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Developer VenturCom
OS family Unix System III/System V
Working state Historic
Initial release ?
Latest release 4.2.1 / 1994
Available in English
Platforms DEC PRO-350
(PDP-11 compatible),
DEC Rainbow 100,
Default user interface X Window System, Motif, OpenLook

Venix was a version of the Unix operating system for low-end computers, developed by VenturCom, a "company that specialises in the skinniest implementations of Unix".[1]

A working version of Venix for the IBM PC XT was demoed at Comdex in May 1983. It was based on Version 7 Unix with some enhancements from BSD (notably vi) and custom inter-process communication mechanisms.[2] In September 1984, Venix/86 Encore was released; it supported a number of early PC-compatibles, including the AT&T 6300, the Zenith 150, the (first) NCR PC, and the Texas Instruments Professional PC.[3]

Venix 2.0, based on System III, ran on the DEC PRO-350 microcomputer (Venix/PRO), the DEC Rainbow 100 (Venix/86R) as well as PCs (Venix/86 and /286).[citation needed] It was released in 1984.[citation needed] From version 3.0, Venix was based on System V. A real-time version based in System V.3.2 was released for the 386 in 1990.[1]

The last version Venix 4.2.1 based on UNIX System V Release 4.2 (UnixWare) was released in 1994.[citation needed] The workstation system included the real-time operating system, NFS and TCP/IP networking, X, OpenLook and Motif GUIs and the Veritas journaling File System (vxfs). A development system included additionally an ANSI C compiler, a library of real-time functions, GUI development software, real-time development utilities, and selected industrial I/O device drivers.


A 1984 review of Venix found it functional, despite some bugs in the initial versions. Its use of the BIOS for accessing devices made it more portable than its competitor PC/IX, but slowed down its display processing; the disk access speed was found to be similar.[2]


  1. ^ a b VenturCom ships real-time Venix/386. Computer Business Review, 1 February 1990. Retrieved 23 March, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Mark S. Zachmann (12 June 1984). "A Venerable UNIX". PC Magazine: 246–248. ISSN 0888-8507. 
  3. ^ "Enhanced Venix/86 out". Computerworld: 76. 17 September 1984. ISSN 0010-4841. 

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