Welcome to the vulkano book! This guide will cover the basics of Vulkan and vulkano, and will help you get started with interfacing with a GPU.

It will teach you the basics of graphics programming in the sense that you will know how to draw objects on the screen. However, this book doesn't cover actual graphics programming techniques, such as loading a 3D model or adding realistic lighting to a scene. At this point, the examples in the book are very basic, but we will be adding more comprehensive tutorials in the future.

We will assume that you are familiar with the Rust programming language. If you are not, you should definitely learn it first!

An excellent way to learn is to read examples. On top of this book, you should familiarize yourself with vulkano examples. To view the current release's examples you'll need to switch to a version tag. On the branch dropdown click the tags tab. There you'll find all released versions. Master branch will contain examples that are updated continuously to match changes that are unreleased. You should only use the master branch if you are using vulkano as a git dependency.

To contribute to this book, you can create a pull request at vulkano-book repository.

Quick glossary

When you create a program (either in Rust or any other programming language) and run it, the program's instructions are executed by the CPU (Central Processing Unit).

But some computers also usually have a video card plugged in them. This video card has its own microprocessor called the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) or the graphics processor. It can be seen more or less as a secondary machine within your main machine. Your monitor is generally plugged in to your video card if you have one.

Vulkan is a standard API whose version 1.0 was released in 2016 that lets you interface with the video card and the GPU of the machine your program is running on. Vulkano is a Rust library on top of Vulkan that makes it much easier and safer to use. After you have learned to use Vulkan/vulkano, you will be able to ask your GPU to perform operations and either write the result into memory (which you can then read from your Rust program), or to write the result to your monitor for you to physically see.


You may first need to set up some external dependencies as documented in the vulkano readme to avoid build failures in the future.

To get started with vulkano, add it as a project dependency to your Cargo.toml:

vulkano = "0.34.0"

You may want to consider adding the following minimum optimization level to your Cargo.toml as well. The purpose of this is to reduce performance artifacts resulting from the default debug optimization.

opt-level = 1 

Note: If you run into any issues with this book, please open an issue. If you have issues with vulkano itself, please also open an issue.

You are now ready to get started!