from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Basic data

developer Microsoft Corporation
Publishing year 1991
Current  version 1.1
operating system MS-DOS
category BASIC interpreter and development environment
License MS - EULA
German speaking Yes

QBasic is a BASIC interpreter. It is the smaller version of the QuickBASIC 4.5 development environment .

The company Microsoft , they returned in 1991 with the standard MS-DOS - the operating system from versions (of 5.0-6.22). It was also included on the Windows 9x installation CDs . QBasic replaced the outdated GW-BASIC , which was still included with MS-DOS up to DOS version 4.0.


Together with QuickBasic, Microsoft connected with the modern BASIC dialects with QBasic. These no longer required line numbers, offered the possibility of defining procedures and functions and provided improved possibilities for structured programming. The IDE, which could now also be operated with the mouse, has also been improved. Due to the limitations of and by MS-DOS and some internal limits, the programs were not allowed to exceed a size of just over 160 kB.

Differences to QuickBASIC

The big difference to QuickBASIC is that QBasic does not contain a compiler and therefore not a distributable. EXE files, but saves the file as a .BAS file. Programs can be started with the command via the command lineqbasic /run programm.bas . No third-party libraries can be integrated. The online help has also been slimmed down and QBasic is limited to four sample programs. In addition, system calls, although feasible, are more difficult.

QuickBASIC programs that do not use libraries or do not use special functions for system calls can also run under QBasic. Conversely, all programs also run under QuickBASIC and Visual Basic for MS-DOS and can be compiled there.

Sample programs

QBasic was shipped with four sample programs:

  • Gorilla : In this game, two gorillas face each other on the roofs of high-rise buildings on opposite edges of the screen. They take turns trying to hit each other with an exploding banana. The control takes place here by alternately entering the angle and speed. The wind speed must be taken into account.
  • Money : The Qbasic Money Manager manages transactions on accounts. A data record consists of the date, descriptive text and the value of the transaction. Statistics can be created and printed out.
  • Nibbles : Typical snake game. Can also be played in pairs.
  • Remline : (referred to as Entfzeil in German-language QuickBasic ) Both sample program and useful auxiliary program: The numbering of the lines that is superfluous in QBasic is removed from old GW-BASIC programs. Line numbers, e.g. B. are necessary as a jump destination are retained.

QBasic today

QBasic is designed for the MS-DOS operating system . Up to Windows 98 it is optionally included on the installation medium. Nevertheless, private websites continue to deal with the topic. This is mainly due to the fact that it is easy to learn and its widespread use in the past. There are now a lot of Basic dialects that many of the former QBasic programmers have switched to.

QBasic on Windows NT

Because of the limitations of the Virtual DOS Machine , many QBasic programs cannot be started under Windows NT operating systems or they cause problems that make operation impossible. The 64-bit versions, on the other hand, lack the Virtual DOS Machine, which is why QBasic can no longer be started with on-board tools.

The freeware project QB64, the open source project FreeBASIC or the use of a DOS emulator such as DOSBox can help .


  • Thomas Becker: QBasic, QuickBasic: Programming course for beginners . Attenkirchen 1992, ISBN 3-86033-128-0

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. QB64.org. Retrieved on August 16, 2020 .