Dolphin Emulator Is Working On A Vulkan Backend

Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 26 June 2016 at 10:15 AM EDT. 12 Comments
This week saw the release of Dolphin 5.0 as a big update to this open-source emulator for Nintendo GameCube/Wii titles. While there is an experimental Direct3D 12 back-end, not present for this release was any Vulkan support, but it's being developed.

Linux users of Dolphin currently have an OpenGL 3 back-end for running these emulated Nintendo games on the desktop of your choice. Fortunately, a Vulkan back-end is coming about but still in its early stages.

Published this weekend was the very early Vulkan for Dolphin code under a "work in progress" / "request for comments" phase.

This back-end for Dolphin is developed from scratch, currently is using Google's shaderc shader compiler, and only the basic support is in place. There still is a ton of other functionality to be implemented before this Vulkan support will really become usable. But if you're interested or want to potentially help work on this new back-end, see the aforelinked GitHub page.
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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

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