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OpenGL not supported on Mac but ok in Windows & Ubuntu on the same Mac!?


I have macbookpro7.1 (2010 13" NVIDIA GeForce 320M). I was planning to use it for packaging to iOS.

UE 4.17 runs ok on it if I install Windows 7 or Ubuntu 16.04 but no Xcode & no packaging to iOS, right?

But I can't run UE 4.17 on the native MacOS High Sierra 10.13 & wtf?

It says OpenGL not supported & googling the subject I've found out that I need video card with Metal support.

But UE runs ok on Windows & Ubuntu ON THE SAME MACHINE!

Is there a way to start UE on MacOS?

I've tried "./UE4Editor -opengl3" but it didn't help.

I've tried running 4.14 but it didn't start & I have some things made for 4.17 & 4.18 already.

Best regards, Valerii

Product Version: UE 4.17
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asked Oct 28 '17 at 10:26 PM in Using UE4

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Valerii Vainkop
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We had previously announced that OpenGL support on Mac was deprecated in UE4 4.14 and it was removed entirely in UE4 4.15. That means from UE4 4.15 we require a Mac with a Metal compatible GPU as documented by Apple - with the following addendum:

  • Thunderbolt equipped Macs running macOS High Sierra may work via an External GPU.

  • 2010 or later Mac Pro with an upgraded GPU (Nvidia 6XX or later, AMD 7950 Mac Edition or later) may also work but are officially unsupported by Apple.

In your specific case, an Nvidia 320M, was never officially supported by UE4 on macOS as the driver for this GPU was never updated to support OpenGL 4.1 which was the previous minimum requirement for Mac UE4.

Other operating systems have different driver & OpenGL stacks that provide different levels of support for UE4.

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answered Oct 29 '17 at 01:53 AM

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marksatt-pitbull STAFF
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avatar image Valerii Vainkop Oct 29 '17 at 09:31 AM

On this Mac I'm running UE 4.17 on Ubuntu 16.04 with "-opengl3" option which is ok for me & OpenGL 4.1 is not needed.

Making OpenGL 4.1 a minimum requirement for Mac & then removing OpenGL support all together but leaving the same functionality on Windows & Linux is a very weird decision...

I mean, really, think of this: THE SAME MACHINE runs UE 4.17 ok with DIFFERENT, NOT NATIVE OS installed & cannot run UE with it's NATIVE OS...

One word: disappointment :(

avatar image marksatt-pitbull STAFF Oct 29 '17 at 05:08 PM

Metal is the native rendering API on macOS versions supported by Unreal Engine 4 from 4.11 onward and it is the only API receiving ongoing support and development from Apple. It is also substantially better than the older Mac OpenGL implementation and there are very few OpenGL-only Mac GPUs that meet the minimum performance requirements for Unreal Engine 4. As such it was logical to focus our efforts on Metal and deprecate then remove Mac OpenGL support as we did.

As of UE4 4.17 all the Mac OpenGL support code has been removed entirely from the code-base as it added unnecessary complexity and it is therefore not possible to build support for OpenGL on Mac.

In the specific case of why we did not support OpenGL 3.3 devices on macOS: Apple developed their own OpenGL stack with the vendors that was entirely distinct from the vendor's own OpenGL implementations used on other operating systems. As such Apple controlled which features were exposed by each driver and they omitted critical features, notable volumetric rendering, from the OpenGL 3.3 stack used by the Nvidia 320M. This is a required feature for Unreal Engine 4 and as such we could not support it and required Apple's OpenGL 4.1. There was nothing we could do about this difference between macOS & Linux/Windows OpenGL implementations as that was & is not under our control.

avatar image Valerii Vainkop Oct 29 '17 at 09:42 AM

Isn't it possible to build UE from the same sources as for Ubuntu 16.04 & somehow leave support for OpenGL like on Ubuntu 16.04 too? :)

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