Brian Kernighan Discusses Unix History

In a recent article, Jim Hall talked with Brian Kernighan about the origins of Unix. Kernighan, whom you may know as the "k" in awk and as co-author of the "Kernighan and Ritchie" book about the C programming language, has written a new book called Unix: A History and a Memoir.

Kernighan says, “I originally wanted to write an academic history of the Labs, but I realized it was better to write something based on my own memories and the memories of those who were there at the time.  

In the interview, Kernighan provides a preview of the stories that are included in the book, such as the origin of Unix itself and details of how grep came to be written. 

Hall writes, “Throughout the book, Kernighan shares details on the rich history of Unix, including background on Bell Labs, the spark of Unix with CTSS and Multics in 1969, and the first edition in 1971. Kernighan also provides his own reflection on how Unix came to be such a dominant platform.”

Read the complete article at