glGetString -- returns a string describing the current GL connection


const GLubyte *glGetString(GLenum name)


Specifies a symbolic constant, one of GL_VENDOR, GL_RENDERER, GL_VERSION, or GL_EXTENSIONS.


glGetString returns a pointer to a static string describing some aspect of the current GL connection. name can be one of the following:
Returns the company responsible for this GL implementation. This name does not change from release to release.

Returns the name of the renderer. This name is typically specific to a particular configuration of a hardware platform. It does not change from release to release.

Returns a version or release number.

Returns a space-separated list of supported extensions to GL.

Because GL does not include queries for the performance characteristics of an implementation, it is expected that some applications will be written to recognize known platforms and will modify their GL usage based on known performance characteristics of these platforms. Strings GL_VENDOR and GL_RENDERER together uniquely specify a platform, and will not change from release to release. They should be used by such platform recognition algorithms. The format and contents of the GL_VENDOR and the GL_RENDERER strings depend on the implementation.

Some applications will want to make use of features which are not part of the standard GL. These features are may be implemented as extensions to the standard GL. The GL_EXTENSIONS string is a space seperated list of supported GL extensions. (Extension names never contain a space character.)

The GL_VERSION string begins with a version number. The version number is of the form major_number.minor_number or major_number.minor_number.release_number. Vendor specific information may follow the version number. It's format depends on the implementation, but a space always seperates the version number and the vendor specific information.

All strings are null-terminated.


If an error is generated, glGetString returns zero.

The client and server may support different versions or extensions. glGetString always returns a compatible version number or list of extensions. The release number always describes the server.


GL_INVALID_ENUM is generated if name is not an accepted value.

GL_INVALID_OPERATION is generated if glGetString is called between a call to glBegin and the corresponding call to glEnd.

back to the OpenGL index page

© 1995 Uwe Behrens. All rights reserved.