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According to wikipedia, the Bourne shell was introduced in 1977 and C shell in 1978, but unix itself dates back to 1969.

If you were using a unix system before 1977, what shell would you have been using?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

The original Unix shell was the Thompson shell. There was also a derivative of it called the PWB shell.

(Source: Historic Unix shells at Wikipedia)

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As an interesting tidbit, Newham & Rosenblatt mention (in Learning the bash Shell) that the only Bourne shell feature not supported by bash is the ^ circumflex as a synonym for the pipe, included in sh for backward compatibility with the Thompson shell. –  Ansgar Esztermann Mar 6 '12 at 8:33
    
see also: osh –  sr_ Mar 6 '12 at 9:32
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