The QOpenGLContext class represents a native OpenGL context, enabling OpenGL rendering on a QSurface . More

Inheritance diagram of PySide2.QtGui.QOpenGLContext




Static functions

Detailed Description

QOpenGLContext represents the OpenGL state of an underlying OpenGL context. To set up a context, set its screen and format such that they match those of the surface or surfaces with which the context is meant to be used, if necessary make it share resources with other contexts with setShareContext() , and finally call create() . Use the return value or isValid() to check if the context was successfully initialized.

A context can be made current against a given surface by calling makeCurrent() . When OpenGL rendering is done, call swapBuffers() to swap the front and back buffers of the surface, so that the newly rendered content becomes visible. To be able to support certain platforms, QOpenGLContext requires that you call makeCurrent() again before starting rendering a new frame, after calling swapBuffers() .

If the context is temporarily not needed, such as when the application is not rendering, it can be useful to delete it in order to free resources. You can connect to the aboutToBeDestroyed() signal to clean up any resources that have been allocated with different ownership from the QOpenGLContext itself.

Once a QOpenGLContext has been made current, you can render to it in a platform independent way by using Qt’s OpenGL enablers such as QOpenGLFunctions , QOpenGLBuffer , QOpenGLShaderProgram , and QOpenGLFramebufferObject . It is also possible to use the platform’s OpenGL API directly, without using the Qt enablers, although potentially at the cost of portability. The latter is necessary when wanting to use OpenGL 1.x or OpenGL ES 1.x.

For more information about the OpenGL API, refer to the official OpenGL documentation .

For an example of how to use QOpenGLContext see the OpenGL Window example.

Thread Affinity

QOpenGLContext can be moved to a different thread with moveToThread() . Do not call makeCurrent() from a different thread than the one to which the QOpenGLContext object belongs. A context can only be current in one thread and against one surface at a time, and a thread only has one context current at a time.

Context Resource Sharing

Resources such as textures and vertex buffer objects can be shared between contexts. Use setShareContext() before calling create() to specify that the contexts should share these resources. QOpenGLContext internally keeps track of a QOpenGLContextGroup object which can be accessed with shareGroup() , and which can be used to find all the contexts in a given share group. A share group consists of all contexts that have been successfully initialized and are sharing with an existing context in the share group. A non-sharing context has a share group consisting of a single context.

Default Framebuffer

On certain platforms, a framebuffer other than 0 might be the default frame buffer depending on the current surface. Instead of calling glBindFramebuffer(0), it is recommended that you use glBindFramebuffer(ctx-> defaultFramebufferObject() ), to ensure that your application is portable between different platforms. However, if you use glBindFramebuffer() , this is done automatically for you.

class PySide2.QtGui.QOpenGLContext([parent=None])
param parent


Creates a new OpenGL context instance with parent object parent .

Before it can be used you need to set the proper format and call create() .


This enum defines the type of the underlying OpenGL implementation.






OpenGL ES 2.0 or higher

static PySide2.QtGui.QOpenGLContext.areSharing(first, second)
Return type


Returns true if the first and second contexts are sharing OpenGL resources.

Return type


Attempts to create the OpenGL context with the current configuration.

The current configuration includes the format, the share context, and the screen.

If the OpenGL implementation on your system does not support the requested version of OpenGL context, then QOpenGLContext will try to create the closest matching version. The actual created context properties can be queried using the QSurfaceFormat returned by the format() function. For example, if you request a context that supports OpenGL 4.3 Core profile but the driver and/or hardware only supports version 3.2 Core profile contexts then you will get a 3.2 Core profile context.

Returns true if the native context was successfully created and is ready to be used with makeCurrent() , swapBuffers() , etc.


If the context already exists, this function destroys the existing context first, and then creates a new one.

static PySide2.QtGui.QOpenGLContext.currentContext()
Return type


Returns the last context which called makeCurrent in the current thread, or None , if no context is current.

Return type


Call this to get the default framebuffer object for the current surface.

On some platforms (for instance, iOS) the default framebuffer object depends on the surface being rendered to, and might be different from 0. Thus, instead of calling glBindFramebuffer(0), you should call glBindFramebuffer(ctx->) if you want your application to work across different Qt platforms.

If you use the glBindFramebuffer() in QOpenGLFunctions you do not have to worry about this, as it automatically binds the current context’s when 0 is passed.


