Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD, sometimes called Berkeley Unix) is the UNIX operating system derivative developed and distributed by the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) of the University of California, Berkeley, from 1977 to 1995.
Historically, BSD has been considered a branch of UNIX -- "BSD UNIX", because it shared the initial codebase and design with the original AT&T UNIX operating system. In the 1980s, BSD was widely adopted by vendors of workstation-class systems in the form of proprietary UNIX variants such as DEC ULTRIX and Sun Microsystems SunOS. This can be attributed to the ease with which it could be licensed, and the familiarity it found among the founders of many technology companies of this era.
Though these proprietary BSD derivatives were largely superseded by the UNIX System V Release 4 and OSF/1 systems in the 1990s (both of which incorporated BSD code), later BSD releases provided a basis for several open source development projects that continue to this day.
Today, the term of "BSD" is often non-specifically used to refer to any of these BSD descendants, e.g., FreeBSD, NetBSD or OpenBSD, which together form a branch of the family of Unix-like operating systems.
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