Go-SDL2, the Go binding for the SDL lib

22-06-2015 22:17 by depado


It has been a while, at least five years, since I last worked with SDL. I forgot almost everything on how to work with that lib and, in the meantime, SDL 2.0 came out. So I decided to get back to it, just for fun, see how it works. First of all I tried to find any recommendations on the internet that could point out why it might be a good idea to work with the SDL in Go. But everyone is going for Rust, C++, C#, Unity and such. Sure the garbage collector is a drawback, but PyGame works fine and it's the Python binding. Python has some pretty bad performances compared to Go, so I didn't see any reasons not to give a shot at the SDL with Go.


First you'll need to install the go-sdl2 lib. Just click on the link and follow the instructions. As pointed out in the documentation og go-sdl2, you will, of course, need the sdl2 library.

package main

import (

func perror(err error) {
    if err != nil {

// Returns a sdl.Rect that represents the centered src surface on the dst surface
func CalculateCenterRect(src *sdl.Surface, dst *sdl.Surface) (centerRect sdl.Rect) {
    centerRect = src.ClipRect
    centerRect.X = dst.ClipRect.H/2 - centerRect.H/2
    centerRect.Y = dst.ClipRect.W/2 - centerRect.W/2

// Blits the src surface with its raw dimensions to the center of the dst surface
// Note : This function is for testing purpose.
func BlitRawCenter(src *sdl.Surface, dst *sdl.Surface) error {
    centerRect := CalculateCenterRect(src, dst)
    return src.Blit(nil, dst, &centerRect)

// Blits the src surface with dimensions of srcRect to the center of the dst surface
// Note : This function is for testing purpose
func BlitCenter(srcRect *sdl.Rect, src *sdl.Surface, dst *sdl.Surface) error {
    centerRect := CalculateCenterRect(src, dst)
    return src.Blit(srcRect, dst, &centerRect)

// Blits an image to the center of the dst surface
func BlitCenterImage(file string, dst *sdl.Surface) error {
    imgSurface, err := img.Load(file)
    if err != nil {
        return err
    // I don't know what's going on here. Is the resource free at the end of the function ?
    // Is it the intended behaviour ? I should look into it.
    defer imgSurface.Free()
    return BlitRawCenter(imgSurface, dst)

func main() {
    sdl.Init(sdl.INIT_EVERYTHING | img.INIT_PNG)

    window, err := sdl.CreateWindow("test", sdl.WINDOWPOS_UNDEFINED, sdl.WINDOWPOS_UNDEFINED,
        800, 600, sdl.WINDOW_SHOWN)
    defer window.Destroy()

    // To do : Add handling for events like closing the window.

    // To do : Understand what are renderers
    // renderer, err := sdl.CreateRenderer(window, -1, sdl.RENDERER_ACCELERATED|sdl.RENDERER_PRESENTVSYNC)
    // perror(err)

    surface, err := window.GetSurface()

    BlitCenterImage("res/sdl_img.png", surface)