File Name
GNU Cobol

GNU Cobol is a free COBOL compiler, which translates COBOL
programs to C code and compiles it using a native C compiler.

Although many have participated, most development thanks go to

Roger While
Keisuke Nishida

This kit is the first official GNU Cobol 1.1 FTP upload.

This package contains the following subdirectories:

cobc COBOL compiler
libcob COBOL run-time library
bin COBOL driver program
lib Helper routines for missing OS functionality
config Configuration files
po International messages
texi Texinfo files
tests Test suite
extras useful COBOL programs

All programs except those in lib and libcob are distributed under
the GNU General Public License. See COPYING for details.

Programs in lib and libcob are distributed under the GNU Lesser
General Public License. See COPYING.LIB for details.

See AUTHORS for the author of each file.


For all the following packages (required or optional),
BOTH runtime AND development components are necessary.
All the following packages are normally part of a Linux
distribution. Cygwin also has these as installable packages
ALWAYS install the distro packages when available !!

GNU Cobol requires the following external libraries to be installed:

o GNU MP (libgmp) 4.1.2 or later

BOTH runtime AND development components required.

libgmp is used to implement decimal arithmetic.

GNU MP is distributed under GNU Lesser General Public License.

o GNU Libtool (libltdl)

NOTE - libltdl is NOT needed when installing on Linux
or Windows (including Cygwin and MingW).

libltdl is used to implement dynamic CALL statements.

GNU Libtool is distributed under GNU Lesser General Public License.


The following libraries ARE required WHEN :

1) Indexed-Sequential file I/O is used

o Berkeley DB (libdb) 1.85 or later

BOTH runtime AND development components required.

Recommended is version 4.x as 1.85 is known to have problems.

* NOTE *

The following NOTE(S) ONLY apply to DB <= 4.1

* NOTE *
The BDB version 4.0 was never officially supported from
sleepycat but, unfortunately, found it's way into Linux
releases. Install a newer version.

* NOTE *
If you are generating BDB yourself and the BDB
version is <= 4 (and version < 1), you need to specify
--enable-compat185 as a minimum to the BDB configure.
BDB does NOT have the usual install path of either
/usr or /usr/local. Therefore, it is recommended to
specify --prefix=/usr/local to the configure.

libdb is used to implement indexed file I/O and SORT/MERGE.

Berkeley DB is distributed under the original BSD License (1.85)
or their own license (2.x or later). Note that, as
of 2.x, if you linked your software with Berkeley DB, you must
distribute the source code of your software along with your
software, or you have to pay royalty to Oracle.

2) SCREEN I/O is used or extended ACCEPT/DISPLAY is used

BOTH runtime AND development components required.

o Ncurses (ncurses) 5.2 or later

libncurses is used to implement SCREEN SECTION and extended

Ncurses is distributed under a BSD style license.

o Unix curses

o PDCurses (pdcurses) for MinGW ports



Due to deficiencies in the tools used to prepare
GNU Cobol (autoconf/automake/libtool), it is
NOT generally possible to use path names with
spaces embedded within them (Mainly Cygwin/MingW/Windows ports).

To generate/install GNU Cobol :



Here you may run
make check
to run a series of GNU Cobol test programs (must do!)
This MUST succeed - If not, please report.

make install

** NOTE **
On Linux systems, if you are installing for the
-first- time, you may need to run "ldconfig" (as root).
In fact, it does not hurt if you always do this.

** NOTE **
On some Red Hat (Fedora) installations and
possibly other Linux distros, /usr/local/lib
is NOT automatically searched at runtime.
Edit /etc/ (or the equivalent file) and add
/usr/local/lib to the file.
Rerun "ldconfig".

You may optionally perform a series of COBOL85 tests.
See tests/cobol85/README
It is recommended that you perform this test.


If you think you have a problem or just want to
record the make output, just redirect the output thus :
make 1>mymake.log 2>&1
make install 1>myinstall.log 2>&1


You can get back to a clean installation status by running :
make distclean


The "make install" will default to "/usr/local" as
the install path. You may override this by specifying
"--prefix=<your install path>" to the "./configure"



The following is only interesting for advanced use.
A normal user should not have recourse to use these

There are the following configure options:

--with-cc=<cc> Specify C compiler command used by cobc
Do not specify this unless you know what
you are doing!

--with-db1 Use Berkeley DB 1.85 (libdb1/libdb-1.85)
This overrides --with-db/--without-db

--with-db Use Berkeley DB 3.0 or later (libdb)
This is the default

--without-db Do not use Berkeley DB / any other ISAM handler
You will not be able to use SORT/indexed I/O

--with-dl Use the system dynamic linker instead of ltdl
This is the default
(Note on Windows, native loading is used)

--without-dl Use ltdl for dynamic program loading

--with-patch-level=<n> Set internal patch level to n (default 0)

--with-varseq=<n> Define the format for variable length sequential

For values of 0, 1 and 2, four bytes are
written preceding each record. The format of
these four bytes for values of 0, 1, 2 is
as follows :
n = 0 (default)
The first 2 bytes are the record length
in big-endian order. This is compatible
with mainframe. Bytes 3 and 4 are set
to binary 0.
n = 1
The 4 bytes are the record length in
big-endian order.
n = 2
The 4 bytes are the record length in
native machine order (int).
(This was previously the default)

For the value of 3, two bytes are written
preceding each record :
n = 3
The first 2 bytes are the record length
in big-endian order. The record follows
immediately after beginning at byte 3.

--enable-debug Add '-g' debug option to make



If you wish to hack the GNU Cobol source code, proceed
as follows.

You need to install the following extra packages with specified
minimum version before changing/building GNU Cobol:

For compiling :
o Bison 1.875
o Flex 2.5.4

If you reconfigure and/or prepare a distribution
o Autoconf 2.59
o Automake 1.9.6
o Libtool 1.5.24
o m4 1.4.2
o Gettext 0.14.1
o Texinfo 4.6 (For makeinfo)

If you modify top-level, in any directory,
or any of the standard OC tests then you will need to
run "autoreconf -I m4" to regenerate the necessary files.