The history of Unix dates back to the mid-1960s, when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, AT&T Bell Labs, and General Electric were jointly developing an experimental time-sharing operating system called Multics for the GE-645 mainframe. Multics introduced many innovations, but also had many problems. Bell Labs, frustrated by the size and complexity of Multics but not its aims, slowly pulled out of the project. Their last researchers to leave Multics – among them Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Doug McIlroy, and Joe Ossanna – decided to redo the work, but on a much smaller scale.
|Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Douglas McIlroy, and Joe Ossanna at Bell Labs
|C and Assembly language
|Historically closed source, now some Unix projects (BSD family and Illumos) are open sourced.
|1969; 55 years ago (1969)
|Command-line interface & Graphical (X Window System)
In 1979, Ritchie described the group's vision for Unix:
What we wanted to preserve was not just a good environment in which to do programming, but a system around which a fellowship could form. We knew from experience that the essence of communal computing, as supplied by remote-access, time-shared machines, is not just to type programs into a terminal instead of a keypunch, but to encourage close communication.
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