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  Wikipedia: Berkeley Software Distribution

Wikipedia: Berkeley Software Distribution
Berkeley Software Distribution
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) is the name of the UNIX derivative distributed in the 1970s from the University of California, Berkeley. The name is also used collectively for the modern descendants of these distributions.


In its infancy AT&T Bell Laboratories permitted Berkeley and other universities to use and extend the source code to their UNIX operating system. Berkeley used the software as a research base for investigations into operating system design through the 1970s and 1980s.

Eventually, the systems that Berkeley students had developed for their research had replaced almost every component of the AT&T UNIX system, and in the early 1990s the full Berkeley source code was released publicly under the BSD License. This led to a copyright lawsuit between AT&T and Berkeley, USL v. BSDi, which was settled almost entirely in Berkeley's favour, conclusively establishing BSD's free nature.


BSD pioneered many of the advances of modern computing. Berkeley's Unix was the first to include library support for the Internet Protocol stacks, Berkeley sockets. By integrating sockets with the UNIX operating system file descriptors, users of their library found it almost as easy to read and write data across the network, as it was to put data on a disk. The AT&T laboratory eventually released their own STREAMS library, which incorporated much of the same functionality in a software stack with better architectural layers, but the already widely-distributed sockets library, together with the unfortunate omission of a function call for polling a set of open sockets (an equivalent of the select call in the Berkeley library), made it difficult to justify porting applications to the new API.


Like AT&T Unix, the BSD kernel is a monolithic kernel, meaning that device drivers in the kernel run in ring 0, the core of the operating system. Early versions of BSD were used to form Sun Microsystems' SunOS, founding the first wave of popular Unix workstations.

BSD descendants

Current Unix-like operating systems that descend from BSD include:

External links

Further reading


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona