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Boriel's ZX BASIC Compiler

Project description

Boriel ZX Basic

Build Status license pyversions


Copyleft (K) 2008, Jose Rodriguez-Rosa (a.k.a. Boriel)

All files in this project are covered under the GPLv3 LICENSE except those placed in directories library/ and library-asm. Those are licensed under MIT license unless otherwise specified in the files themselves (i.e. a different license). Anyway, all of the licenses for files under those directories allow binary closed-source (i.e. commercial) distribution of the files created with this compiler.

You can create closed-source programs (even commercial ones) with this compiler (a mention to this tool will be welcome, though). But you are not allowed to release the compiler itself as a closed source program.

If you modify this project (the compiler .py or anything licensed as GPLv3) in any way you MUST publish the changes you made and submit your contribution to the community under the same license.


This is a very little help file.

  • For DOCUMENTATION in English go to the ZX BASIC docs.

  • For help, support, updates meet the community at the forum.


Go to the ZXBasic download page and get the version most suitable for you.

There are, basically, two flavors (both with identical capabilities):

  • For Windows you can download de win32 executable (Windows .exe zip package) version. To install just uncompress it in a directory of your choice. The main executable is zxbc.exe (more on this later). With this toolchain also comes zxbasm.exe (the assembler) and zxbpp.exe (the preprocessor), but these are not needed when programming in BASIC.

  • For Linux and Mac OSX there is a python version, so you will need a python interpreter (available on many platforms, and usually already installed in Linux and Mac OSX). Just uncompress it in a directory of your choice and installation is done. :-) The main executables are (the compiler), (the assembler) and (the preprocessor). You can use this version in Windows, but will need to install a python interpreter first.

Eleuterio, el mono serio El Hobbit Knight & Demonds DX
An in-game screenshot of Eleuterio by @na_th_an Ingame screenshot of El Hobbit by @Wilco2000 Ingame screenshot of Knignt and Demonds DX by Einar Saukas

See more examples at the Relased Programs page.


For a quick start, just open a terminal in your PC in the same directory you uncompressed ZX Basic and type zxbc (on Windows) or (OSX, Linux). You should see a zxbasic message like this:

usage: zxbc [-h] [-d] [-O OPTIMIZE] [-o OUTPUT_FILE] [-T] [-t] [-B] [-a] [-A]
           [-S ORG] [-e STDERR] [--array-base ARRAY_BASE]
           [--string-base STRING_BASE] [-Z] [-H HEAP_SIZE]
           [--heap-adddress HEAP_ADDRESS] [--debug-memory]
           [--debug-array] [--strict-bool] [--enable-break] [-E] [--explicit]
           [-D DEFINES] [-M MEMORY_MAP] [-i] [-I INCLUDE_PATH] [--strict]
zxbc: error: the following arguments are required: PROGRAM

Create a text file with the following content:

10 CLS

Save it as hello.bas and finally compile it with:

zxbc -taB hello.bas

If everything went well, a file named hello.tap should be created. Open it with your favourite emulator (i.e. fuse) and see the result.

Congratulations! You're now ready to create compiled BASIC programs for your machine. Check and compile the examples included in the examples/ folder or go to the documentation page for further info.


These are some people who has contributed in a way or another. I consider some of them co-authors (Britlion, LCD, em00k, ...) of this project.

Also, many thanks to people supporting this project with their donations!


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