Keith Bostic

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For the football player of the same name, see Keith Bostic (American football).
Keith Bostic
Keith Bostic - WiredTiger.jpg
Born (1959-07-26) July 26, 1959 (age 56)
Residence Massachusetts[1]
Employer UC Berkeley CSRG; Sleepycat Software / Oracle Corporation; WiredTiger / MongoDB
Known for nvi, FLOSS version of BSD UNIX

Keith Bostic is an American Software Engineer and one of the key people in the history of Berkeley Software Distribution UNIX and Open Source software.

In 1986, Bostic joined the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) at the University of California, Berkeley.[2] He was one of the principal architects of the Berkeley 2BSD, 4.4BSD and 4.4BSD-Lite releases.[3] Among many other tasks, he led the effort at CSRG to create a free software version of BSD UNIX, which helped allow the creation of FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD.

Bostic was a founder of Berkeley Software Design Inc. (BSDi),[3] which produced BSD/OS, a proprietary version of BSD.

In 1993, the USENIX Association gave a Lifetime Achievement Award (Flame) to the Computer Systems Research Group at University of California, Berkeley, honoring 180 individuals, including Bostic, who contributed to the CSRG's 4.4BSD-Lite release.

Bostic and wife Margo Seltzer founded Sleepycat Software in 1996 to develop and commercialize Berkeley DB, an Open Source, NoSQL database. Sleepycat Software was the first company to dual-licensed Open Source software. In February 2006, the company was acquired by Oracle Corporation, where Bostic worked until 2008.

Bostic and Dr. Michael Cahill founded WiredTiger in 2010 to create a next-generation NoSQL database, focused on multi-core scalability. In November 2014, the company was acquired by MongoDB, where Bostic is currently employed.

Bostic is the author of nvi, a re-implementation of the classic text editor vi and many other standard BSD and Linux utilities. He is a past member of the ACM, IEEE and several POSIX working groups, and a contributor to POSIX standards.[1]


  • M. McKusick, K. Bostic, M. Karels, J. Quarterman: The Design and Implementation of the 4.4BSD Operating System, Addison-Wesley, April 1996, ISBN 0-201-54979-4. French translation published 1997, International Thomson Publishing, Paris, France, ISBN 2-84180-142-X.
  • Peter McIlroy, Keith Bostic, Doug McIlroy: Engineering Radix Sort, Computing Systems, Vol. 6, No. 1, Winter 1993


  1. ^ a b "Keith Bostic". informit. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Chris DiBona, Mark Stone, Sam Ockman, Open Source (Organization), Brian Behlendorf and Scott Bradner (1999-01-01). "Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution". O'Reilly & Associates. ISBN 978-1-56592-582-3.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  3. ^ a b Dale Dougherty (2000-03-24). "Bostic on the BSD Tradition: An interview with BSD veteran Keith Bostic". BSD DevCenter. O'Reilly Media, Inc. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 

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