X-Plane, “Vulkan and Metal: It Runs!”

Ben Supnik of Laminar Research has posted a new progress update concerning Vulcan and Metal compatibility in regards to X-Plane 11. According to Ben, “…we now have the full sim running natively with Vulkan and Metal! There is still a pretty big list of random things turned off or bypassed to make this happen, but we can fly in the cockpit and use the sim.”

Moreover and perhaps even more important, Ben remarks, “We should have some performance numbers to post next week; right now our primary focus is fixing bugs, particularly bugs that bring the whole machine down.”

Please see below for a detailed list of progress items.


Here’s some stuff that is now working:

  • Using regular and HDR rendering, and SSAO on metal.
  • Flying with Vulkan on AMD, NVidia, and Intel drivers.
  • Hardware stereo rendering on OS X – this never existed before Metal because the Mac GL drivers didn’t support it. Hardware stereo rendering is necessary for VR support.
  • MSAA on Metal – with the restructuring of our code, you’ll be able to change MSAA settings without restarting. I don’t know if this code works on Vulkan right now; it might.

Here’s some stuff that does not work yet:

  • Plugins are bypassed right now. We have not yet written the plugin-OpenGL-interop layer.
  • VR only works when using OpenGL as the driver; we need to write some new VR code to pass Metal and Vulkan frames directly to the OVR and Rift APIs.
  • Screenshots/Movie capture are a work in progress – that’s what I’ve been working on this week.


To review the complete article by Ben Supnik titled “Vulkan and Metal: It Runs!,” see the source post via the X-Plane developer blog.

Please note, we last reported regarding Vulcan and Metal compatibility back in March.

*Image courtesy of Laminar Research.

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