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OpenCL ICD Loader

This repo contains the source code and tests for the Khronos official OpenCL ICD Loader.

CI Build Status

Windows Build Status Linux OSX Build Status


OpenCL defines an Installable Client Driver (ICD) mechanism to allow developers to build applications against an Installable Client Driver loader (ICD loader) rather than linking their applications against a specific OpenCL implementation. The ICD Loader is responsible for:

  • Exporting OpenCL API entry points
  • Enumerating OpenCL implementations
  • Forwarding OpenCL API calls to the correct implementation

This repo contains the source code and tests for the Khronos official OpenCL ICD Loader.

Note that this repo does not contain an OpenCL implementation (ICD). You will need to obtain and install an OpenCL implementation for your OpenCL device that supports the OpenCL ICD extension cl_khr_icd to run an application using the OpenCL ICD Loader.

The OpenCL Installable Client Driver extension (cl_khr_icd) is described in the OpenCL extensions specification, which may be found on the Khronos OpenCL Registry.

Build Instructions


The OpenCL ICD Loader requires OpenCL Headers. To use system OpenCL Headers, please specify the OpenCL Header location using the CMake variable OPENCL_ICD_LOADER_HEADERS_DIR. By default, the OpenCL ICD Loader will look for OpenCL Headers in the inc directory.

The OpenCL ICD Loader uses CMake for its build system. If CMake is not provided by your build system or OS package manager, please consult the CMake website.

The Windows OpenCL ICD Loader requires the Windows SDK to check for and enumerate the OpenCLOn12 ICD. An OpenCL ICD Loader can be built without a dependency on the Windows SDK using the CMake variable OPENCL_ICD_LOADER_DISABLE_OPENCLON12. This variable should only be used when building an import lib to link with, and must be enabled when building an OpenCL ICD Loader for distribution!

Build and Install Directories

A common convention is to place the build directory in the top directory of the repository and to place the install directory as a child of the build directory. The remainder of these instructions follow this convention, although you may place these directories in any location.

Example Usage

For most Windows and Linux usages, the following steps are sufficient to build the OpenCL ICD Loader:

  1. Clone this repo:

     git clone
  2. Obtain the OpenCL Headers, if you are not planning to use system OpenCL headers. Headers may be obtained from the Khronos OpenCL Headers repository.

  3. Create a build directory:

     cd OpenCL-ICD-Loader
     mkdir build
     cd build
  4. Invoke cmake to generate solution files, Makefiles, or files for other build systems.

     cmake ..
  5. Build using the CMake-generated files.


  • For 64-bit Windows builds, you may need to specify a 64-bit generator manually, for example:

      cmake.exe -G "Visual Studio 14 2015 Win64" ..
  • Some users may prefer to use a CMake GUI frontend, such as cmake-gui or ccmake, vs. the command-line CMake.

OpenCL ICD Loader Tests

OpenCL ICD Loader Tests can be run using ctest, which is a companion to CMake. The OpenCL ICD Loader Tests can also be run directly by executing icd_loader_test(.exe) executable from the bin folder.

Test Setup

The OpenCL ICD Loader Tests use a “stub” ICD, which must be set up manually. The OpenCL ICD Loader Tests will “fail” if the “stub” ICD is not set up correctly. The method to install the “stub” ICD is operating system dependent.

On Linux, install the “stub” ICD by creating a file with the full path to the “stub” ICD in /etc/OpenCL/vendors:

echo full/path/to/ > /etc/OpenCL/vendors/test.icd

On Windows, add the “stub” ICD by adding a REG_DWORD value to the registry keys:

// For 32-bit operating systems, or 64-bit tests on a 64-bit operating system:

// For 32-bit tests on a 64-bit operating system:

// The name of the REG_DWORD value should be the full path to the "stub" ICD
// OpenCLDriverStub.dll, and the data for this value should be 0.

Running Tests

To run the tests, invoke ctest from the build directory. The CMake-generated build files may be able to invoke the OpenCL ICD Loader tests as well.

Test Cleanup

Manually remove the file or registry keys added during Test Setup.

About Layers

Layers have been added as an experimental feature in the OpenCL ICD Loader. We do not expect the API or ABI to change significantly, but the OpenCL Working Group reserves the right to do so. The layer support can also be completely deactivated during configuration by using the ENABLE_OPENCL_LAYERS (ON by default) cmake variable:


For now, runtime configuration of layers is done using the OPENCL_LAYERS environment variable. A colon (Linux) or semicolon (Windows) list of layers to use can be provided through this environment variable.

We are looking for feedback.


Please create a GitHub issue to report an issue or ask questions.


Contributions to the OpenCL ICD Loader are welcomed and encouraged. You will be prompted with a one-time “click-through” CLA dialog as part of submitting your pull request or other contribution to GitHub.

Table of Debug Environment Variables

The following debug environment variables are available for use with the OpenCL ICD loader:

Environment VariableBehaviorExample Format
OCL_ICD_FILENAMESSpecifies a list of additional ICDs to load. The ICDs will be enumerated first, before any ICDs discovered via default mechanisms.export

set OCL_ICD_FILENAMES=vendor_a.dll;vendor_b.dll
OCL_ICD_VENDORSOn Linux and Android, specifies a directory to scan for ICDs to enumerate in place of the default `/etc/OpenCL/vendors'.export OCL_ICD_VENDORS=/my/local/icd/search/path
OPENCL_LAYERSSpecifies a list of layers to load.export

set OPENCL_LAYERS=libLayerA.dll;libLayerB.dll