[TUHS] UNIX or unix
clemc at ccc.com
Sun Nov 10 07:23:04 AEST 2019
In fact ATT legal had a document they sent to all commercial licensees
around 1980 on proper use of the name. I wonder if I still have/can find a
copy. But the lawyers were pretty clear. It was UNIX with ™ and later the
R with a circle around beside the all caps letters after they registered
It was that letter that started all the names like Xenix, Ultrix, HP-UX,
SunOS, RTU etc.
On Sat, Nov 9, 2019 at 4:06 PM Mary Ann Horton <mah at mhorton.net> wrote:
> I just finished Brian Kernighan's book (excellent!) and he addresses
> this in section 7.6. (Yes, he wrote the book in troff.)
> He prefers "Unix" and wrote it that way except for this section. He says
> "Bell Labs' legal guardians decided that the name Unix was a valuable
> trademark that had to be protected..." Legal mostly required it to be
> used as an adjective "The UNIX TM operating system", and how the ms
> macros produced a small caps "UNIX" (and a footnote on the first
> reference). He's clear that the 1127 folks hated the requirements from
> It is true that the file which contains the kernel was /unix, or /vmunix
> for Berkeley Unix, but that's the name of the file, not the proper name
> of the operating system for English prose. By convention, virtually all
> Unix files were in lower case.
> Mary Ann
> On 11/9/19 12:36 PM, Derrik Walker v2.0 wrote:
> > On 11/9/19 12:20 PM, Nemo Nusquam wrote:
> >> I was reading the comments on Hackaday on UNIX at 50
> >> (https://hackaday.com/2019/11/05/will-the-real-unix-please-stand-up/).
> >> As expected, a lot of manure but some interesting comments from
> >> seemingly knowledgeable people.
> >> One comment
> >> (
> >> from a DDS, stated that (s)he worked at The Bell and they wrote it
> >> "unix" (lower-case) to distinguish it from MULTICS. Anyone care to
> >> comment on this?
> >> N.
> > It was always my understanding, based totally on hearsay from
> > engineers from both Sun and SGI back in my early days with it, UNIX is
> > the OS, while unix, or vmunix is the kernel. Unix was deprecated by
> > the time it became a real commercial product.
> > So, right or wrong, I've always used UNIX for the OS, and unix, or
> > vmunix as appropriate, to refer to the kernel.
> > - Derrik
Sent from a handheld expect more typos than usual
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