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An open source, multi-platform object-oriented xBase database compiler that uses a C compiler as a back end to generate binaries. Although it has been forked a couple of times, Harbour is the oldest open source Clipper clone out there (if we ignore old xBase in Clipper DOS tools like nanoBase) and has by far the largest mind share of the xBase compatible toolchains, not the least because they have had a rather conservative attitude towards development and platform support.

In addition to xBase compatibility the toolkit supports connection to SQL databases.

Foreign libraries with Harbour support

  • Cairo - 2D graphics library - Open source - Current


  • Latest stable version: v.3.0.0
  • Beta version: 3.2.0 dev (2016-06-23) - Currently only supports the Watcom toolchain or GCC.


  • Open Watcom C compiler, used to compile the output of the xHarbour compiler into machine code.
  • GCC compiler, alternative tool to compile the output of the xHarbour compiler into machine code, available in versions for both the 3.x and 4x GCC Branches.
Note that using as a GCC back end rather than Watcom means that the compiled binary will rely on GCC DLL's



  • The bulk of the project is licensed under the GPL v2, the library gets a special exception to allow users to create programs that are not bound by the "viral" part of the GPL licence, it is known as The Harbour Project Library Licence.


  • Harbour Project
  • Antonio Linares (Project starter)
  • Maurilio Longo (OS/2 Port)
  • Przemyslaw Czerpak (Current Harbour maintainer and OS/2 port author)