C Specification

To bind one or more descriptor sets to a command buffer, call:

// Provided by VK_VERSION_1_0
void vkCmdBindDescriptorSets(
    VkCommandBuffer                             commandBuffer,
    VkPipelineBindPoint                         pipelineBindPoint,
    VkPipelineLayout                            layout,
    uint32_t                                    firstSet,
    uint32_t                                    descriptorSetCount,
    const VkDescriptorSet*                      pDescriptorSets,
    uint32_t                                    dynamicOffsetCount,
    const uint32_t*                             pDynamicOffsets);


  • commandBuffer is the command buffer that the descriptor sets will be bound to.

  • pipelineBindPoint is a VkPipelineBindPoint indicating the type of the pipeline that will use the descriptors. There is a separate set of bind points for each pipeline type, so binding one does not disturb the others.

  • layout is a VkPipelineLayout object used to program the bindings.

  • firstSet is the set number of the first descriptor set to be bound.

  • descriptorSetCount is the number of elements in the pDescriptorSets array.

  • pDescriptorSets is a pointer to an array of handles to VkDescriptorSet objects describing the descriptor sets to bind to.

  • dynamicOffsetCount is the number of dynamic offsets in the pDynamicOffsets array.

  • pDynamicOffsets is a pointer to an array of uint32_t values specifying dynamic offsets.


vkCmdBindDescriptorSets binds descriptor sets pDescriptorSets[0..descriptorSetCount-1] to set numbers [firstSet..firstSet+descriptorSetCount-1] for subsequent bound pipeline commands set by pipelineBindPoint. Any bindings that were previously applied via these sets are no longer valid.

Once bound, a descriptor set affects rendering of subsequent commands that interact with the given pipeline type in the command buffer until either a different set is bound to the same set number, or the set is disturbed as described in Pipeline Layout Compatibility.

A compatible descriptor set must be bound for all set numbers that any shaders in a pipeline access, at the time that a drawing or dispatching command is recorded to execute using that pipeline. However, if none of the shaders in a pipeline statically use any bindings with a particular set number, then no descriptor set need be bound for that set number, even if the pipeline layout includes a non-trivial descriptor set layout for that set number.

When consuming a descriptor, a descriptor is considered valid if the descriptor is not undefined as described by descriptor set allocation. If the nullDescriptor feature is enabled, a null descriptor is also considered valid. A descriptor that was disturbed by Pipeline Layout Compatibility, or was never bound by vkCmdBindDescriptorSets is not considered valid. If a pipeline accesses a descriptor either statically or dynamically depending on the VkDescriptorBindingFlagBits, the consuming descriptor type in the pipeline must match the VkDescriptorType in VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo for the descriptor to be considered valid.


Further validation may be carried out beyond validation for descriptor types, e.g. Texel Input Validation.

If any of the sets being bound include dynamic uniform or storage buffers, then pDynamicOffsets includes one element for each array element in each dynamic descriptor type binding in each set. Values are taken from pDynamicOffsets in an order such that all entries for set N come before set N+1; within a set, entries are ordered by the binding numbers in the descriptor set layouts; and within a binding array, elements are in order. dynamicOffsetCount must equal the total number of dynamic descriptors in the sets being bound.

The effective offset used for dynamic uniform and storage buffer bindings is the sum of the relative offset taken from pDynamicOffsets, and the base address of the buffer plus base offset in the descriptor set. The range of the dynamic uniform and storage buffer bindings is the buffer range as specified in the descriptor set.

Each of the pDescriptorSets must be compatible with the pipeline layout specified by layout. The layout used to program the bindings must also be compatible with the pipeline used in subsequent bound pipeline commands with that pipeline type, as defined in the Pipeline Layout Compatibility section.

The descriptor set contents bound by a call to vkCmdBindDescriptorSets may be consumed at the following times:

  • For descriptor bindings created with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT bit set, the contents may be consumed when the command buffer is submitted to a queue, or during shader execution of the resulting draws and dispatches, or any time in between. Otherwise,

  • during host execution of the command, or during shader execution of the resulting draws and dispatches, or any time in between.

Thus, the contents of a descriptor set binding must not be altered (overwritten by an update command, or freed) between the first point in time that it may be consumed, and when the command completes executing on the queue.

The contents of pDynamicOffsets are consumed immediately during execution of vkCmdBindDescriptorSets. Once all pending uses have completed, it is legal to update and reuse a descriptor set.

Valid Usage
  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-pDescriptorSets-00358
    Each element of pDescriptorSets must have been allocated with a VkDescriptorSetLayout that matches (is the same as, or identically defined as) the VkDescriptorSetLayout at set n in layout, where n is the sum of firstSet and the index into pDescriptorSets

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-dynamicOffsetCount-00359
    dynamicOffsetCount must be equal to the total number of dynamic descriptors in pDescriptorSets

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-firstSet-00360
    The sum of firstSet and descriptorSetCount must be less than or equal to VkPipelineLayoutCreateInfo::setLayoutCount provided when layout was created

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-pipelineBindPoint-00361
    pipelineBindPoint must be supported by the commandBuffer’s parent VkCommandPool’s queue family

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-pDynamicOffsets-01971
    Each element of pDynamicOffsets which corresponds to a descriptor binding with type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC must be a multiple of VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::minUniformBufferOffsetAlignment

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-pDynamicOffsets-01972
    Each element of pDynamicOffsets which corresponds to a descriptor binding with type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC must be a multiple of VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::minStorageBufferOffsetAlignment

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-pDescriptorSets-01979
    For each dynamic uniform or storage buffer binding in pDescriptorSets, the sum of the effective offset and the range of the binding must be less than or equal to the size of the buffer

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-pDescriptorSets-06715
    For each dynamic uniform or storage buffer binding in pDescriptorSets, if the range was set with VK_WHOLE_SIZE then pDynamicOffsets which corresponds to the descriptor binding must be 0

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-graphicsPipelineLibrary-06754
    Each element of pDescriptorSets must be a valid VkDescriptorSet

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-commandBuffer-parameter
    commandBuffer must be a valid VkCommandBuffer handle

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-pipelineBindPoint-parameter
    pipelineBindPoint must be a valid VkPipelineBindPoint value

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-layout-parameter
    layout must be a valid VkPipelineLayout handle

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-pDescriptorSets-parameter
    pDescriptorSets must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorSetCount valid or VK_NULL_HANDLE VkDescriptorSet handles

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-pDynamicOffsets-parameter
    If dynamicOffsetCount is not 0, pDynamicOffsets must be a valid pointer to an array of dynamicOffsetCount uint32_t values

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-commandBuffer-recording
    commandBuffer must be in the recording state

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-commandBuffer-cmdpool
    The VkCommandPool that commandBuffer was allocated from must support graphics, or compute operations

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-descriptorSetCount-arraylength
    descriptorSetCount must be greater than 0

  • VUID-vkCmdBindDescriptorSets-commonparent
    Each of commandBuffer, layout, and the elements of pDescriptorSets that are valid handles of non-ignored parameters must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from the same VkDevice

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to commandBuffer must be externally synchronized

  • Host access to the VkCommandPool that commandBuffer was allocated from must be externally synchronized

Command Properties
Command Buffer Levels Render Pass Scope Supported Queue Types Command Type





See Also

Document Notes

For more information, see the Vulkan Specification

This page is extracted from the Vulkan Specification. Fixes and changes should be made to the Specification, not directly.

Copyright 2014-2023 The Khronos Group Inc.

SPDX-License-Identifier: CC-BY-4.0