Computer Graphics

OpenGL Utility Toolkit

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This article is about the OpenGL toolkit. GLUT can also stand for glucose transporter.

The OpenGL Utility Toolkit (GLUT) is a library of utilities for OpenGL programs, which primarily perform system-level I/O with the host operating system. Functions performed include window definition, window control, and monitoring of keyboard and mouse input. Routines for drawing a number of geometric primitives (both in solid and wireframe mode) are also provided, including cubes, spheres, and the Utah teapot. GLUT even has some limited support for creating pop-up windows.

GLUT was written by Mark J. Kilgard, author of OpenGL Programming for the X Window System and The CG Tutorial: The Definitive Guide to Programmable Real-Time Graphics while he was working for Silicon Graphics Inc.

The two aims of GLUT are to allow the creation of rather portable code between operating systems (GLUT is cross-platform) and to make learning OpenGL easier. Getting started with OpenGL programming while using GLUT often takes only a few lines of code and requires no knowledge of operating system–specific windowing APIs.

All GLUT functions start with the glut prefix (for example, glutPostRedisplay rerenders the current screen).

Freeglut and its spin-off, OpenGLUT, are open source alternatives to GLUT. Freeglut attempts to be a fairly exact clone, OpenGLUT adds a number of new features to the API. Both have the advantage of licensing that permits users to modify and redistribute the library.

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