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First Things First

Context Free is free and made available under the Gnu Public License.

If you really like it, we'd like you to donate US$20 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Download & Install

Version 3.4.1 (February 2023) is the current release.


Context Free 3.4.1 (v48) (42MB) (signature) for Windows 7 and later. The download file is an executable installer, just run it. This is a local installer that will install Context Free in your ApplicationData\Local folder. .NET Core 6 is required to run Context Free. The installer will attempt to run Context Free after installation. If .Net Core 6 (or later) is not installed then this will fail and Windows will guide you through downloading and installing the .Net Core 6 runtime.

Support for generating QuickTime is now standard in Context Free for Windows. The FFmpeg ffplay utility is used to preview QuickTime movies. This is a simple video player controlled by keystrokes. Instructions for controlling ffplay are here.

Windows Command-Line Version

The installer also installs a command-line version of Context Free, called ContextFreeCLI.exe. It is identical to the Unix command-line version, cfdg, except that it uses Windows/DOS command syntax:

ContextFreeCLI.exe /s400 /c input\mtree.cfdg output\mtree.png

instead of

cfdg -s400 -c input/mtree.cfdg output/mtree.png

Macintosh OS X

Context Free 3.4.1 (v51) (3.8MB) (signature) for macOS 10.13 and later. Just copy the application from the disk image to your Applications folder. PowerPC and 32-bit x86 support has been dropped, as has support for macOS 10.12 and earlier.

Posix / Unix / BSD / Linux

The easiest way to get Context Free on Gnu Linux systems is to install the contextfree package. This should get you version or version 3.1. Version 3.4 has been uploaded to Debian but it will take a while for it to make it into the various distributions, as it depends on a new version of libagg2.

If you don't have access to the contextfree package or require version 3.3 then download the source code and build it using make. You will need a C++17 compiler, Gnu Flex (not lex), Gnu Bison 3.0, and the libpng graphics library (not just runtime support, the developer package). Most of this should be installed or easily available on any modern operating system distribution. See the README.txt file in the source for build and run instructions:

ContextFree 3.4.1 gzip compressed tarball (v36) (4.6MB) (signature)

ContextFree 3.4.1 xz/LZMA2 compressed tarball (v36) (3.1MB) (signature)

ContextFree 3.4.1 compressed zip file (v36) (5.4MB) (signature)

The lastest developer release can be obtained from the Git repository at Github:

git clone CF3

This release can be obtained by checking out the Version3.4.1 tag.

Known Issues

Change Log

V3.4.1 - February 2023

Bug fixes:

V3.4 - February 2023

Bug fixes:

V3.3.1 - January 2021

Bug fixes:

V3.3 - April 2020

Bug fixes:

V3.2 - August 2019

Bug fixes:

V3.1 - January 2019

Bug fixes:

V3.0.11.4 - June 2017 (Posix / Unix / BSD / Linux only)

Bug fixes:

V3.0.11.3 - June 2017

Bug fixes:

V3.0.11 - June 2017

Bug fixes:

V3.0.10 - January 2017

Bug fixes:

v3.0.9 - May 2015

Bug fixes:

v3.0.8 - June 2014

Bug Fixes:

v3.0.7 - May 2014

Bug Fixes:

v3.0.6 - February 2014

Bug Fixes:

v3.0.5 - January 2013

Big fixes:

v3.0.4 - December 2012

v3.0.3 (Windows only) - November 2012

v3.0.2 - October 2012

Bug fixes:

v3.0.1 - September 2012

Bug fixes:

v3 - June 2012

v2.2.2 - September 2010

v2.2.1 - August 2009

v2.2 - January 2009

v2.1 - April 2007

v2.0 - September 2006

v1.2 - September 2005

v1.2 experimental - July & August 2005

v1.1 - July 2005

v1.0.3 - June 2005

v1.0.2 - May 2005

v1.0 - May 2005

v0.9 beta2 - May 2005

v0.9 beta - May 2005

v0.2.2 alpha - May 2005

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