4.1 BSD

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4.1 BSD
Logging into a 4.1 BSD system
Type: Multitasking, multiuser
Creator: CSRG
Architecture: VAX, theoretically portable
Current Version: 4.1 (1981)
Date Released: 1981

This version addressed many of the performance shortcomings in 4.0 BSD that were brought up in a VMS vs BSD paper. Many of the changes are outlined in Bug fixes and changes in 4.1bsd.

Other features included:

  • job control
  • automatic kernel config
  • vfork()

4.1 was largely a debug version with several interm releases. There is a known 4.1, 4.1a and 4.1c release, and possibly others.

Getting this to run


A tape image for 4.1 has surfaced on bitsavers, named 4.1_BSD_19810710.zip The bootblock programs do not run under SIMH using the 4.0 BSD strategy, however it is possible to swap tapes when restoring the root slice, and then restoring the tars. Using this modified tape, I've created an installation guide [Installing 4.1 BSD on SIMH].


This version includes the Bill Joy TCP/IP implementation.


These are what is available on the 1981 tape:

aardvark    banner      ching       lib         snake
adventure   bcd         cribbage    mille       snscore
advfiles    bogdict     fish        monop       trek
arithmetic  boggle      fortune     number      wump
backgammon  chess       hangman     quiz        zork


Bug fixes and changes in 4.1 BSD