Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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?

share|improve this question
up vote 16 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)

share|improve this answer
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

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.