The story of BSD and open-source Linux

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On March 9, 1977, Bill Joy compiled the first version of Berkeley Systems Distribution Unix, known as 1BSD. This version was just an add-on to an existing Unix, however. Two years later, he released 2BSD, which added two new programs from his repertoire: vi and the C Shell.

In the 1980s, BSD was just another leg of the Unix table. DEC used it as the basis for Ultrix, and Sun Microsystems based its SunOS on it. But BSD today is more about open-source development than it was in the 1980s. When Unix System V version 4 shipped in the early 1980s, the BSD community began to focus more on the desktop than on the server, and the many varieties of BSD were born.

NetBSD was the first major derivative of BSD to be distributed under an open-source license. The name was coined by its co-creator Theo de Raadt as an homage to the fact that in 1993, the network was becoming the focus of computing. NetBSD's whole bag is being able to run on hundreds of different types of machines.

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