GnuCOBOL/OpenCOBOL Downloads, Binaries, and Links

Arnold Trembley

This page was last updated Tuesday, March 19th, 2024.

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 3.1.2 (23Dec2020) for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8/8.1, and Windows 10. One is built with Oracle 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 be downloaded below.

For anyone who would like to build GnuCOBOL 3.1.2 (or other versions of GnuCOBOL/OpenCOBOL) using MinGW (Minimalist Gnu for Windows), there are build guides available for download in both PDF format and LibreOffice DOCX 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 shell, similar to the old MS-DOS window. GnuCOBOL uses an embedded version of MinGW GCC to compile intermediate C code into executable code.

As of 13JAN2018 I have added a manual (revised 31MAY2018) on Using MinGW GnuCOBOL, including how to install GnuCOBOL (and OCIDE), how to compile programs, and how to prepare GnuCOBOL applications to be installed on a target Windows PC without installing the compiler.

There is also a link to Colin Duquesnoy's OpenCobolIDE, which is a free, open source 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, even the 64-bit MinGW GnuCOBOL or an MS Visual Studio build.