Mach v0.3 has been released! For all the details check out the announcement

Perfected GLFW bindings for Zig, with 100% API coverage, zero-fuss installation, cross compilation, and more.

What does a ziggified GLFW API offer?

  • Enums, always know what value a GLFW function can accept as everything is strictly typed. And use the nice Zig syntax to access enums, like window.getKey(.escape) instead of c.glfwGetKey(window, c.GLFW_KEY_ESCAPE)
  • Slices instead of C pointers and lengths.
  • Generics, so you can just use window.hint instead of glfwWindowHint, glfwWindowHintString, etc.
  • packed structs represent bit masks, so you can use if (joystick.down and joystick.right) instead of if (joystick & c.GLFW_HAT_DOWN and joystick & c.GLFW_HAT_RIGHT), etc.
  • Methods, e.g. my_window.hint(...) instead of glfwWindowHint(my_window, ...)
  • true and false instead of c.GLFW_TRUE and c.GLFW_FALSE constants.

How do I use OpenGL, Vulkan, WebGPU, etc. with this?

You’ll need to bring your own library, e.g.:

Getting started

First zig init-exe to create a Zig project. Then you will need to create a new build.zig.zon file, and update your build.zig and src/main.zig files:


mach-glfw uses the Zig package manager. Create a build.zig.zon in your project (replace LATEST_COMMIT with the latest commit hash):

.mach_glfw = .{
    .url = "",

(change LATEST_COMMIT to the actual latest mach-glfw commit hash.) Next, run zig build and the compiler will tell you to add a .hash entry next to the .url, follow its advice and copy+paste that next to the .url:

note: expected .hash = "12209838fcfb7a77d2d6931efdc7448c033a1b7dad11d082c94bbeeba9d1038cd311",


Add the following to your build.zig below your const exe = b.addExecutable(...) line:

    // Use mach-glfw
    const glfw_dep = b.dependency("mach_glfw", .{
        .target = target,
        .optimize = optimize,
    exe.root_module.addImport("mach-glfw", glfw_dep.module("mach-glfw"));


Here’s an example program to get you started:

const std = @import("std");
const glfw = @import("mach-glfw");

/// Default GLFW error handling callback
fn errorCallback(error_code: glfw.ErrorCode, description: [:0]const u8) void {
    std.log.err("glfw: {}: {s}\n", .{ error_code, description });

pub fn main() !void {
    if (!glfw.init(.{})) {
        std.log.err("failed to initialize GLFW: {?s}", .{glfw.getErrorString()});
    defer glfw.terminate();

    // Create our window
    const window = glfw.Window.create(640, 480, "Hello, mach-glfw!", null, null, .{}) orelse {
        std.log.err("failed to create GLFW window: {?s}", .{glfw.getErrorString()});
    defer window.destroy();

    // Wait for the user to close the window.
    while (!window.shouldClose()) {

Ran into trouble?

Triple-check you followed the build.zig.zon instructions correctly, it’s easy to mess that part up.

Feel free to join the Mach Discord community for help.

A warning about error handling

Unless the action you’re performing is truly critical to your application continuing further, you should avoid terminating on GLFW errors and log them instead.

Unfortunately, GLFW must return errors for a large portion of its functionality on some platforms, but especially for Wayland in particular. If you want your application to run well for most Linux users, you should e.g. merely log errors that are not critical.

Here is a rough list of functionality Wayland does not support:

  • Window.setIcon
  • Window.setPos, Window.getPos
  • Window.iconify, Window.focus
  • Monitor.setGamma
  • Monitor.getGammaRamp, Monitor.setGammaRamp

For example, window.getPos() will always return x=0, y=0 on Wayland due to lack of platform support. Ignoring this error is a reasonable choice for most applications. However, errors like this can still be caught and handled:

const pos = window.getPos();

// Option 1: convert a GLFW error into a Zig error.
// Heed our warning about Wayland above, though!
glfw.getErrorCode() catch |err| {
    std.log.err("failed to get window position: error={}", .{err});
    return err; // Or fall back to an alternative implementation.

// Option 2: log a human-readable description of the error.
if (glfw.getErrorString()) |description| {
    std.log.err("failed to get window position: {s}", .{description});
    // ...

// Option 3: use a combination of the above approaches.
if (glfw.getError()) |err| {
    const error_code = err.error_code; // Zig error
    const description = err.description; // Human-readable description
    std.log.err("failed to get window position: error={}: {s}", .{error_code, description});
    // ...

Note that the above example relies on GLFW’s saved error being empty; otherwise, previously emitted errors may be mistaken for an error caused by window.getPos().

If your application frequently ignores errors, it may be necessary to call glfw.clearError() or defer glfw.clearError() to ensure a clean slate for future error handling.

GLFW version

We generally follow the latest master version of GLFW, as recorded here, as this allows us to work with the GLFW author to fix e.g. undefined behavior that Zig catches, and benefit from the latest & greatest changes - such as runtime X11/Wayland switching recently.