This document explains how to get started with the Vulkan graphics library by downloading, compiling, and running several sample apps.
Before beginning, make sure you have the right hardware and platform version prepared. You should use a device that supports Vulkan, running Android API level 24 or higher.
You can confirm your Android version by going to the Settings menu, and selecting About <device> > Android Version. Once you’ve confirmed that you have the right hardware and platform version set up, you can download the necessary software.
Before getting started, you must download several tools and other software. Note that on a Windows host, it is recommended that you avoid a deep file path hierarchy for tools and source code; this is to work around file path limits on some Windows OS versions.
- If you don’t already have Android Studio, download it. This includes the most recent Android SDK.
- Install NDK from within Android Studio or download it manually.
In this section, you download the LunarG Vulkan© repository, generate Android Studio projects for the API samples, and then import these projects into the IDE:
Open a terminal and download the source code to your development directory:
cd dev-directory git clone --recursive https://github.com/LunarG/VulkanSamples.git
Follow these instructions (from Building on Android) to generate the sample projects for Android:
cd VulkanSamples/API-Samples cmake -DANDROID=ON -DABI_NAME=abi cd android python3 compile_shaders.py
Supported ABIs include the following:
Set environmental variables to specify the path to the Android NDK and SDK:
export ANDROID_SDK_ROOT=/path/to/sdk-directory export ANDROID_NDK_HOME=/path/to/ndk-directory
targetSdkversion for the samples is 26 so you may need to update your tools with the SDK Manager.
Open Android Studio. Choose File > Open and select
The Project pane resembles the window shown in Figure 1.
- Select File > Project Structure. Select SDK Location and ensure the SDK and NDK locations are set.
- Select your project in the Android Studio Project panel.
- From the Build menu, choose Make Module <module-name> ; or select Build APK to generate APK.
- Resolve any dependency issues, and then compile. As Figure 2 shows, you can select individual projects to compile by choosing them from the configuration pulldown.
Use the following commands to build the projects from the command line (make sure you are still in directory VulkanSamples/API-Samples/android):
To run your project, choose an APK to run by choosing Run > Run <project-name>.
To debug an APK, choose Run > Debug <project-name>. For example, for drawcube, run 15-draw_cube.
Most of the samples have simple functionality to demonstrate how to use one specific API, and most stop automatically after running. The drawcube example is one of the visually interesting examples. When you run it, it should display the image in Figure 3.
Using the Dynamic Loader
The samples use a dynamic loader helper function defined in
retrieve Vulkan API pointers using
dlsym(). It does this rather
than statically linking them with
Using this loader allows the code to link against API level 23 and earlier versions of the platform. Those earlier versions
don’t include the
vulkan.so shared library, but can run on devices that support Vulkan API.
The following snippet shows how to use the dynamic loader.
#include "vulkan_wrapper.h" // Include Vulkan_wrapper and dynamically load symbols. ... // Before any Vulkan API usage, InitVulkan();