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Multics (finally) released

Posted on | November 13, 2007 | No Comments

MIT has finally been given the green light to release the final revision of Multics, a mainframe timesharing operating system that influenced the development of every Unix-like operating system known today, including UNIX itself. Multics MR 12.5 is now open source. No, its not free software, its simply open source.

40 years after its initial debut, Multics is now available to the academic community under a very un-restrictive license. According to what I read, you need only to include the copyright information and brief historical overview to distribute Multics. There is an advertising clause to the license, you can’t name any of the contributors in any kind of advertising, reverse of the initial BSD license. Otherwise, it looks like you can do whatever you want with it.

You can’t (correctly) call Multics a “Unix-like” operating system, Unix is more of a “Multics-like” operating system. If your an avid GNU/Linux fan, you might enjoy a look at the code and papers. If nothing else, its a great way to kill a few hours of time while appearing to be working, Multics has inspired many.

Further reading on Multics can be found here. Enjoy.

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