Timeline of The Unix Wars

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This article is a work in-progress.


An ongoing, work-in-progress timeline of the Unix Wars and related conflicts and important characters and organizations therein.

Originally posted on OS-tan Collections Forum. [1]



  • Originated in the mid 1980s, when BSD and UNIX-sama competed for social dominance.
    • BSD tried to establish her own bloodline and culture as the dominant Unix line, and Unix-sama attempted to keep her foothold/bloodline in the social hierarchy.
    • At this point, SunOS (later called Solaris) was still entirely BSD-based, and the BSD heir-apparent. Unix was voluntarily heirless at this time, but promoting herself (as SysV) and own direct descendants opposed to SunOS.
  • In 1984, various Unix-employing corporations banded together to form X/Open Standards Group (X/Open).
    • Unix was pleased by this consortium and wished to use it to her advantage. She saw a solution for her problem: a unification of hers' and BSD-tan's lines to put an end to the discord.
  • In 1987, BSD agreed to this compromise, possibly to avoid reprisal by Unix, and SunOS underwent training / socialization into SysV culture.
    • However, this turn of events upset other Unix factions, who were afraid that SunOS would become the dominant Unix and that they would be shut out of the Unix political process, or altogether destroyed.
  • In 1987, Minix-tan is born.
  • In 1988, as a direct response to the SunOS-BSD-Unix alliance, the Open Software Foundation (OSF) was formed by DEC to create an "ultimate" Unix-tan, who would once more bring unity and harmony to the factions. They were sponsored by Apollo, Groupe Bull, HP and IBM among many others. HQ'd in Cambridge, they appeared to the public to be nothing more than an advocacy group. However, they created OSF/1-tan (later called Digital Unix, Tru64 Unix). Genetically-derived from BSD-tan, she planned to be free of any of Unix-tan's copyrighted source.
    • OSF/1-tan was set up as the third major party in the Unix Wars (the others being BSD and Unix-tan herself). While a DEC-tan, she collaborated with many other companies within the OSF and planned to take down her competitors through cunning and with her real-time and multi-threading capabilities, powers that few Unices had at this time.
  • In 1988, Unix International (UI) was set up by Unix and SunOS to counter OSF.
    • UI and the OSF emerged the major players of the conflict, and the Unix Wars intensified.
    • -Public opinion began to turn on the Unices as the fighting became ever more vicious.
  • QNX-tan drafted into the War as a medic.
  • In 1989, Unix System Laboratories (USL) was founded by Unix. It began a series of offensives against BSD-tan, for alleged theft of Unix's "intellectual property". BSD had to purge much of her (Research Unix) source during this time.
  • SCO Unix-tan is born 1989.


  • Xenix-tan dies in battle in 1990 - 1991(?).
  • GNU/HURD-tan debuts. She is set up to be the eminent GNU OS-tan, but various issues hinder her progress.
  • While Plan 9-tan had been born in the mid-1980s, Unix-tan didn't select her as heir until the last part of the decade. She was considered unsuitable as an heir by the majority of her peers.
    • Traumatized by the fighting and sick of her mother's inability to stop it, Plan 9-tan rejected her heirship and fled Unix in 1991.
  • OSF/1-tan's source was incorporated into AIX-tan in 1991.
  • BSD-tan's preoccupation in the Unix Wars - and her shaky legal status - caused a power vacuum for a FOSS, Unix-like OS-tan.
    • Linux-tan was created to "fill" this vacuum. By her creator's own admission, she probably wouldn't have been built if BSD-tan hadn't been entrenched in fighting.
  • In 1992, Linux-tan began her travels in the outside world. She avoided the War and is able to go mostly undetected, since she was free of blood-relation to, or social-entanglements with, the Unices.
  • In 1992, Unix, backed by USL, undertook a serious offensive against BSD.
    • Unix and BSD were eventually able to peacefully reconcile their differences, but great damage had been done to the both of them by that time.
  • In 1993, UI and OSF merged, forming the Common Open Software Environment (COSE). This was done as a last-ditch attempt to stave off destruction at the hands of Microsoft, which had already been able to secure large sections of territory which once belonged to the Unices. Members of the COSE included Sun, SCO, USL, HP and IBM. DEC was not a founding member but later joined.
    • Unix and her group USL were deposed from AT&T and her source rights sold off to Novell. She became a part of X/Open.
  • BSD-tan became fully free of Unix-tan's code in 1994. About this time, her children started to gain popularity.
  • FreeBSD-tan defected from the Unix faction after being drafted into the fighting.
  • Solaris-tan's younger sister SpringOS-tan died, allegedly due to lack of medical treatment by QNX-tan.
  • Linux-tan became more powerful and began to capture the attention of the Unix-tans, who feared she would usher in a new wave of fighting (this time between the Unices and Linuces - or worse, the pureblood Unices and Unix-likes).
  • In response to Unix-tan's change of allegiance, OSF stopped funding OSF/1-tan.
    • She was fully adopted by DEC and renamed Digital Unix in 1995.
  • Plan 9-tan and various BSD descendants form the User Space Gang (USG)
  • In 1995, Unix, fearful of displacement by the Linuces, captured Linux and offered to form an alliance with her.
    • Linux agreed and the foundation of the Linux/Unix Consortium was laid.
  • HP-UX, SCO Unix and UnixWare formed an alliance (3DA) in an attempt to create a new Unix standard. It was a failure and they parted ways by 1998.
  • In 1996 X/Open and OSF merged forming the Open Group. They began the first meaningful steps toward lasting peace and reconstruction of Unix culture, but much damage had been done to the Unix name by then.
  • In 1998, IBM, SCO and several other factions teamed up in an attempt to build an "ultimate" Unix-tan (Project Monterey). AIX-tan was chosen to lead this project. The project got out of hand, and many members defected to the Linux faction. IBM dropped out, instead opting to train Linux-tan. This effectively ended the venture.


  • In 2002, Unix-tan was made open source.
    • Unix viewed this as a significant step in throwing off her past encumbrances. She began dabbling in work as a hobby system, and volunteered as a teaching system at MIT.
    • -She and Linux-tan became closer as a result. Arguably, the foundation of their later romantic relationship was laid at this time.
  • In 2003, SCO Unix (still enraged over IBM's perceived betrayal in Project Monterey) sued IBM and began her long-running battle with Linux-tan.
    • In the same year, SCO Unix attacked RedHat-tan.
    • She also went after Novell, the owners of Unix-tan's source, claiming that she herself is the rightful owner of said source.
  • In 2008, Solaris-tan began dabbling in Open Sourcery.