I have been able to find very little about the B programming language online. the predominant resources seem incomplete, particularly in regards to standard library functions. I have not been able find example programs longer than a handful of lines.

The Wikipedia article for B mentions a MUD written in B, as well as its usage in other contexts.

Has any nontrivial B code survived to this day?

  • 3
    I suppose Thompson's reference manual to be as definitive as it gets. If there are no major examples, that's likely because it was a parochial language that was replaced relatively quickly.
    – dave
    Commented Mar 5, 2022 at 19:28
  • apparently, B saw usage as late as the year 2000. Commented Mar 5, 2022 at 19:38
  • This doc says it was used on GCOS8.
    – dave
    Commented Mar 5, 2022 at 20:20
  • 1
    A printer listing for AberMUD does exist, but it has not been scanned. Here's some information: github.com/larsbrinkhoff/abermud/tree/master/abermud1 Commented Mar 6, 2022 at 16:30
  • @another-dave, Thinkage is still in business right? As far as I understand, Steve Johnson was on sabbatical from Bell Labs in U Waterloo and brought B with him. A group of people at the university picked up the language and started a business. Commented Mar 6, 2022 at 16:33

1 Answer 1


The first version of AberMUD was written in B (by Alan Cox of Linux fame, amongst others), and has survived as a printer listing. Here is some information: https://github.com/larsbrinkhoff/abermud/tree/master/abermud1

The Canadian company Thinkage offers B tools for GCOS: https://www.thinkage.ca/gcos/product-uwtools.htm It's a spinoff from University of Waterloo which has a history of using B going back to when Steve Johnson, the author of Yacc, was there in 1973.

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