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Brief History of UNIX

Brief History of UNIX

Following are the important facts from the history of the Unix

  • Started way back in 1960s at MIT, AT&T , GE and Bell Lab Early deveopers were Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and others

  • Initially it was MULTICS but later on it was renamed to UNIX Licensed as Proprietary Written in C and Assembly language

  • Many companies had developed their own version of UNIX

  • To make Unix available freely Richard Stallman developed GNU project and built many utlities which are similar like Unix

  • Linus Torvals in 1991 worked on independant project and it was then called as Linux, it used GNU tools and was made availabe for free.

  • Linux and Unix are similar oprating system but not the same.

Free and Open Source Software

Linux OS is Free and Open Source which means that as per the defination by Richard Stallan we software must satisfy following four conditions

+ The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose.
+ The freedom to study how the program works and change it so that it does your computing as you wish.
+ The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others.
+ The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others – giving the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes.

To help to choose the Linux distribution you can visit the

More on History of Linux and Unix


Read about the FOSS and Open Source sotware


Linux Kernal and their documentation


Other Relavant Resources

  • Linux Will Never Be As "Good" As Windows :

  • Ubuntu, Then Arch. It's The Road So Many Of Us Travel :

Self Evaluation

  1. What is the difference between Unix and Linux ?
  2. What is the licence of the Linux ?
  3. Why some people call it GNU/Linux ?
  4. Explain the how the Kernel development is coordinated ?
  5. Explain the history of microsoft in context with Linux ?
  6. Discuss about FOSS and Open Source philosophy.