A Few Words

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History of UNIX
  • 1969: Developed at AT&T; Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, one of the largest research facilities in the world. Created in an environment when most computer jobs were fed into a batch system.

    Developed by researchers who needed a set of computing tools to help them with their projects and their collaborators. Allowed a group of people working together on a project to share selected data and programs.

  • 1975: AT&T; makes UNIX widely available – offered to educational institutions at minimal cost. Becomes popular with university computer science programs. AT&T; distributes standard versions in source form: Version 6 (1975), Version 7 (1978), System III (1981).
  • 1984 to date: University of California, Berkeley adds major enhancements, creates Berkeley Standard Distribution (BSD)
  • 1984 to date: Many Berkeley features incorporated into new AT&T; version: System V
  • UNIX has become the operating system of choice for engineering and scientific workstations.
  • Two variations maintain popularity today, AT&T; System V based and the Berkeley Standard Distribution.
  • Current versions (1/95)are System V release 4.2 .and 4.4 BSD
  • Work is in progress to develop a Portable Operating System specification based on UNIX (IEEE POSIX committee).

System V vs. BSD

AT&T; distributes System V for their computers. System V is also the basis for several commercial implementations including: Hewlett-Packard HP-UX Apple AUX Amdahl UTS Cray UNICOS IBM AIX. BSD, from the University of California Berkeley, has undergone extensive modification and enhancement in the university environment. BSD is available directly from UCB and in a number of commercial versions including: Sun, Apollo, DEC Ultrix, Gould UTX/32. System V and BSD contain a large set of commands in common. Some of these commands, however, support different options and have different default behaviors and output formats. ex: ls, stty, mail, grep Each version also has its own unique utilities. Some very common tasks, such as browsing a file, are performed by totally different utilities: System V uses “pg” whereas BSD uses “more”.

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