SDL Wiki
(This is the legacy documentation for stable SDL2, the current stable version; SDL3 is the current development version.)


Initialize the video subsystem, optionally specifying a video driver.


int SDL_VideoInit(const char *driver_name);

Function Parameters

driver_name the name of a video driver to initialize, or NULL for the default driver

Return Value

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


This function initializes the video subsystem, setting up a connection to the window manager, etc, and determines the available display modes and pixel formats, but does not initialize a window or graphics mode.

If you use this function and you haven't used the SDL_INIT_VIDEO flag with either SDL_Init() or SDL_InitSubSystem(), you should call SDL_VideoQuit() before calling SDL_Quit().

It is safe to call this function multiple times. SDL_VideoInit() will call SDL_VideoQuit() itself if the video subsystem has already been initialized.

You can use SDL_GetNumVideoDrivers() and SDL_GetVideoDriver() to find a specific driver_name.


This function is available since SDL 2.0.0.


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