Code Quality Rank: L2
Programming language: C++
License: GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
Tags: Graphics    
Latest version: v2020.06

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Magnum — Lightweight and modular C++11/C++14 graphics middleware for games and data visualization

Looking for an open-source library that gives you graphics abstraction and platform independence on major desktop, mobile and web platforms? Do you want it to have all the convenience utilities around yet stay small, powerful and not give up on flexibility? Here it is. And it's free to use, even for commercial purposes.

Join the chat at https://gitter.im/mosra/magnum Build Status Build Status Coverage Status Hunter Package MIT License

Beauty of simplicity

Among Magnum essentials is a UTF-8-aware OS, filesystem and console abstraction, a feature-packed vector math library and a slim C++11 wrapper of OpenGL / WebGL family of APIs. Build on top of that or opt-in for more.

See all core features

With batteries included

Shaders and primitives for fast prototyping, algorithms, debugging and automatic testing, asset management, integration with popular windowing toolkits and a UI library. Everything fits together but you still have a choice.

List the extra features

Screws are not glued in

There's always more than one way to do things. Enjoy the freedom of choice and integrate your own asset loader, texture compressor, font format or math library, if you feel the need. Or use any of the various plugins.

View extension points

Wondering if Magnum is a good fit for your project? We prepared a few case studies to help you decide.


  • Linux and embedded Linux
  • Windows with MSVC, clang-cl and MinGW, Windows RT (Store/Phone)
  • macOS, iOS
  • Android
  • Web (asm.js or WebAssembly), through Emscripten

Graphics APIs:

  • OpenGL 2.1 through 4.6, core profile functionality and modern extensions
  • OpenGL ES 2.0, 3.0–3.2 and extensions to match desktop OpenGL functionality
  • WebGL 1.0, 2.0 and extensions to match desktop OpenGL functionality

See the Build Status page for detailed per-platform build status.


Curious about what was added or improved recently? Check out the Changelog page in the documentation.


The best way to get started is to read the thorough download, build, install and start using Magnum in your project. There is also a complete building documentation — we provide packages for many platforms, including Windows, Linux and macOS. After that, there are various tutorials and examples and a complete feature guide explaining all aspects of the library.

Apart from that, various Magnum functionality is available through single-header libraries. Just download a file, #include it in your project and you're ready to go! No buildsystem wrangling needed.


The engine itself is kept as small as possible with only a few dependencies. Additional functionality, often depending on external libraries, is provided in separate repositories.

Outside of the project itself, there's also a lot of community contributions — check them out on the website.


If you want to contribute to Magnum, if you spotted a bug, need a feature or have an awesome idea, you can get a copy of the sources from GitHub and start right away! There is the already mentioned guide about how to download and build Magnum and also a guide about coding style and best practices which you should follow to keep the library as consistent and maintainable as possible.

See also the Magnum Project Contact & Support page for further information.


See the [CREDITS.md](CREDITS.md) file for details. Big thanks to everyone involved!


Magnum is licensed under the MIT/Expat license, see the [COPYING](COPYING) file for details.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the magnum README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.