ArticlesGraphics and Software

The UNIX Operating System: A Model for Software Design

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Science  12 Feb 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4534, pp. 779-783
DOI: 10.1126/science.215.4534.779


The UNIX operating system, a general-purpose time-sharng system, has, without marketing, advertising, or technical support, become widely used by universities and scientific research establishments. It is the de facto standard of comparison for such systems and has spawned a small industry of suppliers of UNIX variants and look-alikes. This article attempts to uncover the reasons for its success and to draw some lessons for the future of operating systems.