Generates ASCII tractors.

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This program generates ASCII tractors using the universal tractor coefficient (TC). The intended audience is practical ASCII tractor theorists and lay people interested in abstract tractor theory.

Before using this program, ensure that you understand the fundamental theorem of ASCII tractor mechanics:

"ASCII Tractors must have at least four wheels." [1]

Note that this theorem applies to side-on views. No useful models of two-sided ASCII tractors have been found, nor is there even any concrete proof of their existence.

In keeping with this theorem, TRACTORGEN will politely inform the user if any attempt to make tractors with less than four wheels is made (by calling abort(2) and dumping core).


Please remember that information regarding the location of binaries for download is outlined in section 4.1.

Wed Dec 24 2008 Tractorgen sources are now on github: Please refer to the article Tractorgen on github for a detailed account.

Thu Dec 12 2002 Robin Elfrink has made the exploration of ASCII tractor mechanics accessible to yet another technical community with the creation of a tractorgen FreeBSD port. Well done Robin!

Tue Apr 30 2002 Robin Elfrink has created a web interface for TRACTORGEN, accessible at He notes that "it has no problem creating a tractor with 99999 or more wheels, except that the browser will not render it correctly." Updated Wed May 8 2002 Further information from Mr. Elfrink suggests "the sparc with the webinterface is currently still recovering from a request for a tractor with 9999999 wheels last saturday by a (now former) friend of mine," so the availability of this web interface cannot be assured.

Tue Apr 30 2002 Robin Elfrink has made Debian GNU/Linux packages for several platforms including MIPS, Alpha and Sparc.

Wed Mar 13 2002 "As a service to the windows community", Doug Winter has made such a binary of TRACTORGEN.

Tue Sep 5 2000 Dave Fischer has made binaries for VAX and a OpenBSD (i386 and Sparc) available here.

Mon Apr 17 18:17:37 EST 2000 Horms has created RedHat packages for TRACTORGEN. These are available in the Download section. The Download section is after this line:

4. Download

The current version is 0.31.7. No other version has ever existed. I can't think of any way to improve this software; perhaps it could make ice cream or something, that would be cool.

4.1 Binaries

4.2 Source

tractorgen-0.31.7.tar.gz [HTTP] (37KB TAR Archive)

tractorgen-0.31.7-1.src.rpm [FTP] (40KB source RPM)

4.3 RPM .spec

This file is for people who want to build RPM packages of TRACTORGEN. These people are sick in the head. Thanks to Horms for making this possible.

4.4 Debian packaging files

If you would like to build or rebuild Debian packages for your platform, the required files are available here. Thanks to Robin Elfrink for this packaging.

4.5 FreeBSD port directory

This is an archive of the port directory from which the binary can be built.

5. ChangeLog

You must read the ChangeLog before purchasing this product.


Verge Networks has kindly supplied a mailing list to cater for the ASCII tractor community. If there were to be any new releases of TRACTORGEN, they would be announced here. Failing that, this list will be used for noteworthy news items related to the general implementation of ASCII tractor mechanics, and issues related to performance tuning and benchmarking of the TRACTORGEN software.

To subscribe to this list, please browse to the mailing list administration interface. Unfortunately the following link to the aforementioned interface contains a typographical error: tractor-enthusiasts. Thankyou to the alert readers (many of you!) who have written in to notify the author of this error. As always, your kind technical advice is very much appreciated.

Link here!

If you find this software useful, please feel free to add a link here. You can use the following button if you wish:

Tractorgen NOW!
<a href="">
<img src=""
alt="Tractorgen NOW!"></a>


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. See the file COPYING for details.

Though I have no idea why you'd want to do any of this.


This was written by Kbert ( , more as a dare than anything else. Original inspiration from SCOboy for asking a dumb question.


[1] See, for example, "Introductory ASCII tractor design, vols 3-7", Blum&Merven, Slarken Press 1973.

Related work

If you like this software, you might also like:

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K's Place | Software

Maintained by Last modified Wed Dec 24 2008 Developed on Linux.