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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; it was intended for general use, on the then-popular PDP-11. It was created and supported by the UNIX Support Group, which was formed for that purpose.

The first UNIX release from USG, Release 1.0, was a relatively unmodified copy of UNIX Sixth Edition; it 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 System III, in June, 1980.

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