SDL Adds A DirectX 12 Renderer Backend

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 7 June 2022 at 05:02 AM EDT. 9 Comments
Somewhat surprisingly, the open-source SDL library that is widely used by games for cross-platform handling and abstracting of various software interfaces has added a Microsoft DirectX 12 renderer.

A DirectX 12 renderer was added to SDL on Monday and can work on the Windows target (sans WinRT support not being wired up). This renderer has feature parity to SDL's existing DirectX 11 renderer.

You may be wondering why someone would bother working on a DirectX 12 renderer for SDL... It's because the developer ultimately hopes to see Xbox GDK (Game Development Kit) support within SDL. In turn this would allow SDL to be used for building games for the Microsoft Xbox Game Pass for PC on Windows 10/11, Xbox consoles, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cloud gaming support. So in turn this would ultimately enhance the portability of SDL and potentially make it a more attractive open-source library for use by cross-platform game/engine developers.

Xbox GDK APIs were previously private / protected under NDAs but over the past year Microsoft has been opening up GDK more on GitHub as well as publishing code samples, making SDL2 support for the Xbox Game Development Kit a possibility in the future.

Those interested in Direct3D 12 renderer support for SDL can see this pull with all the interesting technical discussion. It was mentioned though that this back-end may be removed or reworked once SDL's new GPU API is completed in the future.
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

Popular News This Week