I've been looking around on my PC for the source file of plain TeX but without result. It's better to start with plain TeX and change its definitions, little by little, when you want to design your own format. See page 11 of The TeXBook.

  • I deleted the link to the licence infringing copy of the pdf file, which should not be available. – David Carlisle Feb 1 '17 at 9:06

Here is the location on my PC D:\texlive\2016\texmf-dist\tex\plain\base and find the plain.tex file, that is the corresponding file described in TeXbook.

  • 2
    in any texlive system you can use kpsewhich plain.tex and it will show the location. – David Carlisle Feb 1 '17 at 9:07

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