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Glulx is a virtual machine designed by Andrew Plotkin which by default uses the Glk Application Programming Interface (API). The Inform language can compile bytecode for Glulx. It imposes far fewer limitations on game size than the Z-machine and offers the I/O features of Glk, allowing Inform programmers to write larger games with more complicated user interfaces, without having to learn another programming language.

Version History

  • 3.1.2: Added support for floating point arithmetic.
  • 3.1.1: Added support for function acceleration.
  • 3.1.0: Added support for block operations and heap memory allocation. Games using Inform 7's "indexed text" or "list" functionality require an interpreter that supports 3.1.0.
  • 3.0.0: Added Unicode support.
  • 2.0.0: Added modular I/O system system. The default I/O system is no longer Glk, which makes this an incompatible change.
  • 1.0.0: Previous versions were all called "1.0.0"

How to play Glulx games

Glulx games can be played with a variety of interpreters. See the FAQ entry for links to the latest version of recommended interpreters for your platform.


Name Author Glulx version Release version/date Packaged in Language Notes
Glulxe Andrew Plotkin 3.1.2 0.5.4, 23 January 2017 Gargoyle, Spatterlight, Zoom, Thunderword C The reference implementation
Filfre Jimmy Maher 3.1.1 0.988, 8 April 2010 C++
FyreVM Jesse McGrew ? 25 September 2009 C# (.NET/Mono) Uses Channel IO rather than Glk
Git Iain Merrick 3.1.2 1.3.5, 30 November 2016 Gargoyle, Zoom, Thunderword C
Quixe Andrew Plotkin 3.1.2 1.0.2, 18 August 2010 Javascript
Zag Jon Zeppieri and David Turner 3.1.2 1.07, 1 June 2012 Java
ZMPP Wei-ju Wu ? 1.5-preview, 3 August 2008 Java
Unique Own ? Incant, AndroidIF Java

Status of Interpreters

This table is up to date as of July 2009, at which time the most recent Glulxe was 0.4.4, the most recent Glulx VM was 3.1.1, and the most recent Glk was 0.7.0. It includes interpreters for major platforms only.

InterpreterSpatterlightZoom1ZagWindows GlulxeGitGargoyle2FilfreFyreVMQuixeiphonefrotzThunderword
PlatformsMac OS XMac OS X, UnixJavaWindowsWindows, UnixWindows, UnixWindows.NET/SilverlightWebiOSAndroid
AuthorTor AnderssonAndrew HunterJon ZeppieriDavid KinderIain MerrickTor AnderssonJimmy MaherTextfyreAndrew PlotkinCraig SmithStephen Gutknecht
Version0. /
Latest Release6/086/093/0503/094/0912/0807/083/0929/7/1021/8/143/11/17
Glulxe version0.
Glulx VM version3.
Glk??CocoaGlk 1.0.7ZingWindows Glk 1.36Windows Glk 1.46GarGlk??noneGlkOte??RemGlk
Glk Standard0. ??0.7.0??n/a0.

1 Zoom users can choose either standard Glulxe or the faster Git to interpret Glulx games.

2 Gargoyle can use either Git or Glulxe to play games..

3 Thunderword users can choose either standard Glulxe or the faster Git version 1.3.5 to interpret Glulx games.

Compilers targeting Glulx

See also