Developer tools COBOL Compiler Family COBOL for Linux on x86 IBM COBOL for Linux on x86

A productive, flexible and cost-effective development solution for building and modernizing COBOL applications for Linux on x86

Try it free

IBM COBOL for Linux® on x86 is a productive and powerful development environment for building and modernizing COBOL applications. It includes an optimizing COBOL compiler, a COBOL runtime library, and a debugger that lets you visually debug programs from your workstation. 

COBOL for Linux on x86 is also designed to support your journey to cloud. Strategically deploy business-critical applications written in COBOL to a hybrid cloud environment or best-fit platforms that include IBM Z® (IBM z/OS®), IBM Power® systems (AIX®), and x86 (Linux) platforms.

It is available standalone, or as part of IBM CICS TX to run CICS COBOL applications in Red Hat® OpenShift® environments.

Upgrade to the current version of COBOL for Linux on x86.
What's new

Updates to features for COBOL for Linux on x86

Benefits Deploy COBOL applications to cloud

This solution ships as part of IBM CICS TX and supports Docker and Kubernetes; IBM CICS TX Advanced is Red Hat OpenShift  certified.

Develop COBOL programs with CICS and Db2

Interoperates with IBM CICS TX, IBM TXSeries® for Multiplatforms and IBM Db2® Advanced Enterprise Server Edition for Linux, UNIX® and Windows™ for the Linux on x86 environment.

Improve developer productivity

Includes IBM Debug for Linux on x86 to support debugging of COBOL and CICS applications. This makes your development work more efficient.

64-bit application development capability

COBOL for Linux can now run on 64-bit Linux distros. This provides access to a larger address space for code and application data, more efficient use of memory layout, and improved performance.

Explore the 64-bit capability

Incremental builds

Incremental build support is provided through the -M compiler option. It improves developer productivity by allowing you to do iterative, incremental builds, while also ensuring that programs are built with the latest version of any copybooks that you use.

Explore the -M compiler option

Support for MongoDB as a VSAM data store

As a document database used to build highly available and scalable internet applications, MongoDB makes it easy for you to store structured or unstructured data. Support for MongoDB as a VSAM data store is provided by specifying a file system type of MONGO in COBOL applications.

Explore using MongoDB files

CICS and Db2 support

Interoperates with IBM CICS TX, IBM TXSeries for Multiplatforms and IBM Db2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows to support the development of COBOL programs to run in a CICS or Db2 environment.

Explore programming for a Db2 environment

Unicode support

Supports developing COBOL programs that work with various national languages and directly processing Unicode data.

Explore using national data (Unicode) in COBOL

Native support for XML

Allows COBOL applications to parse and generate XML documents.

Explore processing XML input

Source conversion utility

The source conversion utility (scu) is a stand-alone Linux® program that aids in migrating COBOL applications developed with non-IBM COBOL compilers to COBOL for Linux on x86.

Explore source conversion utility

Compatibility with Enterprise COBOL for z/OS and AIX

Provides compiler options and COBOL language features that are compatible with Enterprise COBOL for z/OS and AIX to allow strategic deployment of business-critical applications written in COBOL to best-fit platforms or a hybrid cloud environment. 

Porting applications between platforms and COBOL compilers

File system support

Provides comprehensive file system support to work with record-oriented files that have sequential, relative, indexed, or line-sequential organization.

Explore file systems

Generation data groups (GDGs) simulation

A generation data group (GDG) is a chronological collection of related files. This feature simulates generation data groups (GDGs) to simplify the processing of multiple versions of related data and provide better compatibility with Enterprise COBOL for z/OS.

Explore generation data groups

Communication between COBOL and C/C++

Supports inter-language communication between COBOL and C/C++. You can call functions written in C/C++ from COBOL programs and can call COBOL programs from C/C++ functions.

Calling between COBOL and C/C++ programs

An extended source format

Offers an extended source format that lets source text vary in length up to 252 bytes per line.

Try it free

Try COBOL for Linux on x86 as a standalone trial, or as part of CICS TX to run CICS COBOL applications in Red Hat OpenShift environments.

COBOL for Linux on x86 trial

Accelerate COBOL application modernization. Learn how to Build COBOL applications for Linux x86 systems, develop COBOL programs to run in a CICS or Db2 environment and Enable COBOL programs to parse and generate XML messages.

CICS TX trial

Experience the distributed CICS® runtime which can host CICS COBOL applications in a containerized Linux® environment in a stand-alone mode or work in a hybrid mode along with CICS Transaction Server.

Compare editions

Compare the features of the offerings for IBM COBOL for Linux on x86.

Editions No-charge 60-day trial

A no-charge trial for non-production use for 60 days. Try COBOL for Linux on x86 on its own or together with CICS TX.

Try it free
COBOL for Linux on x86

For on-premises deployments of COBOL applications.

Obtain from Passport Advantage
CICS TX Standard

For first cloud deployments of distributed COBOL/CICS applications. COBOL for Linux on x86 is included.

Purchase now
CICS TX Advanced

For balancing enterprise grade COBOL/CICS application investment across on-prem (z/OS) applications and cloud environments. COBOL for Linux on x86 is included.



Development and deployment

Development and deployment

Development and deployment

Charge metric

No charge

VPC with a perpetual license

VPC with a monthly license

VPC with monthly or perpetual

Target platform to deploy applications



Cloud or on-premises

Cloud or on-premises

Online transactions

Includes COBOL compiler

Aplication server

Vertical scaling/up to 5 apps

Unlimited vertical scaling


5 pods per namespace

Unlimited pods per namespace

Supports containerization

Load balancing

Technical details

Ensure that your system meets all prerequisites before installing the product.

Supported platforms

Use any of the following operating systems on compatible x86-64 servers to run COBOL for Linux on x86 1.2 and its generated object programs:

  • Red Hat® Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.5 or later (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 9.0 or later (64-bit only)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 15 SP3 or later (64-bit only)
  • Ubuntu Server (Ubuntu) 20.04 LTS or 22.04 LTS (32-bit and 64-bit)
Hardware requirements

COBOL for Linux on x86 1.2 and its generated object programs run on any x86-64 processor that is supported by your operating system distribution. There are other requirements we recommended you follow.

Software requirements

For the required programs, determine which GNU package is required to run the compiler on your operating system. To use COBOL for Linux on x86 1.2 with optional programs such as Db2®, CICS®, and MongoDB, additional products are required.

Related products IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS

Use the latest z/Architecture to maximize hardware utilization, reduce CPU usage and improve the performance of critical applications.


Maximize hardware, optimize performance and improve developer productivity with an environment built for business-critical applications on IBM Power Systems.

IBM Automatic Binary Optimizer for z/OS

Improve the performance of already-compiled COBOL program modules without recompiling, source code migration or performance tuning.


A comprehensive, single package of a transactional runtime with a COBOL compiler enabled on Red Hat OpenShift.

IBM TXSeries for Multiplatforms

Explore distributed transaction processing middleware that supports C, C++, COBOL, Java and PL/I applications in data centers.

IBM DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows

Access a Db2 database, which is optimized to deliver industry-leading performance across multiple workloads.

Next steps

Explore IBM COBOL for Linux on x86. Download through Passport Advantage or schedule a no-cost 30-minute meeting with an IBM Z representative.

Download now
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