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A view of a 3D model using GtkGLArea

GtkGLArea is an OpenGL context provider for GTK+. It can be used in several ways:

  • using the GtkGLArea widget, a simple OpenGL rendering canvas similar in use to GtkDrawingArea.
  • using a GdkGLContext to add an OpenGL context to almost any existing drawable widget.
  • using a GdkGLPixmap for off-screen rendering to pixmap objects.

Table of contents


GtkGLArea was originally developed in 1999 by J. Löf. Xavier Ordoquy became maintainer of the package until 2003. In 2006, C.J. Adams-Collier took over the role, joined by Sam Hocevar in 2007.

Development takes place in the GNOME Git repository:


Version 2.1 plans to provide OS X support.

The use of Cairo and Glitz drawing surface is being considered as an OS-agnostic alternative to the GLX, WGL, AGL mess that has been used until now.

Projects using this package