_Vulkan_LoadLibrary(const char *path);

Function Parameters

path The platform dependent Vulkan loader library name or NULL

Return Value

Returns 0 on success or a negative error code on failure; call SDL_GetError() for more information.


This should be called after initializing the video driver, but before creating any Vulkan windows. If no Vulkan loader library is loaded, the default library will be loaded upon creation of the first Vulkan window.

It is fairly common for Vulkan applications to link with libvulkan instead of explicitly loading it at run time. This will work with SDL provided the application links to a dynamic library and both it and SDL use the same search path.

If you specify a non-NULL path, an application should retrieve all of the Vulkan functions it uses from the dynamic library using SDL_Vulkan_GetVkGetInstanceProcAddr unless you can guarantee path points to the same vulkan loader library the application linked to.

On Apple devices, if path is NULL, SDL will attempt to find the vkGetInstanceProcAddr address within all the Mach-O images of the current process. This is because it is fairly common for Vulkan applications to link with libvulkan (and historically MoltenVK was provided as a static library). If it is not found, on macOS, SDL will attempt to load vulkan.framework/vulkan, libvulkan.1.dylib, MoltenVK.framework/MoltenVK, and libMoltenVK.dylib, in that order. On iOS, SDL will attempt to load libMoltenVK.dylib. Applications using a dynamic framework or .dylib must ensure it is included in its application bundle.

On non-Apple devices, application linking with a static libvulkan is not supported. Either do not link to the Vulkan loader or link to a dynamic library version.


This function is available since SDL 3.0.0.

CategoryAPI, CategoryVulkan

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