Khronos Vulkan Registry

The Vulkan registry contains formatted specifications of the Vulkan API, header files, API reference pages, the reference card, and related documentation. The registry also links to the GitHub repository where the sources for these documents can be found.

Graphics and compute shaders for Vulkan are defined using an intermediate representation called SPIR-V, for which specifications and headers are published in the SPIR-V Registry. There are a variety of compilers and other tools for generating SPIR-V code. We encourage developers to explore related Vulkan material starting at the top-level Vulkan landing page.

The GLSL Shading Language GitHub repository contains OpenGL Shading Language extensions to be used with an offline GLSL compiler generating SPIR-V code for use with Vulkan. These specifications were previously maintained in the Vulkan-Docs repository and published in the Vulkan Registry.

Index to the Vulkan Registry page content:

Vulkan 1.3 API Specifications

We publish the Vulkan API Specification in PDF and HTML forms. The single-file HTML documents are much slower to load than the corresponding chunked HTML documents, while the PDF is quickest to load and is suitable for offline use. Links into the specification from other documents and tools, such as the reference pages and the validation layers, currently target the single-file HTML document although we hope to target the chunked document eventually.

There are several versions of the Vulkan 1.3 Specification, as well as related Specifications and collateral material:

Khronos Data Format Specification

The Data Format Specification (version 1.3) defines compressed texture formats used by Vulkan, and portions of that specification are incorporated into the Vulkan API Specification by reference.

Vulkan Documentation and Extensions: Procedures and Conventions

The Vulkan Documentation and Extensions: Procedures and Conventions document (colloquially, the “Style Guide”) defines mandatory and recommended conventions and best practices used in creating and modifying the API Specification and extensions. Authors wishing to write Vulkan extension specifications, or contribute to existing specifications, should familiarize themselves with and adhere to this document.

API Reference Pages

The Vulkan API Reference Pages describe how to use individual core API and extension commands. The goal is to define all commands and structures in the core API and extensions, although there may be some omissions. In addition to the format published here, it is possible to generate other formats from the reference page sources, such as PDF or Unix nroff man page sources.

Note: As of the 1.3.204 update, we have replaced the 1.2 reference pages with 1.3 reference pages.

The reference pages are generated by automatic extraction from the Specification source, and are not checked into GitHub. The set of pages linked above are generated from the 1.3 API Specification including all extensions, but sets of pages including arbitrary extensions can be generated in the same fashion as specifications including arbitrary extensions.

Vulkan 1.2 Material

We also maintain the Vulkan 1.2 Specification and related documents, which include:

Vulkan 1.1 Material

We also maintain the Vulkan 1.1 Specification and related documents, which include:

Vulkan 1.0 Material

We also maintain the Vulkan 1.0 Specification and related documents, which include:

Vulkan GitHub Repositories

API and Extension Specification Repository

The Vulkan-Docs repository contains the Asciidoctor source for the Vulkan core API specification, and for registered Vulkan API extensions.

All published extension specifications are included in the main git branch. Specifications and reference pages can be built with or without different combinations of extensions by appropriate invocation of the Makefile.

All versions of the Vulkan Specification can be generated out of the main branch.

Other branches in the repository are of historical interest only.

Registered and published extensions are listed below, grouped by Author/Vendor ID. The links are to extension reference pages; these pages are quick to load compared to the full Vulkan 1.3 Core API + all published Extensions Specification, and they link back to it if more information or context is needed. The list of links is generated based on the supported tags in xml/vk.xml in Vulkan-Docs, and may contain anomalies in the form of links to extensions marked as supported by a vendor, but whose specifications have not yet been merged into the Vulkan-Docs repository.

Vulkan-Docs also contains the header files, API Registry, and reference page sources.

Header Files

For most developers, the C header files provided with a loader and/or driver package, such as the one defined in the loader and validation layers GitHub repository, are all that's needed. We also provide a canonical version of these headers corresponding to spec updates in the KhronosGroup/Vulkan-Headers repository. These headers also include a C++ header generated from the Vulkan-Hpp project.

This repository also includes a JSON file containing Valid Usage ID (VUID) tags (and corresponding valid usage statements) extracted from the specification sources. This is used only by the validation layer, at present.

All Vulkan headers provided by Khronos are ultimately generated from the Vulkan-Docs repository. If the headers in Vulkan-Headers aren't sufficient, you may clone the Vulkan-Docs repository and generate headers yourself, following instructions there. If you need to generate a customized version of the headers, modify the API Registry and scripts under xml/.

Note: there are two static headers included in Vulkan-Docs, vk_platform.h and vulkan.h. These are static headers that are not generated from the Vulkan-Docs repository.

API Registry

Vulkan defines an API Registry for the core API and extensions, formally defining command prototypes, structures, enumerants, and many other aspects of the API and extension mechanisms. The Vulkan Registry is used for many more purposes than most other Khronos API registries, and is the basis for generating the header files; Asciidoctor include files used in the Specification, and reference pages for interface definitions, parameter and member validity language, and synchronization language; and more.

The Registry is in an XML file called vk.xml and currently located in the Vulkan-Docs repository under xml/. This directory also includes a formal RELAX NG XML schema and scripts used to generate the various outputs.

Documentation of the XML schema is available.

Conformance Test Suite Repository

The VK-GL-CTS repository contains the source code for the Vulkan Conformance Tests. Note that while the CTS source code is freely available, you must be a Khronos Adopter and pay the Adopter Fee in order to use the Vulkan trademark for your implementation.

Loader and Validation Layers Repositories

There are several additional Khronos Github repositories containing Vulkan source code, libraries, and tools:

  • The Vulkan-Headers repository contains a copy of the Vulkan XML API Registry and scripts for processing it, taken from the latest public specification update in the Vulkan-Docs project, and the corresponding generated Vulkan API headers.
  • The Vulkan-Tools repository contains Khronos official Vulkan Tools and Utilities for Windows, Linux, Android, and MacOS.
  • The Vulkan-ValidationLayers repository contains the Khronos official Vulkan validation layers for Windows, Linux, Android, and MacOS.
  • The Vulkan-Loader repository contains the Vulkan loader that is used for Linux, Windows, MacOS, and iOS.

Sample Code Repository

The Vulkan-Samples repository contains sample code showing use of Vulkan, contributed by various Khronos members and other authors.

Other Repositories

Other Khronos repositories containing Vulkan material include:

  • The Vulkan-Hpp repository contains code used to generate vulkan.hpp, a C++ binding for Vulkan. A version of vulkan.hpp is included in the Vulkan-Headers repository.

Providing Feedback on the Registry

Khronos welcomes comments and bug reports. To provide feedback on the Vulkan registry itself (such as reporting missing content, bad links, etc.), file an issue in the Vulkan-Web-Registry Github project.

For the Vulkan Specification or other documentation and tools, file an Issue on the appropriate GitHub Repository.