AT&T created UNIX in the 60s as part of the Bell System, but they were in trouble for being a monopoly and so they couldn’t sell it as a product because it wasn’t a telephone. They had to give licenses to anyone who asked for them. Universities asked for licenses. Bell Labs shipped out tapes. The consent decree was lifted when AT&T was broken up 1983, and it immediately started trying to sell UNIX. Berkley continued to produce their own version, the Berkley System Distribution. It’s still used today as FreeBSD, DragonflyBSD, NetBSD, PC-BSD, OpenBSD and more! Its userland is one of the fundamental parts of macOS.

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

Dennis Ritchie

A bunch of stupid shit happened for 20 years. Every company and university involved[1] sued each other over UNIX, but folks kept shipping patches on tapes. In the ’90s AT&T sold UNIX to Novell for some reason. In 2011 Novell was acquired by The Attachmate Group. In 2014 The Attachmate Group was acquired by the British multinational Micro Focus, which means that UNIX is now headquartered in Newbury, England.

Anyway, I just typed all of this so I could say “Berkshire System Distribution”. Thanks.

1 Some Berkley folks left the university and started a company. AT&T sued them. Novell sold its UnixWare to the Santa Cruz Operation. In 2000 SCO sold it to Caldera International. In 2002 Caldera changed its name to The SCO Group (as in Santa Cruz Operation). The SCO Group embarked on a bizarre campaign to license Linux (no relation) to businesses for profit under the claim that Linux contains UNIX source code that was added by International Business Machines. This worked out well and they filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy a few years later. yada yada yada. that ibm case didn’t close until like 2021 wtf. actually i guess everything stayed stupid forever

P.S. I would like to own the UNIX trademark. Do you think Micro Focus would sell it to me? They don’t seem to be using it.

P.P.S have you ever seen the first IBM logo from 1924? first IBM logo. looks like the logo of a newspaper from a comic book.