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July 10, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

The next release of the Berkeley System Distribution, the BSD flavour of Unix, is now due early next year, according to a spokesman from the University of California at Berkeley’s BSD research and development team in California. Originally promised for the beginning of 1990, BSD 4.4 has been held up by problems that arose in integrating the various contributed modules. BSD 4.4 is a networking release: it includes the seven layers of the de jure Open Systems Interconnection protocol stack, though the industry standard TCP/IP networking topology is included too. The BSD Unix variant has always been at the forefront of operating system-level networking developments in Unix. What is different is that in the past, developers and commercial suppliers have had to implement the whole of BSD to take advantage of its networking functionality. This time around the release will enable them to run only those networking modules they require. Following the commercial interest and impetus that this, and previous releases of the software have attracted most recently the Open Software Foundation’s work on implementing BSD in its OSF/1 operating system – the Berkeley development team, which now comprises just four staff, hopes to return to the academic fold. We’re going back to being a research unit, the spokesman said, we’ll be doing industry-relevant things and we want companies to pick up on them, but we’re not a support group for Sun Microsystems Inc, the Open Software Foundation, or anyone else. There is already a handful companies thought to be readying commercial implementations of BSD 4.4, and these expected soon after the official release of the software. However, reports that local company Berkeley Software Design Inc, already has an implementation of BSD 4.4 which it is readying for release in September, are thought to be premature. The BSD spokesman said that no-one has got a copy of the operating system software yet, because the thing isn’t finished.

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