macOS is deprecating openGL

apple is really just not relevant and never has been.

it’s like a hobo in a expensive suit.


Apple - Please everyone start using our Metal API, so we can keep on NOT upgrading your graphic drivers and tons of shit is not really going to work anyways.

I guess for most developers this might be a huge push towards Vulkan instead, then use something like Molten to target OsX.

ton posted this on the mailing list:


I’m afraid a Metal port is going to be more than a couple of months… but the benefit of open source has always been that you get surprising ports to happen!

My suggestion: let’s wait a bit how the market responds and study on solutions. We’re not alone in this.

My opinion: MacOS has not been a good choice for 3D artists for at least 5 years already. Artists didn’t have choice of GPUs. Support for CUDA, OpenGL and OpenCL was always behind. We never really had Cycles GPU render perform good on a Mac system either.

Looks like Apple is heading in a different direction with their OS. Probably merging it with iOS…

Meanwhile we can keep supporting it, but this support will then be for a dying platform - like back then for SGI Irix, Sun Solaris and BeOS.




From the BF’s point of view, why waste development time on a “dying platform” ?

Apple has made it perfectly clear that they want to live on a island and not have to worry about supporting non-apple-only things. They want to focus on the iPhone as their main platform since they think everyone will be dumping their desktops for a 4 inch screen eventually. Just try and buy a macbook bigger than 15 inches (which is barely adequate for serious graphics work).

I’ve been a graphic artist for more than 20 years and I’ve never worked for a company that didn’t use PCs almost exclusively – the main reason being the lack of software/support for the Mac platform.

Apple clearly stated in the Keynote that MacOS will never merge with iOS because they acknowledge the Desktop OS as having different user needs. They instead are allowing developers to port iOS titles over to MacOS because some apps work just as well on desktop as well as mobile.

Regardless of Blenders limitations on the mac Platform over the years, it has been a vital application for my work so i hope Blender will continue to develop for it’s Mac users.


Agreed. This looks rather dire though, and it sounds like given the work that would be required to move to Vulkan and then adopt adopt MoltenVK that Blender might just not be able to work for a while once OpenGL disappears :confused:

EDIT - It seems like Apple keeps various depreciated APIs around for a long time on macOS, so i’m hopeful that it only disappears when Blender is finally able to adopt Vulkan.

Message to BF and devs that i hope they will see: Never waste your precious resources on making Blender to support Metal but instead focus on Vulkan in far future. Enough of Apple slavery like policies and enforcement.


The other half of this is external GPU support and a unified compute framework as well. Apple is going all in on external GPUs at the moment. Metal allows that in a way that Apple can control I guess. So they are pushing that hard at the moment.

Killing opengl support sucks but my question is, is it possible to wrap OpenGL to run on top of Metal like MoltenVK?

Also just to chime in on Godot. Abstracting the graphics layer imo is something they were going to have to do at some point anyway if they seriously want to target future platforms. As a game engine that should be a big priority if they don’t want to just cater to a handful of platforms. Might as well get started now. I understand they have limited resources tho as an OSS project.

For Blender, it would probably be a good idea to do the same, but whether the BF has the resources or the will is another thing. I know people have asked for a native DX version of Blender in the past as well.

The big ones like Maya, Houdini etc, is another matter.

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I suspect that there is be a catch here, and that this really nothing but a marketing ploy designed to draw attention to Metal. Apple is pretty good at creating a buzz out of crisis, only to turn around and make it a non-issue in the long run in such a way that everyone forgets the crisis ever happened.

In the end, I’m pretty sure there will be an OpenGL API on MacOS.

Godot is already abstracted. They use a server architecture, which is coming in handy for their opengl es backend they are working on for 3.1. And Vulkan was already in their plan, just not quite yet, as they need the opengl es 2.1 for the cheap Android Phones many of their games target, as well as the webgl backend.

One of the cited reasons for the opengl bump in Blender, as well as the architecture of Eevee, was to allow for porting to Vulkan in the future. It was only one of many, of course.

Doubtful. Apple doesn’t just do marketing ploys. When they say they are going to deprecate something they are fairly serious about it. They may not remove the stuff right away but they could do so at any moment and marking as deprecated means they gave you fair warning in their minds.

Anyway, MoltenVK exists but so does MoltenGL. So the market itself already took care of the issue. Well kind of. Its for OpenGL ES but I’m sure developers can make the work.

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Well like I wrote below. MoltenVK and MoltenGL exist so they can keep the ES backend and the Vulkan backend if they really don’t have the resources for a Metal backend. Though to be honest I expect them to release a Metal backend at some point if they want to stay relevant on the iOS platform. If they’e already abstracted the engine then it should be fairly trivial to do and Metal is actually a pretty nice and efficient api. Definitely more than DX (imo) and OpenGL, even more so than Vulkan (again imo).


MoltenGL is a thing, but that currently would put you on par in terms of features with an outdated mobile GPU (or WebGL 1). You can do much more with OpenGL as it exists on the Mac right now.

On the other hand, if Blender supports ES2 as a minimum going forward, then that should be an easy-to-implement fallback.

If and when OpenGL actually is dropped from Mac OS, the situation is probably going to be different anyway.

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I’ve moved this post here since it seems it was concidered off topic in the thread I posted it in. Oh, and I should say I haven’t used it, but I’ve heard good things about it, so it should be worth mentioning:

Its better to skip straight to linux if you can. There are desktop environments that have a similar UX to OS X.

Installation instructions here.

I’ve always wanted to try it out full-time for like a week or two. How is openGL support on linux? On par with Windows?

Linux is built primarily upon OGL, with heavy support for Vulkan added to the mix. General GPU performance isn’t quite as snappy as it is in Windows, but it’s still pretty close.

One of the major reasons why I haven’t switched to Linux full time is due to a lack of a decent (to me) image manipulator, a’la Photoshop and Affinity Photo.

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Yes, openGL isn’t an issue on linux systems. You really just have to worry about installing video card drivers. I use a gaming laptop with a built-in nvidia gtx 1070, and I had to install the propriety graphics card drivers in order to get cuda to work (I use debian 9 btw).

Don’t worry though, getting it setup shouldnt be too much trouble. I think elementry is ubuntu based, so the guides written for ubuntu should work if you have trouble (You might have to install the drivers from a ppa).

17 posts were split to a new topic: Photoshop alternatives

I could live with no OpenCL, as the free Radeon ProRender for Blender already uses Metal 2. But Apple abandoning OpenGL in the future will be a serious problem for Mac Blender users.

I’m curious to see which other 3D editors for MacOS will announce adding support for Metal 2, such as C4D, Maya, Houdini and Modo. I guess ZBrush users on Mac won’t have to worry, as Pixologic has got its own proprietary, CPU-based screen renderer.

Its a bit more serious than that. Blender 2.79 needs openGL 2.1 or higher, and 2.8 needs 3.3 or higher. If Apple COMPLETELY removes Open GL support, then you probably wont be able to use blender at all.

Sounds like it is at least possible to run open gl on top of metal, but blender might not work using that, plus I doubt it would be a free solution.