Arnold Trembley

This page was last updated Tuesday, September 12th, 2017, for new GnuCOBOL 2.2 download files, build guides, new reference manual link, and to remove obsolete GnuCOBOL 2.0 Release Candidate 1 builds.

For the last couple of years I have been working with GnuCOBOL (formerly OpenCOBOL), which appears to be the free COBOL compiler for Windows that I have been waiting for. There will be links below for multiple versions of OpenCOBOL/GnuCOBOL, from 2009 through 2016.

Gary Cutler's OpenCOBOL 1.1 (06FEB2009) is available for download below as a packaged installer for Windows XP/Vista/7/8.

Some time ago I built the GnuCOBOL 1.1 compiler (20JAN2014) using source code available from the GnuCOBOL/OpenCOBOL project on The compiler has been tested with the GnuCOBOL version of the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) COBOL85 test suite and passes 9,011 out of 9,129 test cases. Please see the link below for a Windows installer for GnuCOBOL 1.1.

There are three versions of MinGW GnuCOBOL 2.0 Release Candidate 2 (06NOV2016) for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. One is built with Berkeley Database for indexed sequential file support (ISAM), one with no ISAM support, and with VBISAM 2.0 for ISAM support. Some people may find the Berkeley Database Oracle license too restrictive for redistribution of COBOL executable programs. All three versions may downloaded below. The newest versions are compressed into smaller download files.

For anyone who would like to build the GnuCOBOL 2.0 Release Candidate 2 compiler using MinGW (Minimalist Gnu for Windows), there is a draft build guide in both PDF format and LibreOffice ODT format (which can be edited with MS Word or OpenOffice Writer). MinGW is a minimal unix-type environment for building the GnuCOBOL compiler using GCC (the Gnu Compiler Collection). The generated GnuCOBOL 2.0 compiler runs in a normal CMD.EXE window, and has a version of GCC embedded in it. The Compiler translates COBOL source code in C, which is then compiled using GCC.

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 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.