glShaderBinary — load a precompiled shader binary

C Specification

void glShaderBinary(GLsizei n,
 const GLuint *shaders,
 GLenum binaryformat,
 const void *binary,
 GLsizei length);



Specifies the number of shader object handles present in shaders.


Specifies a pointer to an array of shader object handles into which the shader binary will be loaded.


Specifies the shader binary format.


Specifies a pointer to the shader binary data in client memory.


Specifies the length of the shader binary data in bytes.


For implementations that support them, glShaderBinary loads precompiled shader binaries. shaders contains a list of n shader object handles. Each handle refers to a unique shader type (vertex shader or fragment shader). binary points to precompiled binary shader code in client memory, and binaryformat denotes the format of the pre-compiled code.

The binary image is decoded according to the extension specification defining the specified binaryformat. OpenGL ES defines no specific binary formats, but does provide a mechanism to obtain symbolic constants for such formats provided by extensions. The number of shader binary formats supported can be obtained by querying the value of GL_NUM_SHADER_BINARY_FORMATS. The list of specific binary formats supported can be obtained by querying the value of GL_SHADER_BINARY_FORMATS.

Depending on the types of the shader objects in shaders, glShaderBinary will individually load binary vertex or fragment shaders, or load an executable binary that contains an optimized pair of vertex and fragment shaders stored in the same binary.

If glShaderBinary fails, the old state of shader objects for which the binary was being loaded will not be restored.


Shader binary support is optional and thus must be queried before use by calling glGet with arguments GL_NUM_SHADER_BINARY_FORMATS and GL_SHADER_BINARY_FORMATS. glShaderBinary generates GL_INVALID_OPERATION on implementations that do not support any shader binary formats. Such implementations instead offer the glShaderSource alternative for supplying OpenGL ES Shading Language shader source for compilation.

If shader binary formats are supported, then an implementation may require that an optimized pair of vertex and fragment shader binaries that were compiled together to be specified to glLinkProgram. Not specifying an optimized pair my cause glLinkProgram to fail. Such a restriction, if it exists, will be documented in the extension specification defining binaryformat.

OpenGL copies the shader binary data when glShaderBinary is called, so an application may free its copy of the data immediately after the function returns.


GL_INVALID_ENUM is generated if binaryformat is not a supported format returned in GL_SHADER_BINARY_FORMATS.

GL_INVALID_VALUE is generated if any value in shaders is not a vlue generated by OpenGL.

GL_INVALID_VALUE is generated if the format of the data pointed to by binary does not match binaryformat.

GL_INVALID_VALUE is generated if n or length is negative.

GL_INVALID_OPERATION is generated if any value in shaders is not a shader object, or if there is more than one vertex shader object handle or more than one fragment shader object handle in shaders.

Associated Gets



See Also

glCreateShader, glDeleteShader, glLinkProgram


Copyright © 2008 Khronos Group. This material may be distributed subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v 1.0, 8 June 1999.