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System III
Logging into a SYSIII system
Type: Multi-tasking, multi-user
Creator: Bell Labs / AT&T / Western Electric
Architecture: VAX, PDP-11, i286, Z8000 probably others
This Version: 1.0 (1982)
Date Released: 1982

System III (sometimes given as System 3, etc) was a unification of the previously separate main variants of UNIX within Bell Labs: USG UNIX, CB-UNIX, PWB/UNIX and Research's Unix Seventh Edition (although it did not include much of the CB-UNIX extensions).

It was also the first commercial release of by AT&T; after AT&T was split up in response to an anti-trust suit in the 1982, it was allowed to enter other lines of business, including software, and AT&T management saw an opportunity to monetize the then-very-popular UNIX operating system.

The 32-bit VAX version was based on Unix/32V, while the 16-bit PDP-11 version was based on Seventh Edition Unix.

This version did not see widespread adoption, compared to the BSD's, and the various releases of the later UNIX System V.


SYS III is known to have run on the following computers:

Besides XENIX, were there any other adoptions of System III??

How do I get this to run?!

At one point, you didn't; System III is still copyrighted. Later, SCO sold legacy licenses for $100 USD, and some people did purchase one, but this is not free, nor abandon-ware.

SIMH cannot run the boot tape fully, however one user was able to find someone on the list who managed to hack together a working system! The DZ11 controller doesn't work so it's not fully multi-user. However, thy've been able to use the system somewhat, if not only for checking various system stuff out.

However, there are versions floating around on the Internet.

What Runs?

I haven't tried to port any software to SYS III as I don't think there really is any installations still in existence.

SYS III also introduced the uname command.

External links