Version 8 Unix
|Unixes by Bell|
Eighth Edition Unix, also known as Version 8 Unix or V8, was a version of the Research Unix operating system developed and used internally at Bell Labs and a select number of universities. It was "released" in February 1985, ran on VAX hardware, and was a variant of 4.1cBSD with some System V.1 (SVR2) features (notably the shell). V8 was the successor to V7 and the predecessor to V9.
V8 is perhaps best remembered for its regular expression (RE) matching library, which was subsequently reimplemented by Henry Spencer, who distributed his version via Usenet. V8 thus established a de facto standard for RE syntax and a corresponding C API until a POSIX standard was developed. It also introduced the "Streams" I/O mechanism, the /proc filesystem, kernel support for interpreter directives, and several other features later incorporated into System V.2 (SVR3) and subsequent versions of Unix.
Where previous versions of Research Unix had used "dumb terminals" (originally teleprinters) as their primary user interface, the primary UI for this release was the Blit graphics terminal with its
mpx window system. V8 also featured a network file system, which permitted access to other machines' entire filesystem trees. For example, the file /etc/passwd on server foovax would be accessible to client machines as /n/foovax/etc/passwd.
- Henry Spencer (1986-01-19). "regexp(3)". mod.sources. Web link. Retrieved 9 January, 2013.
- M. D. McIlroy (1987). A Research Unix reader: annotated excerpts from the Programmer's Manual, 1971–1986. CSTR 139, Bell Labs.
- Version 8 Manual Pages
- A Stream Input-Output System
- The UNIX Eighth Edition Network File System
- Eric Schrock's weblog: A brief history of /proc
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