I cannot find any tutorial in Google and Youtube. I have a C++ program that uses OpenGL ES 2.0 API to render something on the screen. How can I debug my shaders? Any step-by-step guide? What is the easiest way to at least print variable values?

  • \$\begingroup\$ gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/34392/… \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Byte56 this is not a duplicate. In your link there is not step by step tutorial. \$\endgroup\$
    – Narek
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 19:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would the question have a step-by-step tutorial? Remember that questions are duplicated, not the answers they contain. \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


In general, you can't. The typical development environments only give you visibility on the C/C++ side.

So, I say "you can't" but that's obviously not exactly true. You can't step through the shader and print variables, but still we all develop and debug shaders. But it's a lot of intuiting indirectly what's going on, by repeated runs. Some of the things I do is:

  • Have a simplified version of my app that only draws 1 or 2 things, so try/edit/retry goes faster
  • Have a few fallback shaders that I know work, and swap them in when I'm doubting my own sanity...
  • Use revision control, of course
  • Always print out all the error messages from compiling with glGetShaderInfoLog()

In some game engine environments, you author shaders at a higher level, using flow diagrams and such, and the engine generates GLSL (or HLSL &c) on the fly, which is a whole different debug experience.

Hope that helps!

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The answers to the duplicate question mention step-debugging tools for shaders. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 15:10

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