Third-party dependencies and license info

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License Info

While Panda3D itself uses the Modified BSD license, it brings together many third-party libraries released under different licenses. This page provides information on the different libraries and their licenses. Panda3D builds with some of these libraries by default, however, some of them are linked only into plug-ins that can be easily removed from the distribution.


Panda3D takes no responsibility for any act committed using the information presented here. For legal advice, it is recommended to consult a lawyer.

Building Panda3D

When building Panda3D yourself on your computer you'll notice that looks up if you have some libraries installed. On operating systems with a packaging system, like most GNU/Linux distros have, you'll most likely find all dependencies as packages in the official repositories. Otherwise you have to take care of the libraries yourself.

Here you have a list of all third party libraries Panda3D must or can be compiled against. All of them are optional, but some features of Panda3D depend on certain libraries being available; omitting certain libraries will omit the corresponding features from Panda3D.

Recommended Libraries

Panda3D is way easier and faster to code with when using Python bindings.
License: PSF license

Used for a range of compression and decompression tasks, particularly .pz files.
License: zlib license

JPEG library. Required to read and save JPEG files. As of Panda 1.10, Panda will fall back to stb_image for loading .jpg files when building without libjpeg, but this may not support all JPEG features.
License: libjpeg license

Portable Network Graphics library. Required to read and save PNG files. As of Panda 1.10, Panda will fall back to stb_image for loading .png files when building without libpng, but this may not support all PNG features.
License: libpng license

Provides some networking and encryption support. Required for HTTPClient, and for pencrypt/pdecrypt and related functionality, as well as SSL networking. License: OpenSSL license
License note:
Must include this acknowledgement with distribution:

This product includes software written by Tim Hudson (

Some governments place restrictions on cryptography.

Used to load .ogg files encoded with Vorbis encoding.
License: BSD

Font library. Required to use dynamic fonts such as TTF files. Even without this library, however, Panda can use static fonts stored in egg files, as generated by the tool egg-mkfont (however, the tool egg-mkfont itself requires Freetype).
License: FreeType License or GPL
License note: To distribute under a proprietary license, FreeType License must be chosen instead of GPLv2. Use of FreeType must be acknowledged in product documentation.

The Gimp ToolKit is used by only by the PStats server on non-Windows platforms. This is a separate utility that can easily be deleted and is only used when profiling applications.
License: GNU LGPL

OpenAL Soft The Open Audio Library is a free alternative to FMOD and supports nearly the same features, including 3D surround sound. We ship the OpenAL Soft implementation by default on Windows. It can be easily removed from the distribution.
License: LGPL

Cg Toolkit
Nvidia's Cg Toolkit is required for Panda's Cg support.
License: Proprietary
License note: Required to use the Panda3D Shader Generator, which utilizes Nvidia Cg.

Optimized linear algebra library. Optional, but improves performance of matrix operations significantly.
License: MPL2

Libsquish gives DXT support. This improves Panda's support for pre-compressed texture images such as dds files, and it allows Panda to streamline compression of textures images at load time. However, even without this library, Panda can still compress and use compressed textures, by relying on the interfaces built into your graphics driver.
License: MIT license

Tiff image format support.
License: libtiff license

OpenEXR image format support. New in 1.10. License: BSD license

DirectX (Windows only)
Windows DirectX libraries.
License: Proprietary

X libraries (Linux/FreeBSD only)
X libraries: X11 (display system), Xrandr (support for changing resolution), Xxf86dga (provides relative mouse mode), Xcursor (provides custom cursor image support).
License: MIT License

MFC (Windows only)
Windows MFC libraries. Used by the ActiveX plug-in.
License: Proprietary

Netscape plugin API (a set of interfaces to write browser plug-ins). It is only necessary to compile the Panda3D browser plug-in.


As of Panda3d 1.10.0, Panda3D can make use of the Open Asset Import (Assimp) library to read in additional 3D file formats. File formats supported by Assimp can be found here.
License: BSD license

As of Panda3D 1.10.0, Panda3D can make use of the libopusfile library to read .opus audio files. This is a higher-quality alternative to lossy formats such as .ogg and .mp3 that is not restricted by patents.
License: 3-clause BSD
Patent note: Must agree not to litigate against other Opus users.

Library for video and audio. Required to load and play video textures. As of Panda3D 1.9.0, libp3ffmpeg.dll is an optional module that can be easily removed, and is no longer required for .ogg and .wav files.
License: LGPL
License note: Must link dynamically.
Patent note: using MP3 files and other formats may require you to pay royalty fees. Please use .ogg or .opus instead.

FMOD Ex is a proprietary audio library that supports various effects and surround sound. You must have one of FMOD or OpenAL to build support for Panda's sound interfaces. (However, you can use external sound libraries such as pygame, even without these two.)
License: Proprietary
License note: Non-commercial distribution costs nothing. Commercial distribution costs between US$100 and US$6000 depending on FMOD licensing option.

Bullet Physics
Physics Library.
License: zlib license

NVIDIA physics library.
License: Proprietary.

Open Dynamics Engine (ODE)
One of the most versatile, free physics engines.
License: LGPL or Modified BSD License

OpenGL for embedded systems: GLES (, GLES2 ( and EGL ( libraries.

3ds Max SDK
Used to create exporters for Autodesk 3ds Max.
License: Proprietary.

Maya SDK
The necessary libraries are part of the Maya installation. From Maya 2016.5 onward, the headers are also part of the Maya installation; before, they were provided separately as part of a "devkit".
Used to create exporters for Maya.
License: Proprietary.

Library for rendering trees.
License: Proprietary.

C++ user interface middleware package based on the HTML and CSS standards.
License: MIT License

An alternate library that provides support for video textures and webcam, similar to FFMPEG. This is only really useful on macOS, where this is the only way to get support for webcam input.
License: BSD license

FCollada is an open-source C++ library which offers support for COLLADA interoperability, used for dae2egg and for loading dae files directly into Panda.
License: MIT license

Fast Fourier Transforms library for lossy animation compression in bam files. Compressed animation files may be as small as 10% of the uncompressed animation, but this is only an on-disk and/or download savings.
Use of fftw in Panda is deprecated. We do not recommend using it in new projects and we recommend converting existing compressed animations to lossless format.
License: GPL2 or Proprietary
License note: To distribute under a proprietary license, GPL must not be used, and FFTW proprietary license must be purchased.

A library for augmented reality. It makes possible detecting 3D planes in live webcam video streams and applying 3D geometry to those, for integrating 3D graphics with a live video feed.
License: GPL or Proprietary
License note: To distribute under a proprietary license, GPL must not be used, and ARToolKit proprietary license must be purchased.

Virtual-Reality Peripheral Network, for using a range of different types of trackers and controllers with Panda3D.
License: as of July 22, 2010, future versions of VRPN (versions 7.27 and higher) are being released under the Boost Software License 1.0
Prior version licensed under Public domain

Windowless port of Chromium/WebKit. Can be used to render HTML pages.
License: Proprietary

Build Tools (for compilation only)

General-purpose parser generator.

The Fast Lexical Analyzer.

Patent Restriction Issues


MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (MP3), while commonly used and since 2017 with expired patent and licensing, is recommended against. More modern and better suited audio encodings have been developed and should be used instead.


Other MPEG related formats are restricted by patents as well. Finding the prices of licenses for these formats is not even as easy as it was with MP3. More info here.

Recommended Alternatives

Free alternatives exist and are highly encouraged. These formats include Ogg Vorbis (lossy), Opus (lossy) and Ogg FLAC (lossless) for audio, and Ogg Theora for video.

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