unixhistory A Short History of UNIX

Welcome to the UNIX History website. Actually, that's rather a grand name. This is just a site which was originally created to hold a few historical bits. It's grown a bit, and has a few useful links as well.

It's stark, basic, and hand-coded!

The session worksheets

Here are the worksheets for the practical sessions:

If you are untaking these exercises on your own computer, you'll need a copy of the working files. Unpack these to any suitable place, and adapt the instructions to their actual location as you go along. They are provided both as a ZIP file (with which you may be more familiar) and as a UNIX 'tar' file.

Bob's slides

Here are the slides and recordings from the three lectures given by Bob.


The slides can be downloaded here:

If you do not have Office 2007 or later (and thus PowerPoint 2007 or later) on your own PC, you can install the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 (and later) file formats. This will allow you to read the .pptx files. The Compatibility Pack can be downloaded here.

If you have trouble downloading these files with Internet Explorer, try a different browser.


The MP3 files can be downloaded here:

What else is here?

Look at the sidebar to the left. Currently, there's a page on GNU and the Free Software Foundation, with links to interesting stuff. Separately, there are links to books mentioned in the lectures, and others that might be of interest.

There are lots of general links to related material, too, including the original published paper on the UNIX system. This explains the whole UNIX ethos very nicely.

There's some fun stuff, including a history of hacks at MIT.

Should you wish to play with historical systems (e.g. the Sixth Edition, or 4.xBSD), it's easy to set up a simulator on your PC or Mac, and run that actual system.

Lastly, there are some ideas on what to do next, if all this fires your interest.


This site was built by, and is maintained by, Bob Eager who can be contacted via these pages if you would like more information. Click on any occurrence of his name to contact him. Bob also has a Facebook discussion group (any topic you like) which can be reached via the shortcut http://group.bobeager.uk. All are welcome to join.

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This site is copyright © 2016 Bob Eager
Last updated: 14 Mar 2016