A free, cross-platform emulator for the GW-BASIC family of interpreters.
PC-BASIC is a free, cross-platform interpreter for GW-BASIC, Advanced BASIC (BASICA), PCjr Cartridge Basic and Tandy 1000 GWBASIC. It interprets these BASIC dialects with a high degree of accuracy, aiming for bug-for-bug compatibility. PC-BASIC emulates the most common video and audio hardware on which these BASICs used to run. PC-BASIC runs plain-text, tokenised and protected .BAS files. It implements floating-point arithmetic in the Microsoft Binary Format (MBF) and can therefore read and write binary data files created by GW-BASIC.
PC-BASIC is free and open source software released under the GPL version 3.
See also the PC-BASIC home page.
Quick Start Guide
This quick start guide covers installation and elementary use of PC-BASIC. For more information, please refer to the PC-BASIC documentation.
If you find bugs, please open an issue on GitHub. It would be most helpful if you could include a short bit of BASIC code that triggers the bug.
PC-BASIC desktop installers for Windows, Mac, and Linux can be downloaded from GitHub.
Python users can obtain the PC-BASIC package from PyPI through
pip install pcbasic.
BASIC survival kit
PC-BASIC has a 1980s-style interface operated by executing typed commands. There is no menu, nor are there any of the visual clues that we've come to expect of modern software.
A few essential commands to help you get around:
||loads the program file named
||displays the BASIC code of the current program|
||starts the current program|
||saves the current program to a text file named
||immediately deletes the current program from memory|
||exits PC-BASIC immediately, discarding any unsaved program|
Use one of the key combinations
to interrupt a running program.
If started through the start-menu shortcut, PC-BASIC looks for programs in the shortcut's start-in folder.
- On Windows, this is your
Documentsfolder by default.
- On Mac and Linux this is your home directory
If started from the command prompt, PC-BASIC looks for programs in the current working directory.
See the documentation on accessing your drives for more information.