The Rust Vulkan Gfx-rs Portability Initiative Reaches New Milestone
Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 10 February 2019 at 07:18 AM EST. 7 Comments
VULKAN --
Gfx-rs Portability is the library being developed within the Rust programming language that implements the Vulkan Portability Initiative as an effort akin to MoltenVK for easily getting Vulkan applications running on macOS and other platforms where Vulkan API support may not be natively available.

Saturday marked a new release of gfx-rs/portability that implements version 0.2 of the VK_EXT_portability_subset extension. This release also offers improvements to the back-end for Apple's Metal graphics/compute API.

VK_EXTX_portability_subset is the extension out of the Khronos Group's Vulkan Portability effort that allows for some otherwise required features of Vulkan to be made optional in order to ease the implementations of Vulkan for alternative platforms. This subset of Vulkan is designed to be more easily mappable to other platforms / APIs. VK_EXTX_portability_subset is also used by MoltenVK.

The latest state of this Vulkan Portability effort can be found from this GitHub repo.

So with the new Rust Gfx portability effort it's now working against the latest VK_EXTX_portability_subset specifications plus has improved surface handling, basic support for secondary command buffers, and other improvements. More information on this effort as well as Linux/macOS downloads can be found via gfx-rs/portability.

With the likes of Gfx-rs and MoltenVK, hopefully in 2019 we see more games/applications on macOS/iOS decide to make use of these libraries for Vulkan on Mac and allowing a common, modern graphics API across all major platforms.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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