The history of documented Unix facilities

  1. User commands
  2. System calls
  3. C library functions
  4. Devices and special files
  5. File formats and conventions
  6. Games et. al.
  7. Miscellanea
  8. System maintenance procedures and commands
  9. System kernel interfaces

The links above are associated with a timeline visualization, a curated data set, and a repository detailing the evolution of 15,596 unique documented facilities (commands, system calls, library functions, device drivers, etc.) across 93 major Unix releases tracked by the Unix history repository.

Example records

A file corresponding to each release contains tab-separated records with the manual page section (1–9), the name, and, if available, a URI of the corresponding page. In total, the set contains data about 193,781 unique URIs, identifying 48,250 distinct manual page instances. The raw data are available through this link. Below are some records from the data set.

          1       date    Research-V4/man/man1/date.1
          2       open    Research-V3/man/man2/open.2
          2       socket  BSD-4_2/usr/man/man2/socket.2
          2       jail    FreeBSD-release/4.11.0/lib/libc/sys/jail.2
          3s      fopen   Research-V7/usr/man/man3/fopen.3s
          4       vga     386BSD-0.1-patchkit/usr/src/usr.sbin/keymap/lib/co.4
          5       vgafont 386BSD-0.1-patchkit/usr/src/usr.sbin/keymap/lib/vgafont.5
          6       tetris  BSD-4_4_Lite2/usr/src/games/tetris/tetris.6
          7       c78     FreeBSD-release/9.0.0/share/man/man7/c99.7
          8       dump    Research-V4/man/man8/dump.8
          9       VFS     FreeBSD-release/2.2.0/share/man/man9/VFS.9


Where possible, the details are collected automatically from the Unix history repository. In the remaining cases, the details have been hand-entered from printed manuals. (The Third Edition and the Fourth Edition manuals were recreated from their 1970s source code.) A Perl script creates the timeline visualization web site showing the availability timeline of each facility on every tracked Unix release. The scripts and the curated data are available and are maintained in the history of documented Unix facilities repository.