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Revision Date Username Comment
703 Oct 2013 - 16:04norqu036? 
603 May 2013 - 08:26NicLewis 
502 May 2013 - 11:19NicLewis 
427 Mar 2013 - 09:51NicLewis 
318 Mar 2013 - 10:09NicLewis 
226 Feb 2013 - 09:59NicLewis 
121 Feb 2013 - 09:20NicLewis 

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You are here: UMWiki>CBI_ComputerSecurity Web>Systems>SystemsUnix (revision 7)

Current Activitieslock Who is Who?lock People Programs Publications CSHW_2014 Systems Events Mechanisms



Unix is a multitasking, multi-user operating system originally developed in AT&T's Bell Labs in 1969. As Bell Labs gradually withdrew its support from the Multics project, Bell Labs members of the Multics project began to develop a smaller scale operating system, initially without Bell Labs financial support. Originally intended as a platform for programming, Unix grew in capability as users added and shared their own programs.(1)(2) Because AT&T provided the Unix operating system for free, and because it ran on a wide variety of hardware platforms, including low-end machines, it became popular in government and academic institutions. This resulted in a large community of users and programmers contributing to the software and community support available for the OS. Since the 1980s, Unix has split into multiple branches of development, including commercial varients, such as Solaris and HP-UX, university-developed variants, such as UC Berkeley's popular BSD, and the Unix-like variants, such as MINIX and Linux.(3)(4)(5)

Additional Resources:

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  • Michael Mahoney Unix Interview Transcripts
  • lock Netizens_Ch9_Unix.pdf: Chapter 9 of Michael and Ronda Hauben's Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet, titled "On the Early History and Impact of Unix Tools to Build the Tools for a New Millenium."
  • lock RitchieReflections.pdf: Ritchie, Dennis M. Reflections on Software Research, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 27, No. 8, August 1984, p758-760. Article discusses the circumstances behind the development of Unix, and asks whether a similar project could happen again.
  • lock RitchieThompsonUNIX.pdf: Ritchie, Dennis M. and Ken Thompson. The UNIX Time-Sharing System, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 17, No. 7, July 1974, p365-375. This article discusses the development of the Unix operating system up to 1974.


1 : http://www.unix.org/what_is_unix/history_timeline.html

2 : Paul E. Ceruzzi, A History of Modern Computing, Cambridge, MA (MIT Press, 1998), 106, 157.

3 : Peter H. Salus, A Quarter Century of UNIX, New York (Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1994), 29.

4 : Paul Love, et al., Unix Fundamentals, (Wrox Press, 2005).

5 : Paul E. Ceruzzi, A History of Modern Computing, Cambridge, MA (MIT Press, 1998), 284-286.

Topic revision: r7 - 03 Oct 2013 - 16:04:30 - norqu036
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