Following Thompson and Ritchie's paper on UNIX at the Symposium on Operating System Principles in 1974, Bob Fabry, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley wanted to get a copy to experiment with.
After buying a PDP 11/45, he received the tapes for 4th Edition UNIX which was installed in 1974. Due to disk related problems, Ken Thompson spent time dialed in over a modem debugging the system.
Following the purchase of a Vax 11/70 in 1975, Ken Thompson started a sabbatical at Berkeley during which time he brought up 6th Edition. Around this time, graduate students Bill Joy and Chuck Haley arrived and started working on the newly installed system, initially enhancing a Pascal system that Thompson had put together. The same year, they produced the ex editor and started working on the kernel following the departure of Thompson back to Bell Labs.
Following requests for the Pascal environment, Bill Joy put together the Berkeley Software Distribution (consider this as 1BSD) in 1977 and distributed thirty copies. Soon after, Joy wrote the vi editor, still hugely popular 25 years later.
In 1978 Joy released the second Berkeley Software Distribution which became known as 2BSD. This included an updated Pascal system, the vi editor, and termcap which could be used for driving multiple different terminal types, a must for supporting vi.
Needing more power, a Vax 11/780 was purchased and the 32/V port of UNIX, initiated at Bell Labs, was installed. Following ...