OpenGL GUI library


I’m looking for an OpenGL GUI library which can make menus, entries, file choose, notebooks and so on. A free of charge one would be appreciated. Also if it can work on Windows, Mac…

I tried on google but I ended with unmaintained or deprecated ones.


Why not create your own? Not as difficult as you might think. And the feeling of satisfaction you get from having your own UI system is… well, it’s something special.

the more difficult part is the event handling of parent/child controls. how they propagate them and how its handled in general. once you designed your own solution for that anything else will be just rendering quads and/or text. and yes, satisfaction guaranteed!

You might want to check these libraries out:

Pretty sure FLTK does not render widgets with OpenGL (it is LGPL though which is convenient). Honestly though if you want a very nice GUI toolkit that “doesn’t” use OpenGL for rendering and is LGPL or better (i.e. freely usably for personal/commercial), use Qt 4.5 (the LGPL is a very pleasant change; thanks Nokia!).

But for GUI toolkits that do use OpenGL for widget rendering, google “opengl gui libraries” or “opengl gui toolkits”. You’ll get a bunch of hits. No personal experience with any of them.

CEGUI seems really nice ! I’ll download it just after writing that post.

I really don’t want to make my own and I “really” need a GUI inside OpenGL. And results I got from google weren’t good at all.

Thank you all.

Well, if you are happy with CEGUI that is fine. My problem is always that I want something extremely light weight and free from other dependencies.


Which you probably have come across is really simple and fits the bill - even if it is not very pretty and perhaps not actively maintained. However, I have found that in many cases, it is preferable to have a console. It is a well kept secret, but



works well for me. It allows you to eaily add a number of variables and functions you can control from the console - more easily IMHO than via a gui.

  • andreas

We have just released NUI which doest OpenGL (and D3D) GUI among many other features. You may want to check it out:


I fell over my chair when I saw this. I thought it was very cool, until I saw the license…

Such a pity. Does anyone know of any other simple cross-platform GUI?

Hi Fugitive,

What kind of license would you consider good/cool/acceptable?

ClanLib’s BSD style license is cool, you can use it in commercial applications: ( )

(Personally, I use my own GUI library, as it is easy to make. It’s just drawing gui graphics that’s annoying)