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What is VulkanRT and Vulkan Runtime Libraries | Are They Friend/Foe?

So you just checked your installation directory and a program of which you have no knowledge appeared on your computer: Vulkan RunTime, also known as VulkanRT or Vulkan RunTime Libraries. It is possible that this has worried you as this software is installed without your consent because it could be malware or a malicious program.

I encountered this a while ago, probably was installing the driver of my graphics card but in the latest updates. It appears by default selected VulkanRT installation. As I did not know if it was necessary to install it, searched over the forums and lot of people were questioning its behavior(saying it may be a virus). If you are on the same boat don’t worry everything is simple, read this article.

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To get the complex thoughts off your chest: Vulkan RT is not a virus or any type of malicious agent that will corrupt or damage your computer. So, don’t sweat it!

So, what possibly it could be and what it does?

What is VulkanRT/Vulkan Runtime Libraries?

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Vulkan is made up of a set of open source libraries that offer an API to access graphics hardware (GPU/Graphics Processing Unit) on your PC. And VulkanRT (Vulkan Run Time) which may look suspicious is nothing more than a way of naming the installation package of the libraries.

Vulkan API: Acronym Application Programming Interface. To clarify this, put it this way as it is the most useful mechanism to connect two software each other and achieve the successful exchange of messages or data in standard formats – such as XML or JSON.

Vulkan forms the new generation of libraries developed by the company Khronos to access the GPU in a more efficient way and thus improve the performance of applications. It is intended that in the future this new API will replace OpenGL and that it will be a solid alternative to DirectX. So, Vulkan RunTime is a graphical API that we must have already installed to be able to handle any video game that has been created using Vulkan. Therefore, it is most likely that this application has entered your computer if you installed a video game of this type or updating the drivers of your graphics card to a new version(VulkanRT supported).

On February 16, the first version of the Vulkan driver and the first SDK for developers were made available to the public. Big computer graphic companies in the sector already started implementing VulkanRt, including Intel, AMD, nVidia, etc. 

The video game industry will likely to be one of the most affected by the appearance of this new API, although few video games currently support it. The first video game with support for Vulkan is “The Talos Principle” and graphics engine companies such as Unreal Engine, Unity or CryENGINE have also confirmed that they will support this new API of VulkanRT.

Next: What to do with it anyway?

Sure thing we should not be scared if we see any file Vulkan.exe when updating the drivers of our graphics card since companies like AMD or Nvidia already include it in their official driver installers.

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If you want, you can remove the Vulkan RunTime from your computer. But for this, you must be completely sure that you do not have any other application or video game that requires this system to work correctly. And remember that the number of programmers who are using Vulkan RunTime is increasing because it is supposed to be elegant and saves memories and resources.

However, please do note that a malicious intended mind can take advantage of this situation and create a decoy of this API and distribute it to you. So keep a tight sight on provider’s name and version while installing something and do Google check of the name if you are little suspicious.

So for the question do you need VulkanRT or not, as you see, it depends on the activities that you are going to operate on the machine. But if it is recommended by your graphics provider that you do not eliminate it since you could save yourself having to download it later, then you should not. Besides, it does not do any harm or cause any inconvenience for other system operations and applications that are already installed.

The debate that whether a VulkanRT/Vulkan Runtime Libraries is a virus or not ends here. Hope you got what you needed here. This article may fall short of some knowledge so if you got something to share for update purposes, please do.

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