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1 Introduction

OpenAL (short for Open Audio Library) is a library for creation of a virtual 3D world of sound. The application programmer can specify the location, the speed and the direction of the sources of sounds and of the listener. This is easily combined with a 3D world created with OpenGL and can very well be used to create games. The sounds must be provided in the form of samples; there is no support for MIDI.

An addition to this library is the OpenAL Utility Toolkit (ALUT). See also the Wikipedia article on OpenAL.

2 Installation

Download the OpenAL package from Hackage or with Darcs:

  darcs get

2.1 Windows specific actions

If you downloaded from Hackage, you might want to know, How to unpack a tar file in windows

Create a directory for include files, without spaces in the name, for example:


Define the environment variable C_INCLUDE_PATH and assign it the name of the include directory (the full path), for example, in a .bat file, before the build commands:

  Set C_INCLUDE_PATH=C:\usr\local\include

As you will need this variable more often, it is best to set it globally. Copy the directory include\AL from the package to


2.2 For all platforms

See How to install a Cabal package.

3 Tutorials

There are several tutorials for the C version of OpenAL:

4 Examples

5 Additional software

  • StateVar: This package contains state variables, which are references in the IO monad, like IORefs or parts of the OpenGL state
  • ObjectName: Explicitly handled object names. This tiny package contains the class ObjectName, which corresponds to the general notion of explicitly handled identifiers for API objects, e.g. a texture object name in OpenGL or a buffer object name in OpenAL
  • Tensor This package contains tensor data types and their instances for some basic type classes.
  • OpenGL 3D graphics software

6 More information

7 For questions