Smalltalk Choices

As in the Linux world, where there are many “distros,” in the Smalltalk world, there are many “dialects.”

As in the Linux world, where there are several prominent distros like Mint, Debian, and Manjaro, in the Smalltalk world, there are several prominent Smalltalks. We shall take a brief look at them…

Open source

Pharo: the most actively developing Smalltalk with the largest user community. It’s the foundation for Seaside, a fantastic web framework. Also, see PharoJS for the web.


Squeak: a popular Smalltalk for educational purposes and hobbyists.

Cuis Smalltalk

Cuis Smalltalk: a Squeak derivative that hews closely to Smalltalk-80.

Dolphin Smalltalk

Dolphin Smalltalk: Smalltalk for Windows (giving you Windows’ look and feel). It has a highly lauded IDE.


Amber: Smalltalk for the web. Who needs JavaScript and React?!

Redline Smalltalk: Smalltalk on the JVM (Java Virtual Machine). The JVM is probably the most important runtime environment in computing history (billions of devices worldwide run on it).

GNU Smalltalk

GNU Smalltalk for command line lovers. Use it as you would Python or Go.


Smalltalk/X: a proprietary but free Smalltalk


VisualWorks: the most popular commercial Smalltalk and used by most business enterprises. ObjectStudio is a related product that specializes in object modelling and tight platform integration with Windows.

VA Smalltalk: compatible with IBM VisualAge Smalltalk for which Instantiations have assumed all responsibilities.

GemStone/S: Smalltalk as an object database. The Open Source Development Kit is ideal for small businesses (it’s even free!).

Smalltalk MT: a high-performance Smalltalk for Windows

So pick one and run with it! Smalltalk is the greatest programming language on earth!