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December 3, 2010 AT 9:44 pm

A port of the original 1979 Unix to modern hardware

Vcf 6.0 - Guy Sotomayor Exhibit

Fun – A port of the original 1979 Unix to modern hardware

The first public release of V7/x86, a port of UNIX Version 7 to the x86 (IA-32) based PC is now available. UNIX V7 was the last general distribution (around 1979) to come from the Research group at Bell Labs, the original home of UNIX. The port was done by Robert Nordier mostly around 1999 when “Ancient UNIX” source code licenses first became available, and was revised for release, with some enhancements, during 2006-7.

V7/x86 currently supports ATA (IDE) hard drives, ATAPI CDROM drives, a 1.44M floppy drive, and standard serial ports, in addition to the usual PC screen and keyboard. For easier installation and setup, supplied utilities allow access to CD (ISO 9660) and FAT (MS-DOS) filesystems. Most of the source code is available under a Berkeley-style license.

Pictured above, a PDP 11/45 running UNIX V7.


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1 Comment

  1. I used V7 UNIX extensively on PDPs in college in the late 70s/early 80s. I was once banned from running V7 in one lab because the OS had a tight loop which repeatedly burnt out core memory cards. V7 and the PDPs it ran on had no virtual memory. Think < .5 MIPS and < 64K of memory. We had a command line shell, ls, cat, sed, grep, etc.

    Later we got VAXs ( 1 MIP and 256+K of memory AND Virtual Memory (whoo hoo !). Those ran Berkeley UNIX. The first version of vi ran on them. My friend and I co-authored 'sudo'. Only the name survives; it has been rewritten from scratch by others several times.

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