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The QB64 logo
DeveloperRob Galleon, QB64Team
First appeared2007; 12 years ago (2007)
Stable release
1.3 / April 8, 2019; 7 months ago (2019-04-08)
OSMicrosoft Windows, Linux, macOS
Influenced by

QB64 (originally QB32)[1] is a self-hosting BASIC compiler for Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, designed to be compatible with Microsoft QBasic and QuickBASIC. QB64 is a C++ emitter, which is integrated with a C++ compiler to provide compilation via C++ code and GCC optimization.[2]

QB64 implements most QBasic statements, and can run many QBasic programs, including Microsoft's QBasic Gorillas and Nibbles games.[3] Furthermore, QB64 has been designed to contain an IDE resembling the QBASIC IDE. QB64 also extends the QBASIC programming language to include 64-bit data types, as well as better sound and graphics support. It can also emulate some DOS/x86 specific features such as INT 33h mouse access, and multiple timers.


QB64 was originally compiled with QuickBASIC 4.5. After significant development, Rob Galleon, the developer, became hindered by QuickBASIC's memory limitations and switched to Microsoft Basic PDS 7.1, which solved these problems for a short time. After version 0.63, QB64 was able to compile itself so the conventional memory limitations no longer applied.


QB64's syntax is designed to be completely backwards compatible with QuickBASIC. Line numbers are not required, and statements are terminated by newlines or separated by colons (:).

An example "Hello, World!" program is:

PRINT "Hello, World!"

An example of QB64's emulation of VGA memory for compatibility:

S$ = "Hello, World!"
DEF SEG = &HB800 'sets the segment to video memory
FOR I = 1 TO LEN(S$)
    POKE 160 + (I - 1) * 2, ASC(MID$(S$, I, 1))'character
DEF SEG 'reset the segment to default

An example of how QB64 allows audio files:

sound_effect& = _SNDOPEN("sound.wav") 'WAV, OGG or MP3
_SNDPLAY sound_effect&

An example of how QB64 allows picture files:

SCREEN _NEWIMAGE(800, 600, 32) 'creates a 32-bit screen
imagename& = _LOADIMAGE("image__name.png") 'BMP, JPG, PNG, etc.
_PUTIMAGE (0, 0), imagename&
_FREEIMAGE imagename& 'release assigned memory

An example of how QB64 uses multiple timers:

ON TIMER(t1, 1) GOSUB Timer.Trap 'the code following the Timer.Trap label will be run every 1 second

ON TIMER(t2, .5) mySub 'QB64 can also trigger a SUB procedure with TIMER;
'                       in this case mySUB will be triggered every 500 milliseconds

'activate timers:

DO 'go into an infinite loop until the window is closed
    _LIMIT 1 'run the main loop at 1 cycle per second, to show how timers are independent from main program flow

PRINT "1s; ";

SUB mySub
    PRINT "500ms; ";

Extensions to QBASIC[edit]

QB64's extended commands begin with an underscore in order to avoid conflicts with any names that may be used in a QuickBASIC program. QB64 extends the QuickBASIC language in several ways. It adds the new data types including _BIT, _BYTE, _INTEGER64 and _FLOAT as well as unsigned data types. The new data types have suffixes just like the traditional BASIC data types. QB64 also includes an audio library which allows playing most common audio formats including MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and WAV files as well as libraries allowing users to use higher resolution graphics than the 640×480 offered by QuickBASIC,[4] use different fonts, and plot images in BMP, PNG, and JPEG format. It also allows the use of 32-bit colors as opposed to the limited 256 (or 16, depending) colors originally offered. The programmer also does not have to specify which programming libraries to include since QB64 does it automatically. The programmer has the option to include a library of their own through the $INCLUDE command just as QuickBASIC did.


As of version 0.954, the SDL version of QB64 has been discontinued. The current (and future) versions of QB64 integrate FreeGLUT for its graphics and text.

A development branch of the repository hosted on GitHub is frequently updated with fixes and improvements, which will eventually become the next stable release. The development builds are also offered via the official website for users to beta test.

QB64 can also use DLL libraries for Windows, C++ and SDL functions and statements with a DECLARE LIBRARY block. Users can also access C header files to run C functions.


  1. ^ Stephane Richard (2007-11-16). "In The News". PCOPY! Issue #50. Basic Programming. Archived from the original on 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
  2. ^ E.K.Virtanen (2008-05-26). "Interview With Galleon". PCOPY! Issue #70. Basic Programming. Archived from the original on 2008-08-21. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  3. ^ "QB64 Screenshots - QB64/QBASIC Gorillas in QB64". Retrieved 2010-07-27.
  4. ^ "QB Advisor: Screen Modes 11, 12, and 13". Microsoft Corporation. 1988. Retrieved 2008-07-25.

External links[edit]