1.2 About the compiler

Free Pascal is a 32- and 64-bit Pascal compiler. The current version (2.6) can compile code for the following processors:

The compiler and Run-Time Library are available for the following operating systems:

The complete list is at all times available on the Free Pascal website.

Free Pascal is designed to be, as much as possible, source compatible with Turbo Pascal 7.0 and Delphi 7 (although this goal is not yet attained), but it also enhances these languages with elements like operator overloading. And, unlike these ancestors, it supports multiple platforms.

It also differs from them in the sense that you cannot use compiled units from one system for the other, i.e. you cannot use TP compiled units.

Also, there is a text version of an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) available for Free Pascal. Users that prefer a graphical IDE can have a look at the Lazarus1 or MSEIDE2 projects.

Free Pascal consists of several parts :

  1. The compiler program itself.
  2. The Run-Time Library (RTL).
  3. The packages. This is a collection of many utility units, ranging from the whole Windows 32 API, through native ZIP/BZIP file handling to the whole GTK-2 interface.
  4. The Free Component Library. This is a set of class-based utility units which give a database framework, image support, web support, XML support and many many more.
  5. Utility programs and units.

Of these you only need the first two, in order to be able to use the compiler. In this document, we describe the use of the compiler and utilities. The Pascal Language is described in the Reference Guide, and the available routines (units) are described in the RTL and FCL Unit reference guides.

1Lazarus homepage at http://http://www.lazarus.freepascal.org/

2MSEIDE+MSEGUI homepage at http://www.msegui.org/