Subject: GLUT (was: Re: Mesa3d)
To: Jan Schaumann <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 11/14/2003 11:35:45
Apparently GLUT is falling out of favor.  I am told that Red Hat, which
used to include it, no longer does.  Apparently there's a bug between
GLUT, Red Hat, and certain nVidia(?) cards or drivers.  I don't know any
of the details there, and rely only upon what I was told by some LINUX
users working on freeglut.

Old GLUT's license does not allow distribution of modified versions.
(Not by anyone but Mark Kilgard himself.)  So I have been told---I
haven't carefully examined the license on that ground.

GLUT was last maintained by Mark in 1998.  The last release was
3.6 (3.7?) with hints about what 4.0 was going to be.

The good news is that there's a replacement called freeglut, under
the MIT license.  It is hoped to be distributed with Mesa and/or
XFree86.  Last July or August, I found out about this project when I
hit a very strange bug with old GLUT, C++, and mouse-wheels.  I was
unable to make any sense out of what I was seeing when I traced GLUT
in the debugger.  (Ask offlist for the details, if you care.  (^&)

Since that time, I've joined the freeglut team on SourceForge.
freeglut has some problems still.  But it is more-or-less a GLUT
stand-in if you can't use GLUT, and it has some extensions over and
above GLUT.

I have held off installing it as "the" libglut on my system.  There
is at least a temporary measure to support installing it as
'libfreeglut", but I don't know if that will last, so I am not
counting on it.  (I'd rather call it libfreeglut so that it would
more easily sit side-by-side with libglut, of course.  In practice,
old GLUT is still very servicable and in some ways still preferable.)

The last freeglut release so far (2.0.1) is, I believe, in
pkgsrc-wip, also on SourceForge.

It has a web page at:

So, what to do about GLUT?  Make room to allow for freeglut, perhaps.
It looks like it is a viable contender now, while GLUT is dead in
the water.  Unless freeglut suddenly evaporates (unlikely), it will
probably in time gain on old GLUT.

This may in some way be related to the that you're seeing,
though I don't really know anything more about libtool than I have to
know.  (^&

Disclaimer: Although I obviously have some invested time and effort in
freeglut, I've only been with that project for a few months.  I don't speak
on its behalf in any way shape or form, but you may appreciate the
insight here.  (Nor am I yet prepared to fully endorse it save to say
that it works well enough for me that I'm almost happy to install it on
my system as "the" glut and let others continue to maintain it.  (^&)

  "I probably don't know what I'm talking about."