A tool lets allows development of TurboBASIC XL programs for the Atari 8-bit computer using Linux


This PHP and Makefile script combine to allow you to create Atari BASIC or TubroBASIC XL programs on a modern system, using an ASCII text editor (like Vim, Emacs, Kate, etc.) or IDE, and produce a program you can run on a real Atari.

It works by converting the ASCII text into ATASCII (via the PHP script), then producing a bootable Atari disk image (.atr) that contains TubroBASIC XL (via the Makefile), which it boots into (utilizing MyDOS's ".AR0", a la Atari DOS's "AUTORUN.SYS").

When booted, TurboBASIC XL's support for an "AUTORUN.BAS" is taken advantage of. A small program is executed, that uses BASIC's "ENTER" command to read in the ATASCII listing, thus replacing itself. It then invokes a "RUN" command to launch your program. This can be done right on Linux using an emulator like 'atari800'.

See Also

I haven't tried it, but on 2015-05-17, Daniel Serpell ("dmsc" on AtariAge forums) announced his "tbxl-parser" tool, which is written in C, and can actually produced tokenized TurboBASCI&nsbp;XL files ("SAVE"-ed ".tbs" files).


  1. Edit 'program.txt'
  2. Issue "make run"
  3. Enjoy your program!




Optional (but recommended)

Packaged with