From: Nick Moffitt <>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 21:44:48 -0700
Subject: Re: Facts please
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begin  Rick Moen Lives Three Hours from Nowhere  quotation:
> Quoting Lawrence E. Rosen (
> > Does anyone know the year that the University of California first
> > released software under the BSD?
> Marshall Kirk McKusick says[1] that Bill Joy put out the first
> release of the Berkeley Software Distribution in early 1977, because
> of wide interest in Berkeley's improvements to the Pascal compiler.
> McKusick says nothing about the licence terms, alas.  Nadav Har'El's
> "brief history of BSD UNIX" claims the first release was in 1978,
> not 1977[2], as does Warren Toomey's timeline taken from "Life with
> Unix" and "A Quarter Century of Unix"[3].  And none of this
> clarifies when the BSD licence was adopted.
> [1]

Here's my interpretation of [1]:
| The BSD originated networking code and supporting utilities were
| released in June 1989 as Networking Release 1, the first
| freely-redistributable code from Berkeley.
| Our initial thought was to come up with a whole new name for our
| second freely-redistributable release. However, we viewed getting a
| whole new license written and approved by the University lawyers as
| an unnecessary waste of resources and time delay. So, we decided to
| call the new release Networking Release 2 since we could just do a
| revision of the approved Networking Release 1 license agreement.
| Thus, our second greatly expanded freely-redistributable release
| began shipping in June 1991. The redistribution terms and cost were
| the same as the terms and cost of the first networking release. 
| The newly blessed release was called 4.4BSD-Lite and was released in
| June 1994 under terms identical to those used for the Networking
| releases.

	Therefore, the first recorded use of the BSD license that I
see is Net/1 [June 1989], and the first use of the BSD license for the
whole distribution (rather than just the TCP stack and libraries) is
Net/2 [June 1991].  Prior to that, distribution was internal to
existing Unix licensees, and kind of lived under the radar of official
release and licensing.  

	In his talks about BSD history, McKusick describes 1BSD as the
outgrowth of a "50 patches" list that had been floating around the
labs for a while.  It's possible that 1BSD was '78, but Bill Joy
released improvements on Bell Labs Unix earlier than that.

	Perhaps I'm interpreting the scope of the question

> There's probably an interesting history somewhere there, about
> exactly how and when CSRG got the UC Regents' approval for the BSD
> licence.  We'll have to find some Berkeley greybeard who actually
> remembers, because I can find no clarification in any of my sources.

	Do you mean for Net/1 or Net/2?

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