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.
GnuCOBOL 2.2 is the latest, version 3.0 is on its way.

A programmer's guide, by Gary Cutler and Vincent Coen, is indexed at together with more documentation.

OpenCOBOL was written by Keisuke Nishida and Roger While, from 2001 to 2012.
GnuCOBOL is also authored by Simon Sobisch, Ron Norman, Edward Hart, Sergey Kashyrin, Dave Pitts and Brian Tiffin. Others listed in the AUTHORS and THANKS files.

Copyright 2001-2018 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.


  • A nicely complete implementation of COBOL with nearly seamless C integration
  • Over 9740 NIST COBOL 85 test suite tests passed, over 880 internal checks
  • Dialect support for COBOL85, X/Open, COBOL2002, COBOL2014, MicroFocus, IBM, MVS, ACUCOBOL-GT, RM/COBOL, BS2000
  • Almost full support of the COBOL 2014 Compiler Directing Facility feature set
  • EXEC SQL preprocessors available for PostgreSQL, Firebird, ODBC, DB2
  • ASCII, EBCDIC, little endian, big endian. A build published for z/OS OMVS/USS
  • Compiler built with GNU Autotools and GCC, also successfully builds with LLVM clang, VisualStudio or others
  • Direct access to almost all C libraries, and even more with the C++ base
  • Multiple screen libraries available including Java (AWT/SWING) and GTK+ based
  • Code integrating Ada, Guile, Lua, Rexx, Javascript, Python, and others, published
  • CGI capable and desktop ready
  • Compiler and runtime messages translated; English, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Dutch, German, French, more to come

Project Samples

Project Activity

See All Activity >

Follow GnuCOBOL (formerly OpenCOBOL)

GnuCOBOL (formerly OpenCOBOL) Web Site

Other Useful Business Software

Identify and respond to threats before damage is done Identify and respond to threats before damage is done Icon
Identify and respond to threats before damage is done Icon

A SIEM that makes it easy to use logs for security, compliance, and troubleshooting.

SolarWinds® Log & Event Manager (LEM) delivers comprehensive Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) capabilities in a highly affordable, easy-to-use, and quick-to-deploy virtual appliance. LEM provides the visibility, security, and control that IT professionals need to alert on and respond to security threats, and assist in meeting the regulatory compliance guidelines of HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOX, and more. Try it FREE for 30 days!

Rate This Project

Login To Rate This Project

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

User Reviews

  • Really cool code. Now if I can find someone who's using this compiler and needs a programmer to write some code.

  • This is an excellent product. I just finished using GnuCOBOL in an undergraduate course about business systems. The students completed twelve modest programs in COBOL over the semester. I had no problems with the compiler or the execution. I did round up one or two issues, which I'll file later as bugs/requests but, in general, it worked flawlessly. These issues came about from very poorly formed programs and the compiler not recovering. There was no instance where a proper program failed to compile and execute. The only sad thing is now I will likely shut down the VMS system I was using for a COBOL compiler. One less place for people to go learn VMS. :-D Thanks for a great effort.

  • GNU Cobol does everything I need to do and the community is very helpful.

  • 6 month ago I started learning COBOL via GNUcobol being tired of those languages which use curled brackets. I installed in on SUSE, UBUNTU and MINT and it ran !!! Opencobilide and garys manual are very helpful to make non-frustrating experieces. The help-forum is superfast and they dont blame you asking beginners questions. If you have to do really dataprocessing (which means not writings apps for Iphones) GNUcobol is the compiler for professional DP. MF wrap up yourself warmly.

    2 users found this review helpful.
  • Used for a COBOL training program. VSAM files worked very well. Great job, thank you !

    1 user found this review helpful.
Read more reviews >

Additional Project Details


English, Japanese, Spanish

Intended Audience


User Interface

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

Programming Language


Database Environment

Berkeley/Sleepycat/Gdbm (DBM), Other file-based DBMS