Widgets that render via framebuffer objects, like QOpenGLWidget and QQuickWidget , will override the value returned from this function when painting is active, because at that time the correct “default” framebuffer is the widget’s associated backing framebuffer, not the platform-specific one belonging to the top-level window’s surface. This ensures the expected behavior for this function and other classes relying on it (for example, bindDefault() or release() ).


Convenience function for calling makeCurrent with a 0 surface.

This results in no context being current in the current thread.

Return type

Returns the set of OpenGL extensions supported by this context.

The context or a sharing context must be current.

See also


Return type


Get the QOpenGLExtraFunctions instance for this context.

QOpenGLContext offers this as a convenient way to access QOpenGLExtraFunctions without having to manage it manually.

The context or a sharing context must be current.

The returned QOpenGLExtraFunctions instance is ready to be used and it does not need initializeOpenGLFunctions() to be called.


QOpenGLExtraFunctions contains functionality that is not guaranteed to be available at runtime. Runtime availability depends on the platform, graphics driver, and the OpenGL version requested by the application.

Return type


Returns the format of the underlying platform context, if create() has been called.

Otherwise, returns the requested format.

The requested and the actual format may differ. Requesting a given OpenGL version does not mean the resulting context will target exactly the requested version. It is only guaranteed that the version/profile/options combination for the created context is compatible with the request, as long as the driver is able to provide such a context.

For example, requesting an OpenGL version 3.x core profile context may result in an OpenGL 4.x core profile context. Similarly, a request for OpenGL 2.1 may result in an OpenGL 3.0 context with deprecated functions enabled. Finally, depending on the driver, unsupported versions may result in either a context creation failure or in a context for the highest supported version.

Similar differences are possible in the buffer sizes, for example, the resulting context may have a larger depth buffer than requested. This is perfectly normal.

See also


Return type


Get the QOpenGLFunctions instance for this context.

QOpenGLContext offers this as a convenient way to access QOpenGLFunctions without having to manage it manually.

The context or a sharing context must be current.

The returned QOpenGLFunctions instance is ready to be used and it does not need initializeOpenGLFunctions() to be called.

static PySide2.QtGui.QOpenGLContext.globalShareContext()
Return type


Returns the application-wide shared OpenGL context, if present. Otherwise, returns None .

This is useful if you need to upload OpenGL objects (buffers, textures, etc.) before creating or showing a QOpenGLWidget or QQuickWidget .


You must set the AA_ShareOpenGLContexts flag on QGuiApplication before creating the QGuiApplication object, otherwise Qt may not create a global shared context.


Do not attempt to make the context returned by this function current on any surface. Instead, you can create a new context which shares with the global one, and then make the new context current.

See also

AA_ShareOpenGLContexts setShareContext() makeCurrent()



Return type


Returns true if this OpenGL context supports the specified OpenGL extension , false otherwise.

The context or a sharing context must be current.

See also


Return type


Returns true if the context is an OpenGL ES context.

If the context has not yet been created, the result is based on the requested format set via setFormat() .

Return type


Returns if this context is valid, i.e. has been successfully created.

On some platforms the return value of false for a context that was successfully created previously indicates that the OpenGL context was lost.

The typical way to handle context loss scenarios in applications is to check via this function whenever makeCurrent() fails and returns false . If this function then returns false , recreate the underlying native OpenGL context by calling create() , call makeCurrent() again and then reinitialize all OpenGL resources.

On some platforms context loss situations is not something that can avoided. On others however, they may need to be opted-in to. This can be done by enabling ResetNotification in the QSurfaceFormat . This will lead to setting RESET_NOTIFICATION_STRATEGY_EXT to LOSE_CONTEXT_ON_RESET_EXT in the underlying native OpenGL context. QOpenGLContext will then monitor the status via glGetGraphicsResetStatusEXT() in every makeCurrent() .

See also




Return type


Makes the context current in the current thread, against the given surface . Returns true if successful; otherwise returns false . The latter may happen if the surface is not exposed, or the graphics hardware is not available due to e.g. the application being suspended.

If surface is None this is equivalent to calling doneCurrent() .

Avoid calling this function from a different thread than the one the QOpenGLContext instance lives in. If you wish to use QOpenGLContext from a different thread you should first make sure it’s not current in the current thread, by calling doneCurrent() if necessary. Then call moveToThread (otherThread) before using it in the other thread.

