Khronos Vulkan Registry

The Vulkan registry contains formatted specifications of the Vulkan API, header files, API reference pages, the reference card, and related documentation. The registry also links to the GitHub repository where the sources for these documents can be found.

Graphics and compute shaders for Vulkan are defined using an intermediate representation called SPIR-V, for which specifications and headers are published in the SPIR-V Registry. There are a variety of compilers and other tools for generating SPIR-V code. We encourage developers to explore related Vulkan material starting at the top-level Vulkan landing page.

The GLSL Shading Language Github repository contains OpenGL Shading Language extensions to be used with an offline GLSL compiler generating SPIR-V code for use with Vulkan. These specifications were previously maintained in the Vulkan-Docs repository and published in the Vulkan Registry.

Index to the Vulkan Registry page content:

Vulkan 1.1 API Specifications

We currently publish the Vulkan API Specification in PDF and HTML forms. There are several versions of the Vulkan 1.1 Specification, as well as related Specifications and collateral material:

  • Vulkan 1.1 Core API (HTML) (PDF)
  • Vulkan 1.1 Core API + Khronos-defined Extensions (HTML) (PDF). This Specification includes Khronos-defined KHR extensions such as the Window-System Interface Extensions used to post images to a display on different platforms and window systems.
  • Vulkan 1.1 Core API + all published Extensions (HTML) (PDF). This Specification includes all registered Vulkan extensions which have been incorporated into the Specification Repository, including KHR, EXT, and vendor extensions.
  • JSON file containing Valid Usage ID (VUID) tags (and corresponding valid usage statements) extracted from the specification sources. This is used only by the validation layer, at present.

Khronos Data Format Specification

The Data Format Specification (version 1.2) defines compressed texture formats used by Vulkan, and portions of that specification are incorporated into the Vulkan API Specification by reference.

Vulkan Procedures and Conventions

The Vulkan Documentation: Procedures and Conventions document (formerly the “API Style Guide”) defines mandatory and recommended conventions and best practices used in creating and modifying the API Specification and extensions . Authors wishing to write Vulkan extension specifications or contribute to existing specifications should familiarize themselves with this document and follow its recommendations.

Vulkan 1.1 API Quick Reference

The API Quick Reference (PDF) is a compact document summarizing the Vulkan 1.1 API commands, structures, and enumerants.

The InDesign sources for the Quick Reference are also available, formatted as a .zip file.

API Reference Pages

The Vulkan API Reference Pages describe how to use individual core API and extension commands. The goal is to define all commands and structures in the core API and extensions, although there may be some omissions. In addition to the format published here, it is possible to generate other formats from the reference page sources, such as PDF or Unix nroff man page sources.

Note: As of the 1.1.73 update, we have replaced the 1.0 reference pages with 1.1 reference pages. However, we are no longer publishing the single-file HTML and PDF versions (apispec.html and apispec.pdf), because these documents are even larger than the 1.1 API specifications.

The reference pages are generated by automatic extraction from the Specification source, and are not checked into GitHub. The set of pages linked above are generated from the 1.1 API specification including all extensions, but sets of pages including arbitrary extensions can be generated in the same fashion as generating specifications including arbitrary extensions.

Vulkan 1.0 Material

We still maintain the Vulkan 1.0 Specification and related documents, which include:

  • Vulkan 1.0 Core API (HTML) (PDF)
    (Note: we previously linked to 1.0+KHR extensions and 1.0+all extensions versions of the Specification as well. Since the additional information in those documents essentially replicates the corresponding versions of the 1.1 Specification, we are not linking to them at this point.)
  • The API Quick Reference is a compact document summarizing the Vulkan 1.0 API commands, structures, and enumerants.

  • The InDesign sources for the 1.0 reference guide are also available, formatted as a .zip file.

Vulkan Github Repositories

API and Extension Specification Repository

The Vulkan-Docs repository contains the Asciidoc source for the Vulkan core API specification, and for registered Vulkan API extensions.

All published extension specifications are included in the master git branch. Specifications and reference pages can be built with or without different combinations of extensions by appropriate invocation of the Makefile.

The 1.0 branch of the Vulkan-Docs repository is no longer maintained, since both 1.1 and 1.0 Specifications can be generated out of the master branch.

Other branches in the repository are of historical interest only.

Registered and published extensions are listed below, grouped by Author/Vendor ID. The links are into the corresponding extension appendices of the Vulkan 1.1 Core API + all published Extensions Specification. This list is driven by the supported tags in xml/vk.xml in Vulkan-Docs, and may contain anomalies in the form of links to extensions marked as supported by a vendor, but whose specifications have not yet been merged into the Vulkan-Docs repository.

Vulkan-Docs also contains the header files, API Registry, and reference page sources.

Header Files

For most developers, the header files provided with a loader and/or driver package, such as the one defined in the loader and validation layers Github repository, are all that's needed.

However, all Vulkan headers provided by Khronos are ultimately obtained from the Vulkan-Docs repository You may clone this repository and copy the headers from include/vulkan/vulkan*.h; or, if you need to generate a customized version of the headers, use the API Registry and scripts under xml/.

API Registry

Vulkan defines an API Registry for the core API and extensions, formally defining command prototypes, structures, enumerants, and many other aspects of the API and extension mechanisms. The Vulkan Registry is used for many more purposes than most other Khronos API registries, and is the basis for generating the header files; Asciidoc include files used in the Specification, and reference pages for interface definitions, parameter and member validity language, and synchronization language; and more.

The Registry is in an XML file called vk.xml and currently located in the Vulkan-Docs repository under xml/. This directory also includes a formal Relax NG XML schema and scripts used to generate the various outputs.

Documentation of the XML schema is available.

Conformance Test Suite Repository

The VK-GL-CTS repository contains the source code for the Vulkan Conformance Tests. Note that while the CTS source code is freely available, you must be a Khronos Adopter and pay the Adopter Fee in order to use the Vulkan trademark for your implementation.

Loader and Validation Layers Repository

The Vulkan-LoaderAndValidationLayers repository contains source code implementing a loader for hardware drivers, and a variety of validation layers which may be enabled during development. This code is also available as part of prebuilt packages in the LunarG Vulkan SDK.

Sample Code Repository

The Vulkan-Samples repository contains sample code showing use of Vulkan, contributed by various Khronos members and other authors.