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Unix and Linux history

Unix, Linux, and variant history


Once upon a time operating systems were complex and unwieldy. One day in the late 1960s,Ken Thompson,  Dennis Ritchie and a few of their colleagues at At&T Bell Labs decided to write a simpler version of Multics to run games on their PDP-7, and thus Unix was born.

Also AT&T held the rights to the code, and licenses were expensive.Many other companies sublicensed Unix and sold their own version.Major players included DEC, HP, IBM, Sun.Unix variants added their own extensions, often nicking ideas from each other in addition to academia.

IN Berkeley

Meanwhile, in Berkeley, a number of academics were unhappy with the licensing situation and decided to create a version of Unix that didn’t include any AT&T-licensed code. Thus in the early 1980s the Berkeley Software Distribution or BSD became a free variant of Unix. BSD first ran on MiniComputers such as PDP-11and VAXen.

ON East Coast

Meanwhile, on the East coastRichard Stallman threw a fit when he couldn’t get the source code to his printer driver. He founded the GNU (GNU’s not Unix) project in 1983 intending to make a free Unix-like operating system, only better.After a little hesitation, the kernel of this operating system was chosen to be Hurd, which is going to be usable any decade now.Many components of the GNU project are included in all current free unices, in particular the compiler GCC.

In Finland,

 Linus Torvalds went on a hacking binge in summer 1991.When he woke up, he realized that he’d written an operating system for his PC, and he decided to share it by putting it on an FTP server in a directory called linux.The success exceeded his expectations.

Many people created software distributions including the Linux kernel, many GNU programs, the X Window System, and other free software.These distributions (SlackwareDebianRed HatSUSEGentooUbuntu, etc.) are what people generally refer to when they say “Linux”. Most Linux distributions consist mostly of free-as-in-speech software, though software that is merely free-as-in-beer is often included when no free equivalent exists.


currently existing unices include the various forks of BSD (you get a choice of FreeBSDNetBSD and OpenBSD, all being free, open and developed through the ‘net), as well as a disminishing number of commercial variants targeted towards servers: and AIXHP-UXSolaris, and a few very minor contenders. Another proprietary unix-based operating system is Mac OS X running on Apple desktops, laptops and PDAs.

We can simplify the history in this table:

