It is based on the GNU Backgammon code and was the first GNU Backgammon-based bot to play multiple-point matches.
According to Joseph, mgnutest uses 0-ply (no lookahead). Despite this, it has attained a FIBS rating of around 1900, putting it in the top flight of bots, and providing evidence of the strength of the GNU Backgammon evaluator. Running on a faster machine, Joseph estimates it would be rated in the high 1900s.
Other bots based on the GNU Backgammon code are gnu and mpgnu.