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Welcome to Open Watcom

Open Watcom is a project of the open source community to maintain and enhance the Watcom C, C++, and Fortran cross compilers and tools. An Open Source license from Sybase allows free commercial and non-commercial use of Open Watcom. More about Open Watcom's features. Details about Open Watcom's history. Work in progress includes Linux and FreeBSD ports, support for new processors, support for new language features and standards, a C++ STL implementation and more. Join the fun! osi-certified-72x60-t.png

We would also like to thank Perforce Software for providing us with a license to use their excellent source code management system, and for supporting the server that hosts the Open Watcom project.

Latest Release (June 2010)

The latest official version of Open Watcom is version 1.9. Installers for Windows, OS/2, DOS, and Linux, as well as the release source archive is available for download. Ready to print documentation in PDF format is also available. For accessing the development source code see the source section below. Review the list of release changes for information about what is new in the latest release.


  • The contributors and many users read the Open Watcom news groups regularly. They are the best place to get questions answered and to participate in the Open Watcom community. Point your news reader at the server news:// and subscribe to the groups that interest you.
    • openwatcom.users.c_cpp — Users of the Open Watcom C and C++ products
    • openwatcom.users.fortran — Users of the Open Watcom Fortran products
    • openwatcom.contributors — Developers of all Open Watcom languages, tools, and documentation
    • openwatcom.bugzilla — Automatically generated notifications about newly reported bugs and new additions to bug descriptions in the Bugzilla tracking system. Read only.
  • There is also an Open Watcom Announcements email list. This is a low volume list providing the latest news about the Open Watcom project.
  • The #watcom channel on is a place where users and contributors gather to chat about Open Watcom in real time.


The User Resources page contains (or points to) information that is useful to the Open Watcom community at large. This includes frequently asked questions (FAQ's), various types of documentation, source code links, tutorials and articles by users, and other similar things.

The Contributor Resources page contains information of interest to those working on Open Watcom itself. This includes specific projects being developed, links to reference documentation, and documents describing how the Open Watcom source tree is organized. Help is always welcome!

The User Projects page contains links to third party products that use the Open Watcom tool set for development.

Call for more contributors

As an open source effort, these tools can only evolve better and faster than they already are, through the active participation and collaboration of more talented individuals from all around the globe! There are many ways to get involved, and we encourage you to do so. Below are some entrypoints to get you familiarized with, and active in, this project.

  • Start up your newsreader and participate in the community forums, get help and give help to other users. Or communicate with other contributors about helping out with ongoing efforts, and inform yourself on how to go about starting new projects, without disrupting the work of others.
  • Go to the download page and get the tools and documentation installed on your platform.
    • Learn: Online PDF manuals for most of the tools.
    • Use: Download, install, try, learn and enjoy .
  • Learn to edit wiki pages and make new or update existing pages on this server with information that may be useful to other users and contributors.
  • Head over to the projects page and see if one of the ongoing projects may be interesting for you to participate in.
  • Learn to use the Bugzilla bugtracking system, and report well defined and easy to reproduce problems that other contributors may want to look at. Look through existing and unresolved bugs to see if there are some that you would be interested in helping to fix.
    • Learn: Bugzilla manual
    • Use: Click Bugzilla in the navigation bar on this page.
  • Have a look at the separate section on this page (below) for the source code.

Activating yourself as a contributor in a Open Source project for the first time can be a frustrating experience. You may experience rude comments, irritation and anger from other participants and users, and other types of offputting surprises. Our advice is: be aware that it will happen sometimes, and be wise to the fact that the best way to handle it is to ignore it. Try not to engage in the same practice yourself. Be polite and ignore comments that are not polite to you.


Source Code Access

We use Perforce to manage the Open Watcom source code. At this time, anonymous Perforce access is disabled. Interested contributors can request Perforce write access; steps required to obtain Perforce access and set up the Perforce client are outlined on the configure Perforce client page. For users without Perforce access, a daily source code snapshot is available. There is also a web-based front end to Perforce that makes it easy to browse the source code depot and track the latest changes.

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