Keywords: Software

License: GPL-3.0-only
Category: engine
Operating system: all the important ones for desktop and laptop computers
Stable Version: 3.8 (February 19, 2009)
Last beta: 3.9.1 (December 21, 2010)
Development status: paused for now
Programming language: C
Homepage: [ext]
Download page: [ext] source code (git clone the ttn-maint branch)
Strongest play: 5kyu?
Plays online: see section "GNU Go at go servers"
Infos last checked:

GNU Go is a [ext] free go-playing program (engine). It can be compiled on many platforms.

It can be used with or without a GUI. Without a GUI it can be used in [ext] ASCII mode. [ext] GNU Emacs users can install the [ext] gnugo package to play against it (and other GTP engines).

Table of contents


GNU Go at go servers

Another way to play against GNU Go is to log on to one of the go servers below and challenge one of the many GNU Go instances.


  • 2010-December: GNU Go 3.9.1 development version released
  • 2009-February: GNU Go 3.8 released
  • 2008-December: GNU Go 3.8 announced
  • 2008-December: GNU Go 3.7.13 development version released
  • 2008-April: GNU Go 3.7.12 development version released.
  • 2007-Nov: GNU Go 3.7.11 development version released.
  • 2006-May: GNU Go 3.7.10 development version released.
    • 2006-May: GNU Go 3.7.10 wins the 2006 Computer Olympiad.
    • 2006-Oct: GNU Go 3.7.10 takes second in the 2006 Gifu Challenge behind KCC Igo.
    • 2008-Aug: GNU Go 3.7.10 takes first at the 2008 North American Computer Go Championship
  • 2004-Nov: GNU Go 3.6 released. Somewhat stronger than 3.4, and probably of comparable speed (though perhaps slightly slower). At KGS GNU Go 3.6 instances are usually rated at 12k or 13k.
  • 2002-Apr: GNU Go 3.2 released. About three handicap stones stronger than 3.0, uses less RAM, and about as fast. [ext] At KGS its rated at 13k.
  • 2000-Feb: GNU Go 2.6 released. [ext] At KGS its rated at 17k. My guess is that if 2.6 and 2.4 were playing against opponents that knew well their weakness, 2.6 would be rated higher.
  • 1999-Apr: GNU Go 2.0 released. [ext] At KGS its rated at 18k. This can probably give more than 9 stones to Liberty 1.0, but against humans difference compared to Liberty 1.0 is just 6 stones.
  • 1999-Jan: Liberty 1.0 released (based on date on files). This could be considered a version between GNU Go 1.2 and GNU Go 2.0. [ext] At KGS its rated at 24k.
  • 1989-Mar: GNU Go 1.1 released. GNU Go 1.1 was posted to March 13 1989.

(All the relative strength differences above are with respect to self-play at default level settings; in games against humans with fixed time settings, the differences may be considerable smaller.)


GnuGo Development
Gnugo nosekis patterns with horrible results that GNU Go frequently plays

GUIs capable of running GNU Go

  • qGo Windows / Linux / OSX. Also an IGS client
  • glGo
  • gGo
  • jago (Java)
  • cgoban1 (X Window-System)
  • drago. Has an autohandicap mode and can give score estimate at any time.
  • gogui (Java) Useful for a lot of experimentation with GNU Go via the GTP shell (but supports simple playing, too)
  • Emacs interface links: [ext] emacswiki
  • Sente Goban (Very nice Mac Os X client for GNU Go / IGS) [ext] goban
  • MultiGo
  • Many Faces of Go Play against GNUgo, or play GNUgo against any other program supporting GTP protocol.
  • SmartGo Play against GNU Go; supports Tourney between SmartGo and GNU Go or other GTP-enabled programs.
  • [ext] ccGo. Also an IGS client.
  • Quarry (GNU/Linux, GTK+-based).
  • Go Widget. Dashboard widget for Mac OSX. Play against GNU Go on a 9x9 board. [ext] Go Widget
  • [ext] HTML-frontend to GTP-capable programs. Optimized to save traffic, allows to play against GNU Go from mobilephone or PDA using html-browser.
  • [ext] Monkeyjump (GNU/Linux, Python/SDL-based) Minimalistic. Play against GNU Go on various board sizes. Works with other GTP-capable programs. Configurable keybindings and themes.
  • [ext] Sabaki Cross platform (GNU/Linux, Mac, Windows) Electron based Goban - "An elegant Go board and SGF editor for a more civilized age."


[1] Versions of GNU Go are mostly numbered like the Linux kernels: minor versions with even numbers (e.g. 3.6) are stable versions, odd numbers (3.9...) mark the more or less unstable versions.

GNU Go last edited by xela on March 13, 2024 - 00:23
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