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GnuCOBOL (formerly OpenCOBOL)

A free COBOL compiler

4.9 Stars (31)
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GnuCOBOL (formerly OpenCOBOL) is a free COBOL compiler. cobc translates COBOL source to executable using intermediate C, designated C compiler and linker.

OpenCOBOL 1.1 became GNU Cobol 1.1 in 2013. Official releases at

GnuCOBOL 2.0 is on its way to pre-release. All versions, old and new, hosted here.

A programmer's guide, by Gary Cutler, and other documentation is indexed at

OpenCOBOL was written by Keisuke Nishida and Roger While, from 2001 to 2012.
GnuCOBOL is also authored by Simon Sobisch, Sergey Kashyrin, and Ron Norman.
Others listed in AUTHORS.

Copyright 2001-2015 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the FSF; either version 3, or (at your option) any later version.

The libcob run time support source tree is licensed LGPL.

Archival website:

GnuCOBOL (formerly OpenCOBOL) Web Site


  • A nicely complete implementation of COBOL with nearly seamless C integration
  • Over 9700 NIST COBOL 85 test suite tests passed, over 500 internal checks
  • Direct access to almost all C libraries, and even more with the C++ base
  • Compiler built with GNU Autotools, also successfully builds with LLVM clang
  • CGI capable and desktop ready, GTK+ screens have been demonstrated
  • Code integrating Ada, Guile, Lua, Rexx, Javascript, Python, and others, published
  • EXEC SQL preprocessors available for PostgreSQL, Firebird, ODBC, DB2
  • ASCII, EBCDIC, little endian, big endian. A build published for z/OS OMVS/USS
  • Compiler messages translated; english, spanish, japanese, more to come
  • Almost full support of the COBOL 2014 Compiler Directing Facility feature set


User Ratings

ease 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
features 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
design 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
support 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
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User Reviews

  • madterps
    1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    This GNU Cobol is an exercise in frustration for the Windows user that don't like to use Linux. You either have to use CYGWin and then it will give you an error message when you try to compile something as easy as Hello World. This is utterly ridiculous in the ease of the software.

    Posted 09/12/2015
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Additional Project Details


English, Japanese, Spanish

Intended Audience


User Interface

Web-based, Console/Terminal, Command-line, GTK+, Tk

Programming Language



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