A question was asked about good, up-to date OpenGL resources, one of the answers was a link to a tutorial about modern OpenGL programming.

The tutorial in question uses GLUT and GLEW, but I have read somewhere that GLUT is obsolete. Is that true?


5 Answers 5


Is GLUT 3.7 out of date? Absolutely. You should never use it for anything.

However, FreeGLUT is perfectly fine to use. It is 100% backwards compatible with GLUT 3.7. FreeGLUT is a good utility to have when you need to slap together a quick and dirty program.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I upvoted. Nonetheless, as I am fascinated with computing history, I would like to play with the same rules the programmers had back then, so I would use a WinXP VM, VS2005, and GLUT, just in this pandemic times. \$\endgroup\$
    – user124631
    Nov 17, 2020 at 0:38

There is freeglut now :




Even though the original GLUT is not in active development anymore, its still a good tool for its targeted domain, which is quick OpenGL testing and demos. It was never intended to be a framework for developing complex OpenGL programs.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenGL_Utility_Toolkit

The two aims of GLUT are to allow the creation of rather portable code between operating systems (GLUT is cross-platform) and to make learning OpenGL easier. Getting started with OpenGL programming while using GLUT often takes only a few lines of code and does not require knowledge of operating system–specific windowing APIs.

So no, if you use it for quick OpenGL tests, demos and learning, then it is not obsolete.


You should have a look at GLFW: http://www.glfw.org/

It's a very easy to use cross-platform API that is still in development and has good documentation!

All it does, is to create an OpenGL context and provide means to get input (+ some extra features like threading)


Yes GLUT is obsolete and not under developement since 1998 with the release of the 3.7 version.

From French Wikipedia:

La bibliothèque GLUT n'est désormais plus en développement et s'est arrêtée à la version 3.7 en mai 1998.



Sorry for the french reference but i haven't find any date on the english wikipedia. The translation is:

The GLUT library is no longer in development and stopped at version 3.7 in May 1998.

And the link to the english wikipedia:


  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ And even if it wasn't obsolete, it was never meant for production code. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2012 at 12:03
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ you could use English wiki for reference! \$\endgroup\$
    – Ali1S232
    Feb 10, 2012 at 12:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ The french wiki page contains no references - that date could be completely made up \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2012 at 15:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here the release note of GLUT 3.7 dated of 7 may 1998 : freeware.sgi.com/Installable/glut-3.7.html. And here freeglut sourceforge webpage saying GLUT was abandonned in 1998 : freeglut.sourceforge.net \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2012 at 15:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ -1 for being wrong. GLUT 3.7 may be out of date, but FreeGLUT is not. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2012 at 16:23

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