By default Qt employs a check that enforces the above condition on the thread affinity. It is still possible to disable this check by setting the Qt::AA_DontCheckOpenGLContextThreadAffinity application attribute. Be sure to understand the consequences of using QObjects from outside the thread they live in, as explained in the QObject thread affinity documentation.

See also

functions() doneCurrent() AA_DontCheckOpenGLContextThreadAffinity

Return type


Returns the native handle for the context.

This function provides access to the QOpenGLContext ‘s underlying native context. The returned variant contains a platform-specific value type. These classes can be found in the module QtPlatformHeaders.

On platforms where retrieving the native handle is not supported, or if neither create() nor setNativeHandle() was called, a null variant is returned.

static PySide2.QtGui.QOpenGLContext.openGLModuleHandle()
Return type


Returns the platform-specific handle for the OpenGL implementation that is currently in use. (for example, a HMODULE on Windows)

On platforms that do not use dynamic GL switching, the return value is None .

The library might be GL-only, meaning that windowing system interface functions (for example EGL) may live in another, separate library.


This function requires that the QGuiApplication instance is already created.

static PySide2.QtGui.QOpenGLContext.openGLModuleType()
Return type


Returns the underlying OpenGL implementation type.

On platforms where the OpenGL implementation is not dynamically loaded, the return value is determined during compile time and never changes.


A desktop OpenGL implementation may be capable of creating ES-compatible contexts too. Therefore in most cases it is more appropriate to check renderableType() or use the convenience function isOpenGLES() .


This function requires that the QGuiApplication instance is already created.

Return type


Returns the screen the context was created for.

See also




Sets the format the OpenGL context should be compatible with. You need to call create() before it takes effect.

When the format is not explicitly set via this function, the format returned by defaultFormat() will be used. This means that when having multiple contexts, individual calls to this function can be replaced by one single call to setDefaultFormat() before creating the first context.

See also



handle – object

Set the native handles for this context. When create() is called and a native handle is set, configuration settings, like format() , are ignored since this QOpenGLContext will wrap an already created native context instead of creating a new one from scratch.

On some platforms the native context handle is not sufficient and other related handles (for example, for a window or display) have to be provided in addition. Therefore handle is variant containing a platform-specific value type. These classes can be found in the QtPlatformHeaders module.

When create() is called with native handles set, QOpenGLContext does not take ownership of the handles, so destroying the QOpenGLContext does not destroy the native context.


Some frameworks track the current context and surfaces internally. Making the adopted QOpenGLContext current via Qt will have no effect on such other frameworks’ internal state. Therefore a subsequent makeCurrent done via the other framework may have no effect. It is therefore advisable to make explicit calls to make no context and surface current to reset the other frameworks’ internal state after performing OpenGL operations via Qt.


Using foreign contexts with Qt windows and Qt contexts with windows and surfaces created by other frameworks may give unexpected results, depending on the platform, due to potential mismatches in context and window pixel formats. To make sure this does not happen, avoid making contexts and surfaces from different frameworks current together. Instead, prefer approaches based on context sharing where OpenGL resources like textures are accessible both from Qt’s and the foreign framework’s contexts.

See also




Sets the screen the OpenGL context should be valid for. You need to call create() before it takes effect.

See also




Makes this context share textures, shaders, and other OpenGL resources with shareContext . You need to call create() before it takes effect.

See also


Return type


Returns the share context this context was created with.

If the underlying platform was not able to support the requested sharing, this will return 0.

Return type


Returns the share group this context belongs to.

static PySide2.QtGui.QOpenGLContext.supportsThreadedOpenGL()
Return type


Returns true if the platform supports OpenGL rendering outside the main (gui) thread.

The value is controlled by the platform plugin in use and may also depend on the graphics drivers.

Return type


Returns the surface the context has been made current with.

This is the surface passed as an argument to makeCurrent() .



Swap the back and front buffers of surface .

Call this to finish a frame of OpenGL rendering, and make sure to call makeCurrent() again before issuing any further OpenGL commands, for example as part of a new frame.



Return type


Returns a pointer to an object that provides access to all functions for the versionProfile of this context. There is no need to call as long as this context is current. It is also possible to call this function when the context is not current, but in that case it is the caller’s responsibility to ensure proper initialization by calling afterwards.

Usually one would use the template version of this function to automatically have the result cast to the correct type.