My OpenCOBOL/GnuCOBOL Links

Arnold Trembley




This page was last updated Tuesday, December 5th, 2017.

GnuCOBOL (formerly OpenCOBOL) is a free COBOL compiler. The GnuCOBOL "cobc" program translates COBOL source code to into C code, and then uses a local or embedded C compiler to translate the intermediate C code into executable programs. This page includes free downloads of ready-to-install copies of GnuCOBOL for Windows. These versions were built with 32-bit MinGW (Minimalist Gnu for Windows).

There are three versions of 32-bit MinGW GnuCOBOL 2.2 (06SEP2017) for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. They should also run on Windows XP and Windows Vista. One is built with Berkeley Database for indexed sequential file support (ISAM), one with no ISAM support, and one with VBISAM 2.01 for ISAM support. Some users may find the Oracle Berkeley Database license too restrictive for redistribution of COBOL executable programs. All three versions may downloaded below.

For anyone who would like to build GnuCOBOL 2.2 (or other versions of GnuCOBOL/OpenCOBOL) using MinGW (Minimalist Gnu for Windows), there is a draft build guide available for download in both PDF format and LibreOffice ODT format (which can be edited with MS Word or OpenOffice Writer). 32-bit MinGW is a minimal unix-type environment for Windows that allows you to build the GnuCOBOL compiler using GCC (the Gnu Compiler Collection). The generated GnuCOBOL compiler runs in a normal Windows CMD.EXE session, similar to the old MS-DOS window, and has a version of MinGW GCC embedded in it.

There is also a link to Colin Duquesnoy's OpenCobolIDE, which is a free GUI Interactive Development Environment (IDE) for GnuCOBOL written in Python for GNU/Linux, Windows, and Mac OSX. The Windows installer includes GnuCOBOL 2.0 Release Candidate 2 in addition to the IDE. This is probably the quickest way to install a working COBOL compiler for Windows. You can also change the Preferences in "OpenCOBOLIDE" to use an alternate version of GnuCOBOL.