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 Definition A computer operating system originally conceived and developed by a group of researchers as an unofficial project while they were working at AT&T's Bell Laboratories. [d] [e]
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Help me out

The world needs a better Unix article in a better free encyclopedia. Help create it. Eric M Gearhart


Should this article dip into "The History of Unix"? Or should that be on its own article? The History of Unix could easily fill up an entire other article... --Eric M Gearhart 12:12, 31 March 2007 (CDT)

OK in reply to myself this article is in dire need of a good, compelling History section. --Eric M Gearhart

I agree. Did Unix begin with AT&T, or was that just BSD? --Joshua David Williams 16:30, 14 April 2007 (CDT)

"In the Beginning there was Bell Labs, Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie" - from Act 1, Genesis, the Unix Bible (New American octal translation)
No but seriously yes it all started at Bell Labs. BSD happened later. I need to get on writing this article and getting it to approval status; work keeps getting the way :( Eric M Gearhart
Oddly enough, I wrote a capsule history of Unix on a discussion board for foreigners in China, as part of explaining why Linux or one of the BSDs might be preferable to Windows. [1] If there's anything there CZ can use, take it Sandy Harris 13:52, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Project Origins

I need to incorporate more from the Multics myths page under the "Project Origins" section. Multics was a successful project... it just isn't as ubiquitous as Unix turned out to be. Eric M Gearhart

Emacs and vi?

Emacs and vi shouldn't be listed, should they? This is Unix software, not GNU. Please correct me if I'm wrong, as I've only ever used the free Unix toolkits. --Joshua David Williams 10:47, 6 April 2007 (CDT)

Yes that is true I suppose... vi was on the list, so naturally to "balance the Force" I added emacs. What do we define as "Unix" and "not Unix" though? The original "Kerrighan and Ritchie Unix" is Unix... anything after is not? Or should we have a list of tools at all? Hmm. --Eric M Gearhart 11:00, 6 April 2007 (CDT)
Perhaps we should split the list into two articles; GNU tools and Unix tools. --Joshua David Williams 11:05, 6 April 2007 (CDT)

This is from the man page for emacs under OS X

       Emacs was written by Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation.
       Joachim Martillo and Robert Krawitz added the X features.

       Copyright (c) 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       Permission  is  granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
       under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version  1.1  or
       any  later  version  published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
       Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

       This  document  is  part of a collection distributed under the GNU Free
       Documentation License.  If you want to distribute this  document  sepa-
       rately  from  the  collection,  you  can  do so by adding a copy of the
       license to the document, as described in section 6 of the  license.   A
       copy  of  the  license  is included in the gfdl(1) man page, and in the
       section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License" in the Emacs  manual.

4th Berkeley Distribution       1995 December 7                       EMACS(1)

so, it looks like emacs is GNU software (I didn't know that). Greg Woodhouse 07:29, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

Yes, on emacs is their example of the "text editor" they created Eric M Gearhart

Emacs was actually written by Richard Stallman himself. I think that was actually one of the first GNU utilities. --Joshua David Williams 09:11, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

Well after some writing on this article I now know that vi was written by none other than Bill Joy while he was working on 1BSD at UC Berkeley. So vi can be classed as "Unixish," while emacs is definitely GNU. emacs is based on TECOS, however Eric M Gearhart


I first encountered the UNIX environment in the mid-1980's when I worked at a company that leased Tandy computers running XENIX. As the first implementation of a UNIX-like system on personal computers, I'm sure it should be referenced -- or should it have a separate entry, as it has on WP? Russell Potter 09:13, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

Yes you are correct, Xenix should be referenced... I believe Microsoft of all people had a hand in the development of it. And if memory and google serves me it eventually turned into SCO Unix. Perhaps under a "Unix descendants" section there should be a "SCO Unix" article, and within the SCO Unix article a history section with details on Xenix? Just an idea. See Google for a bunch of info that appears to back up my memory :) Eric M Gearhart  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 12:01, 2 October 2007 (CDT)

I don't get it? --Robert W King 17:03, 2 October 2007 (CDT)