C Specification

To update buffer data inline in a command buffer, call:

// Provided by VK_VERSION_1_0
void vkCmdUpdateBuffer(
    VkCommandBuffer                             commandBuffer,
    VkBuffer                                    dstBuffer,
    VkDeviceSize                                dstOffset,
    VkDeviceSize                                dataSize,
    const void*                                 pData);


  • commandBuffer is the command buffer into which the command will be recorded.

  • dstBuffer is a handle to the buffer to be updated.

  • dstOffset is the byte offset into the buffer to start updating, and must be a multiple of 4.

  • dataSize is the number of bytes to update, and must be a multiple of 4.

  • pData is a pointer to the source data for the buffer update, and must be at least dataSize bytes in size.


dataSize must be less than or equal to 65536 bytes. For larger updates, applications can use buffer to buffer copies.


Buffer updates performed with vkCmdUpdateBuffer first copy the data into command buffer memory when the command is recorded (which requires additional storage and may incur an additional allocation), and then copy the data from the command buffer into dstBuffer when the command is executed on a device.

The additional cost of this functionality compared to buffer to buffer copies means it is only recommended for very small amounts of data, and is why it is limited to only 65536 bytes.

Applications can work around this by issuing multiple vkCmdUpdateBuffer commands to different ranges of the same buffer, but it is strongly recommended that they should not.

The source data is copied from the user pointer to the command buffer when the command is called.

vkCmdUpdateBuffer is only allowed outside of a render pass. This command is treated as a “transfer” operation for the purposes of synchronization barriers. The VK_BUFFER_USAGE_TRANSFER_DST_BIT must be specified in usage of VkBufferCreateInfo in order for the buffer to be compatible with vkCmdUpdateBuffer.

Valid Usage
  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-dstOffset-00032
    dstOffset must be less than the size of dstBuffer

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-dataSize-00033
    dataSize must be less than or equal to the size of dstBuffer minus dstOffset

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-dstBuffer-00034
    dstBuffer must have been created with VK_BUFFER_USAGE_TRANSFER_DST_BIT usage flag

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-dstBuffer-00035
    If dstBuffer is non-sparse then it must be bound completely and contiguously to a single VkDeviceMemory object

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-dstOffset-00036
    dstOffset must be a multiple of 4

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-dataSize-00037
    dataSize must be less than or equal to 65536

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-dataSize-00038
    dataSize must be a multiple of 4

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-commandBuffer-01813
    If commandBuffer is an unprotected command buffer and protectedNoFault is not supported, dstBuffer must not be a protected buffer

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-commandBuffer-01814
    If commandBuffer is a protected command buffer and protectedNoFault is not supported, dstBuffer must not be an unprotected buffer

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

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-dstBuffer-parameter
    dstBuffer must be a valid VkBuffer handle

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-pData-parameter
    pData must be a valid pointer to an array of dataSize bytes

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

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

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-renderpass
    This command must only be called outside of a render pass instance

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-dataSize-arraylength
    dataSize must be greater than 0

  • VUID-vkCmdUpdateBuffer-commonparent
    Both of commandBuffer, and dstBuffer 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