2 min read

The Vulkan Portability implementation, gfx-portability allows non-Rust applications that use Vulkan to run with ease.

After improving the functionality of gfx-portability’s Metal backend through benchmarking Dota2, and verifying certain functionalities through the Vulkan Conformance Test Suite (CTS), developers are now planning to expand their testing to other projects that are open source, already using Vulcan for rendering and finally lacking strong macOS/Metal support.

The projects which matched their criteria were  RPCS3 and Dolphin. However, the team discovered various issues with both RPCS3 and Dolphin projects.

RPCS3 Blockers

RPCS3 satisfies all the above mentioned criteria. It is an open-source Sony PlayStation 3 emulator and debugger written in C++ for Windows and Linux. RPCS3 has a Vulkan backend, and some attempts were made to support macOS previously.
The gfx-rs team added a surface and swapchain support to start of with the macOS integration. This process identified a number of blockers in both gfx-rs and RPCS3. The RPCS3 developers and the gfx-rs teams collaborated to quickly address the blockers. Once the blockers were addressed, gameplay was rendered within RPCS3.

Dolphin support for macOS

Dolphin, the emulator for two recent Nintendo video game consoles, was actively working on adding support for macOS. While being tested with gfx-portability the teams noticed some further minor bugs in gfx. The issues were addressed and the teams were able to render real gameplay.

Continuous Releases for the masses

The team has already started automatically releasing gfx-portability binaries under GitHub latest release -> the portability repository. Currently the team provides MacOS (Metal) and Linux (Vulkan) binaries, and will add Windows (Direct3D 12/11 and Vulkan) binaries soon.
These releases ensure that users don’t have to build gfx-portability themselves in order to test it with an existing project. The binaries are compatible with both the Vulkan loader on macOS and by linking the binaries directly from an application.


The team was successfully able to run RPCS3 and Dolphin on top of gfx-portability’s Metal backend and only had to address some minor issues in the process. Stability and performance will improve as more real world use cases are tested.

You can read more about this on gfx-rs.github.io.


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