RETRO is a clean, elegant, and pragmatic dialect of Forth. It provides a simple alternative for those willing to make a break from legacy systems.

The language draws influences from many sources including traditional Forth systems, cmForth, colorForth, Factor, and Parable. It was designed to be easy to grasp and adapt to specific uses.

The basic language is very portable. It runs on a tiny virtual machine (Nga), which is written in C.

Throughout most of its history, RETRO has had the ability to be used as an operating system. This was lost in the 10th and 11th generations. I'm happy to announce that this is no longer the case.

The current RETRO/Native is still very minimal, but work is slowly progressing.




RETRO currently assumes it has full access to the physical hard disk. Saving data will result in loss of existing data, destruction of the partition table, or worse. Proceed with caution before using the editor or words in the ata: namespace.


I am working on improving and adding additional drivers and porting the block editor.

Potential future targets: 64-bit x86, UEFI, ARM, and PIC32.


The source snapshot is updated daily. I also provide a prebuilt vm+image (or a dvorak version) that can be loaded with GRUB or via QEMU.