Vulkan® Memory Allocator

The industry-leading, open source, memory allocation library for the Vulkan API.

The Vulkan® Memory Allocator (VMA) library provides a simple and easy to integrate API to help you allocate memory for Vulkan® buffer and image storage.

Download the latest version - v3.0.0

*We recommend using the code from the master branch.

This release adds the following features:

  • Added new API for selecting preferred memory type
  • Added new defragmentation API and algorithm, replacing the old one.
  • Redesigned API for statistics, replacing the old one.
  • Added “Virtual allocator” feature – possibility to use core allocation algorithms for allocation of custom memory, not necessarily Vulkan device memory.
  • VmaAllocation now keeps both void* pUserData and char* pName . Added function vmaSetAllocationName and member VmaAllocationInfo::pName .
  • Clarified and cleaned up various ways of importing Vulkan functions. Added members VmaVulkanFunctions::vkGetInstanceProcAddr , and vkGetDeviceProcAddr , which are now required when using VMA_DYNAMIC_VULKAN_FUNCTIONS .


The library is battle-ready, and integrated into the majority of Vulkan® game titles on PC, as well as the Google Filament rendering engine, the official Khronos® Group Vulkan® Samples, and many other open source projects for Android™, Linux, MacOS, and Windows®.

This library can help game developers to manage memory allocations and resource creation by offering some higher-level functions:

  1. Functions that help to choose correct and optimal memory type based on intended usage of the memory.
    • Required or preferred traits of the memory are expressed using higher-level description comparing to Vulkan flags.
  2. Functions that allocate memory blocks, reserve and return parts of them (VkDeviceMemory + offset + size) to the user.
    • Library keeps track of allocated memory blocks, used and unused ranges inside them, finds best matching unused ranges for new allocations, respects all the rules of alignment and buffer/image granularity.
  3. Functions that can create an image/buffer, allocate memory for it and bind them together – all in one call.

Additional features

Version history

  • New, more powerful defragmentation:
    • Added structure VmaDefragmentationInfo2, functions vmaDefragmentationBeginvmaDefragmentationEnd.
    • Added support for defragmentation of GPU memory.
    • Defragmentation of CPU memory now uses memmove, so it can move data to overlapping regions.
    • Defragmentation of CPU memory is now available for memory types that are HOST_VISIBLE but not HOST_COHERENT.
    • Added structure member VmaVulkanFunctions::vkCmdCopyBuffer.
    • Major internal changes in defragmentation algorithm.
    • VmaReplay: added parameters: --DefragmentAfterLine--DefragmentationFlags.
    • Old interface (structure VmaDefragmentationInfo, function vmaDefragment) is now deprecated.
  • Added buddy algorithm, available for custom pools – flag VMA_POOL_CREATE_BUDDY_ALGORITHM_BIT.
  • Added convenience functions for multiple allocations and deallocations at once, intended for sparse binding resources – functions vmaAllocateMemoryPagesvmaFreeMemoryPages.
  • Added function that tries to resize existing allocation in place: vmaResizeAllocation.
  • Added linear allocation algorithm, accessible for custom pools, that can be used as free-at-once, stack, double stack, or ring buffer. See “Linear allocation algorithm” documentation chapter.
  • Added feature to record sequence of calls to the library to a file and replay it using dedicated application. See documentation chapter “Record and replay”.
    • Recording: added VmaAllocatorCreateInfo::pRecordSettings.
    • Replaying: added VmaReplay project.
    • Recording file format: added document “docs/Recording file”.
  • Improved support for non-coherent memory.
    • Added functions: vmaFlushAllocationvmaInvalidateAllocation.
    • nonCoherentAtomSize is now respected automatically.
    • Added VmaVulkanFunctions::vkFlushMappedMemoryRangesvkInvalidateMappedMemoryRanges.
  • Improved debug features related to detecting incorrect mapped memory usage. See documentation chapter “Debugging incorrect memory usage”.
    • Added debug macro VMA_DEBUG_DETECT_CORRUPTION, functions vmaCheckCorruptionvmaCheckPoolCorruption.
    • Added debug macro VMA_DEBUG_INITIALIZE_ALLOCATIONS to initialize contents of allocations with a bit pattern.
    • Changed behavior of VMA_DEBUG_MARGIN macro – it now adds margin also before first and after last allocation in a block.
  • Changed format of JSON dump returned by vmaBuildStatsString (not backward compatible!).
    • Custom pools and memory blocks now have IDs that don’t change after sorting.
    • Added properties: “CreationFrameIndex”, “LastUseFrameIndex”, “Usage”.
    • Changed VmaDumpVis tool to use these new properties for better coloring.
    • Changed behavior of vmaGetAllocationInfo and vmaTouchAllocation to update allocation.lastUseFrameIndex even if allocation cannot become lost.
  • Introduction of VmaAllocation handle that you must retrieve from allocation functions and pass to deallocation functions next to normal VkBuffer and VkImage.
  • Introduction of VmaAllocationInfo structure that you can retrieve from VmaAllocation handle to access parameters of the allocation (like VkDeviceMemory and offset) instead of retrieving them directly from allocation functions.
  • Support for reference-counted mapping and persistently mapped allocations – see vmaMapMemoryVMA_ALLOCATION_CREATE_MAPPED_BIT.
  • Support for custom memory pools – see VmaPool handle, VmaPoolCreateInfo structure, vmaCreatePool function.
  • Support for defragmentation (compaction) of allocations – see function vmaDefragment and related structures.
  • Support for “lost allocations” – see appropriate chapter on documentation Main Page.
  • Initial release.

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