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USG UNIX was one of three parallel variants of early UNIX inside the Bell System, along with CB-UNIX and PWB/UNIX.

Bell eventually determined that UNIX was the best operating system for the increasingly popular PDP-11, and decided to fund a small team to support UNIX (something that the system's creators in the Research group at Bell Labs were not really in a position to do); in September, 1973, the UNIX Support Group (USG) was formed.

The first UNIX release from USG, Release 1.0, came out on 15th December, 1973. Like the later PWB/UNIX, it was aimed primarily at computer center usage. The second release from USG, Release 2.0, came out in April, 1974. Soon thereafter, the release naming terminology changed, and 'Generic 1' was the new name for USG Release 2.24; Generic 2 was USG 3.33, in January 1976. Generic 3.0 was released in the spring of 1977.

The three different systems (which had by then diverged slightly), along with (now-portable) Unix Seventh Edition from the Research group, were eventually unified as Unix SYSIII, in June, 1980.

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