Open Source
OpenGL® Sample Implementation

This is SGI's Sample Implementation of the OpenGL API. It is both a reference implementation and a driver framework used by almost all commercial 3D hardware vendors to develop hardware drivers for their systems. Previously available only under commercial license, the Sample Implementation is being open sourced under an extremely liberal license designed to make it easy to use together with X11 or XFree86 as well as other environments that may emerge.

By open sourcing the Sample Implementation we are continuing SGI's longstanding support for OpenGL as the standard crossplatform 3D and 2D graphics API, as well as strengthening the Linux desktop and workstation market. In order for Linux to be successful on the desktop, it needs OpenGL; and in order for OpenGL to continue as the only cross-platform 3D graphics standard, it must succeed on Linux as well as the many other platforms it already is available on. As the original creators and strongest supporters of OpenGL, we're putting substantial resources into making sure all this happens.

Releasing the Sample Implementation is the latest step in SGI's longtime support for OpenGL on the Linux platform; our prior efforts have included

  • The February 1999 open sourcing of GLX (the glue connecting OpenGL and the X Window System) for use by XFree86, the open source project providing the standard implementation of the X Window System on Linux;
  • SGI funding and engineering advice to open source developers at Precision Insight, who integrated GLX with XFree86 and with the Mesa project (an open source software implementation of the OpenGL API) in 1998 and 1999.
  • Organizing and leading a group which is defining a standard Application Binary Interface for 3D drivers on Linux, so that applications using the OpenGL API will run properly with all drivers available on Linux - open source, commercial binary, or otherwise.