A global plasma turbulence simulation code, ORB5, is presented. It solves the gyrokinetic electrostatic equations including zonal flows in axisymmetric magnetic geometry. The present version of the code assumes a Boltzmann electron response on magnetic surfaces. It uses a Particle-In-Cell (PIC), delta f scheme, 3D cubic B-splines finite elements for the field solver and several numerical noise reduction techniques. A particular feature is the use of straight-field-1 line magnetic coordinates and a field-aligned Fourier filtering technique that dramatically improves the performance of the code in terms of both the numerical noise reduction and the maximum time step allowed. Another feature is the capability to treat arbitrary axisymmetric ideal MHD equilibrium configurations. The code is heavily parallelized, with scalability demonstrated up to 4096 processors and 109 marker particles. Various numerical convergence tests are performed. The code is validated against an analytical theory of zonal flow residual, geodesic acoustic oscillations and damping, and against other codes for a selection of linear and nonlinear tests. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.