Version 7 Unix

Version 7 Unix

Seventh Edition Unix, also called Version 7 Unix, Version 7 or just V7, was an important early release of the Unix operating system. V7, released in 1979, was the last Bell Laboratories release to see widespread distribution before the commercialization of Unix by AT&T in the early 1980s. V7 was originally developed for Digital Equipment Corporation's PDP-11 minicomputers and was later ported to other platforms.

Unix versions from Bell Labs were designated by the edition of the user's manual with which they were accompanied. The Seventh Edition was preceded by Sixth Edition, which was the first version to be widely distributed outside of the Labs. Development of the Research Unix line continued with the Eighth Edition, which incorporated development from 4.1BSD, through the Tenth Edition, after which the Bell Labs researchers concentrated on developing Plan 9.

V7 was the first readily portable version of Unix, and many ports were completed. The first Sun workstations ran a V7 port by UniSoft, and the first version of Xenix was derived from V7. The VAX port of V7, called UNIX/32V, was the direct ancestor of the popular 4BSD family of Unix systems. The group at Wollongong University that had ported V6 to the Interdata 7/32 ported V7 to that machine as well.

DEC distributed their own PDP-11 version of V7, called V7M (for modified). V7M, developed by DEC's original Unix Engineering Group (UEG), contained many enhancements to the kernel for the PDP-11 line of computers including significantly improved hardware error recovery and many additional device drivers. UEG evolved into the group that later developed Ultrix.

Due to its power yet elegant simplicity, many old-time Unix users fondly (and with a good amount of nostalgia) remember V7 as the pinnacle of Unix development and have dubbed it "the last true Unix," an improvement over all preceding and following Unices.cite web|url=|title=A very brief look at Unix history|last=Timar|first=Ted|date=1994-05-30||language=en|accessdate=2008-05-16]

Released as free software

In 2002, Caldera Systems [ released] V7 under a free software license.

Bootable images for V7 can still be [ downloaded] today, and can be run on modern hosts using PDP-11 emulators such as SIMH.


An x86 port is under active development by Nordeir & Associates. The current version is 0.8a. The project has produced a bootable CD image with an installer script. [ main page for UNIX v7/x86]

New features in Version 7

Many new features were introduced in Version 7.
*Programming tools: lex, yacc, lint, pcc, and make.These first appeared in the Research Unix lineage in Version 7, although early versions of some of them had already been picked up by PWB/UNIX.
*New commands: the Bourne shell, at, awk, calendar, f77, fortune, tar (replacing the tp command), touch, uucp
*New system calls: access, acct, alarm, chroot (originally used to test the v7 distribution during preparation), ioctl, lseek (previously only 24-bit offsets were available), umask, utime
*New library calls: The new stdio routines, malloc, getenv, popen/system


ee also

*Version 6 Unix
*Ancient UNIX

External links

* [ Unix Seventh Edition manual] (Bell Labs)
* [ Browsable source code]
* [ PDP Unix Preservation Society]

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