1957Bell Labs found they needed an operating system for their computer center that at the time was running various batch jobs. So The BESYS operating system was created at Bell Labs to deal with these needs.
1965Bell Labs was adopting third-generation computer equipment in addition to he decided to join forces with General Electric and MIT to create Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service).
1969By April 1969, AT&T decided to withdraw Multics and go with GECOS. When Multics was withdrawn Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie needed to rewrite an operating system to play space travel on another smaller machine (a DEC PDP-7 [Programmed Data Processor 4 K memory for user programs). So The result was a system that a punning colleague called UNICS (Uniplexed Information and Computing Service)—an ’emasculated Multics’.
1969Summer 1969 Unix was developed.
1969Linus Torvalds was born on December 28, 1969.
1971First edition of Unix released on November 3, 1971. The first edition of the Unix PROGRAMMER’S MANUAL [by] K. Thompson [and] D. M. Ritchie. It includes over 60 commands like: b (compile B program); boot (reboot system); Cat (concatenate files); chdir (change working directory); chmod (change access mode); in addition to chown (change owner); cp (copy file); ls (list directory contents); mv (move or rename file); roff (run off text); wc (get word count); who (who is one the system). The main thing missing was pipes.
1972The second edition of Unix was released on December 06, 1972.
1972Ritchie rewrote B and called the new language the language.
1973Unix had been installed on 16 sites (all within AT&T/Western Electric); it was publicly unveiled at a conference in October.
1973The third edition of Unix was released in February 1973.
1973The fourth edition of Unix was released in November 1973.
1974The fifth edition of Unix was released in June 1974.
1974Thompson went to UC Berkeley to teach for a year, Bill Joy arrived as a new graduate student. Frustrated with ed, Joy developed a more featured editor em.
1975The sixth edition of Unix was released in May 1975.
1975Bourne Shell was introduced begins being added onto.
19771BSD was released in late 1977.
19782BSD was released in mid-1978.
1979The seventh edition of Unix was released in January 1979.
19793BSD released late 1979.
1979SCO founded by Doug and Larry Michels as Unix porting in addition to consulting company.
19804.0BSD released in October 1980.
1982SGI introduced IRIX.
1982HP-UX 1.0 was released.
1983AT&T released its first version of System V.
1983SCO delivered its first packaged Unix system called SCO Xenix System V for Intel 8086 and 8088 processor-based PCs.
1983The GNU project was first announced by Richard Stallman on September 27, 1983.
1984ULTRIX was first released.
1985The eighth edition of Unix was released in February 1985.
1985The GNU manifesto was published in the March 1985 issue of Dr. Dobb’s Journal. The GNU project starts a year and a half later.
1986The ninth edition of Unix was released in September 1986.
1987Sun and AT&T laid the groundwork for business computing in the next decade with an alliance to develop Unix System V Release 4.
1988HP-UX 2.0 released.
1988HP-UX 3.0 released.
1989So SCO shipped SCO Unix System V/386, the first volume commercial product licensed by AT&T to use the Unix System trademark.
1989HP-UX 7.0 released.
1989Also The tenth edition of Unix released in October 1989.
1990AIX, short for Advanced Interactive eXecutive, was first entered into the market by IBM February 1990.
1991Sun unveiled Solaris 2 operating environment, specially tuned for symmetric multiprocessing.
1991Linux was introduced by Linus Torvalds and a student in Finland.
1991HP-UX 8.0 was released in 1991.
1991BSD/386 ALPHA First code released to people outside BSDI 12/xx/1991.
1992HP-UX 9.0 was released in 1992.
1993NetBSD 0.8 was released on April 20, 1993.
1993FreeBSD 1.0 was released in December 1993.
1994Red Hat Linux was introduced in 1994.
1994Caldera, Inc was founded in 1994 by Ransom Love and Bryan Sparks.
1994The first version of SUSE Linux was released in March 1994.
1994NetBSD 1.0 was released on October 26, 1994.
1995FreeBSD 2.0 was released in January 1995.
1995SCO acquired Unix Systems source technology business from Novell Corporation (which had acquired it from AT&T’s Unix System Laboratories). SCO also acquired UnixWare 2 operating system from Novell.
1995HP-UX 10.0 was released.
19954.4 BSD Lite Release 2 ,the true final distribution, was released by the CSRG in June 1995.
1996KDE started to be developed by Matthias Ettrich.
1997HP-UX 11.0 was released.
1997Caldera shipped OpenLinux Standard 1.1 May 5, 1997, the second offering in Caldera’s OpenLinux product line.
1998IRIX 6.5 the fifth-generation of SGI Unix was released on July 6, 1998.
1998SCO delivered UnixWare 7 operating system.
1998Sun Solaries 7 operating system was released.
1998Consequently FreeBSD 3.0 released on October 16, 1998.
2000Also FreeBSD 4.0 released on March 13, 2000.
2000Caldera Systems Inc. announced that Caldera Systems had agreed to acquire the SCO Server Software Division in addition to the Professional Services Division.
2000Red Hat released the first version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on February 22, 2000, and was originally named Red Hat Linux Advanced Server.
2001Then Linus Torvalds released version 2.4 of the Linux kernel source code on January 4, 2001.
2001Microsoft filed a trademark suit against in December 2001.
2002Gentoo 1.0, a Linux distribution, was released on March 31, 2002.
2003So The first version of Fedora, a Linux distribution, was released on November 6, 2003.
2004Accordingly Lindows changed its name to Linspire on April 14, 2004.
2004Red Hat Linux 9.0, the last version of Red Hat Linux (commercial) , reached end-of-life on April 30, 2004.
2004So The first version of Ubuntu was released on October 20, 2004.
2007Also Google released the first version of the Android operating system for mobile devices on November 5, 2007. The Android OS is based on the Linux kernel.
2009Chrome OS, a Linux-based operating system, was developed by Google on July 7, 2009. Also Chrome OS is designed to be used with a Chromebook.
2013Also Valve released SteamOS, a gaming operating system based on the Linux distribution Debian, on December 13, 2013.
2016finally, A free subscription option for Red Hat Enterprise Linux was announced for developers and intended for non-production use only.
Unix & Linux History


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