Chapter 2. History

A Tale of Two Cultures

Table of Contents

Origins and History of Unix, 1969-1995
Genesis: 1969–1971
Exodus: 1971–1980
TCP/IP and the Unix Wars: 1980-1990
Blows against the Empire: 1991-1995
Origins and History of the Hackers, 1961-1995
At Play in the Groves of Academe: 1961-1980
Internet Fusion and the Free Software Movement: 1981-1991
Linux and the Pragmatist Reaction: 1991-1998
The Open-Source Movement: 1998 and Onward
The Lessons of Unix History

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

-- George Santayana The Life of Reason (1905)

The past informs practice. Unix has a long and colorful history, much of which is still live as folklore, assumptions, and (too often) battle scars in the collective memory of Unix programmers. In this chapter we'll survey the history of Unix, with an eye to explaining why, in 2003, today's Unix culture looks the way it does.