Brussels / 30 & 31 January 2016


The Unix history in a repository

44 years of Unix history in one Git repo

The evolution of the Unix operating system is made available as a version-control repository, covering the period from its inception in 1972 as a five thousand line kernel, to 2015 as a widely-used 26 million line system. The repository contains 659 thousand commits and 2306 merges. The repository employs the commonly used Git system for its storage, and is hosted on the popular GitHub archive. It has been created by synthesizing with custom software 24 snapshots of systems developed at Bell Labs, Berkeley University, and the 386BSD team, two legacy repositories, and the modern repository of the open source FreeBSD system. In total, 850 individual contributors are identified, the early ones through primary research. The data set can be used for empirical research in software engineering, information systems, and software archaeology. Community contributions to improve the included data and extend the covered systems are more than welcomed.


Photo of Diomidis Spinellis Diomidis Spinellis