2.9. API Version Numbers and Semantics

The Vulkan version number is used in several places in the API. In each such use, the API major version number, minor version number, and patch version number are packed into a 32-bit integer as follows:

Differences in any of the Vulkan version numbers indicates a change to the API in some way, with each part of the version number indicating a different scope of changes.

A difference in patch version numbers indicates that some usually small part of the specification or header has been modified, typically to fix a bug, and may have an impact on the behavior of existing functionality. Differences in this version number should not affect either full compatibility or backwards compatibility between two versions, or add additional interfaces to the API.

A difference in minor version numbers indicates that some amount of new functionality has been added. This will usually include new interfaces in the header, and may also include behavior changes and bug fixes. Functionality may be deprecated in a minor revision, but will not be removed. When a new minor version is introduced, the patch version is reset to 0, and each minor revision maintains its own set of patch versions. Differences in this version should not affect backwards compatibility, but will affect full compatibility.

A difference in major version numbers indicates a large set of changes to the API, potentially including new functionality and header interfaces, behavioral changes, removal of deprecated features, modification or outright replacement of any feature, and is thus very likely to break any and all compatibility. Differences in this version will typically require significant modification to an application in order for it to function.