OpenCL Cookbook: Listing all platforms and their attributes

The first article in the OpenCL Cookbook series looks at how to list all platforms and their attributes in OpenCL using C as a host language on an OpenCL supported system.

For those new to OpenCL (like me) a platform is a top level entity in the OpenCL API and represents an SDK. You have to get a platform before you can delve deeper into what a platform provides access to such as devices (cpu, gpu). Depending on the hardware/GPU of a system may find an AMD, NVidia, Intel or Apple OpenCL SDK. You may even find multiple SDKs, for instance, if you have multiple GPUs of different makes.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#ifdef __APPLE__
#include <OpenCL/opencl.h>
#include <CL/cl.h>

int main() {

int i, j;
char* info;
size_t infoSize;
cl_uint platformCount;
cl_platform_id *platforms;
const char* attributeNames[5] = { "Name", "Vendor",
"Version", "Profile", "Extensions" };
const cl_platform_info attributeTypes[5] = { CL_PLATFORM_NAME, CL_PLATFORM_VENDOR,
const int attributeCount = sizeof(attributeNames) / sizeof(char*);

// get platform count
clGetPlatformIDs(5, NULL, &platformCount);

// get all platforms
platforms = (cl_platform_id*) malloc(sizeof(cl_platform_id) * platformCount);
clGetPlatformIDs(platformCount, platforms, NULL);

// for each platform print all attributes
for (i = 0; i < platformCount; i++) {

printf("n %d. Platform n", i+1);

for (j = 0; j < attributeCount; j++) {

// get platform attribute value size
clGetPlatformInfo(platforms[i], attributeTypes[j], 0, NULL, &infoSize);
info = (char*) malloc(infoSize);

// get platform attribute value
clGetPlatformInfo(platforms[i], attributeTypes[j], infoSize, info, NULL);

printf(" %d.%d %-11s: %sn", i+1, j+1, attributeNames[j], info);




return 0;


Compile and run on the Mac as follows. If you don’t have the clang, g++ or gcc commands install them. Any of those commands should work.

clang -framework OpenCL platforms.c -o platforms && ./platforms

The output produced on my Macbook Air is as follows but may differ for your system.

 1. Platform
  1.1 Name       : Apple
  1.2 Vendor     : Apple
  1.3 Version    : OpenCL 1.2 (Jun 20 2012 14:18:19)
  1.4 Profile    : FULL_PROFILE
  1.5 Extensions : cl_APPLE_SetMemObjectDestructor cl_APPLE_ContextLoggingFunctions cl_APPLE_clut cl_APPLE_query_kernel_names cl_APPLE_gl_sharing cl_khr_gl_event

The code has been tested only on my Macbook Air but should work on Windows and Linux too though the way you compile and run will differ from above slightly. If you find any issues or would like to suggest improvements to the program (given that I’m not a C programmer) then please let me know in the comments. If you would like a step by step dissected guide to the above program explaining what it’s doing let me know and if there’s enough demand I’ll do a breakdown in another post.

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