glFinish vs glFlush

Had always a problem to remember a distinction between glFinish and glFlush calls. To fight the issue I’ve created two pictures which serve as a mnemonic helper.

Below is the demonstration of glFinish work:



glFinish in action

So we have following participants:

  • Application which issued several OpenGL and finally calls glFinish;
  • Video Card Driver which has a queue of OpenGL commands previously issued by application: A, B, & C;
  • GPU which already runs previously issued OpenGL commands: D, E & F

After a call to glFinish application will block until all commands presented on picture are executed by GPU.

glFlush  is similar but has lesser guarantees – it only ensures that all pending OpenGL commands have reached GPU. Moment when commands are actually executed remains unknown.



glFlush in action


More details are available here:



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