View Full Version : Programming using OpenGL

October 8th, 2008, 07:54 PM
Okay, I've spent a couple days trying to figure this out, and it's really starting to irritate me. I can't figure out how to develop OpenGL programs. I don't have the headers (or the entire GL/ directory) and I've read something about installing Mesa, but that failed. What do I do?? All I want to do is program! ](*,)

October 8th, 2008, 08:02 PM
Just in case you installed the wrong package, it's "mesa-common-dev".

How exactly did it fail?

October 8th, 2008, 08:05 PM
install freeglut dev and you'll get everything

October 8th, 2008, 08:10 PM
Yes, I agree. However, although GLUT makes starting off with OpenGL simpler, it won't suffice for everything, and you'll eventually have to learn usage of a complete widget toolkit to do much more. Fortunately, although a lot of tutorials use GLUT, most of the code can be adapted to another toolkit.

The package in this case is "freeglut3-dev".

October 8th, 2008, 08:45 PM
Also take a look at Ogre (http://ogre3d.org/). It is a very good lib and wraps opengl.

October 8th, 2008, 08:52 PM
I've had to do a bit of OpenGL programming myself. I would suggest freeglut, as others have. If you're starting out, it's a great place to go. It has general functions that do a lot for you, including setting up OpenGL and a window to draw to.

Once you install the dev packages (you NEED to get the headers and libraries) I would recommend using the online versions of the red and blue OpenGL reference books. Those have always been my first reference point if I had any questions. They do a good job of explaining OpenGL's gl, glu, and glut functions (you'll see the difference when you read through them).

Here's the links for the blue book and the red book:

Links to the HTML versions are at the bottom of each page.

October 8th, 2008, 11:09 PM
Wow...you guys gave me much more help than I expected. Thank you! Freeglut was exactly the package I was looking for, but my thought was to get gl and glu working, then worry about glut. Silly me for not thinking there'd be a package of all three. :p

I'll check out the other packages after a bit, once I get familiar with the new information I've received. Thanks again, all of you, for your help!

EDIT: Is Ogre an OO wrapper for OpenGL?

October 8th, 2008, 11:46 PM
EDIT: Is Ogre an OO wrapper for OpenGL?

It's a 3D engine/framework. It does a whole lot more than just OpenGL, like scene composition, etc. I loved it, but I do mostly 2D games (with OpenGL), so it isn't for me. I use SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) instead.

October 9th, 2008, 12:04 AM
Also for whatever its worth there are openGL bindings for java with jogl, and python if you don't like using C/C++

October 9th, 2008, 12:40 PM
The link to the Ubuntu Games Developer Wiki on my signature is a good place to start, it has install guides and a few examples too



October 9th, 2008, 01:13 PM
EDIT: Is Ogre an OO wrapper for OpenGL?
As stated Ogre is more than just a wrapper and will provide you with scene graph/resources etc management. It is also cross platform and will wrap opengl when on a Linux platform but can be used wrapping Directx if you run your program on a Windows platform. Very much worth a look.

October 9th, 2008, 08:39 PM
My humble 2 cents. As many have mentioned, you will eventually realize that glut and friends are very limited and eventually will be forced to move to another library like SDL, GLFW etc. So I recommend you move into any alternative library right of way. All you need to do is to find a library that handles input, can open a window for you to create a OpenGL context. After that, then you are set to go to develop with OpenGL. I don't know which IDE you will be using(if any) but if you decided to go with Codeblocks then you may want to take a look at my project's codeblocks project file. Take care,


October 11th, 2008, 05:45 AM
There are some great screencasts at http://www.videotutorialsrock.com/ which walk you through the basics of making simple games.

You especially might want to look at Lesson 0c: Getting OpenGL Set Up on Linux

I found it handy for setting up the libraries and make files etc and then from then on you can use any ordinary OpenGL tutorial, even those for windows.