[TUHS] ksh88 source code?

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Wed Dec 23 09:01:41 AEST 2020

If you were outside of AT&T, it was distributed via AT&T Summit's
'toolchest' thingy (and were as a single license to join it and but
separate fees for each tool - if you wanted sub-license there was a
secondary process which I forget the details -- I remember used it so we
could make ksh, mk and ditroff standard on the MASSCOMP and later Stellar

My memory is that the toolchest was created before SVR4, I want to say SVR2
(maybe as late as SVR3) timeframe.  Its origin is it was a way to get some
of the tools that came from different teams around the labs out without
having to including them in a full release. Earlier, Brian's ditroff and
Dennis's compiler were licensed (together) but using the original
licensing/distribution scheme.   As tools like ksh and mk came on the
scene, Otis Wilson asked a number of us customers what to do.      The
toolchest was born from that discussion.  It was cool in the after you
ordered, you go a uucp address to 'pull' the bits for your site from the
toolchest.  No tapes were written - which is why I think find things now
may be hard.

That said, I've not found a repository of the toolchest stuff as I'm not so
sure ATT really released all of it in the sense of the basic system
itself.  For instance, the support for the JERQ (including the games) were
all in the toolchest and last spring a few of us were looking for the GBACA
sources.  I'm not sure if they were found.

Basically, you need to find someone that had had a toolchest license for
that specific tool and still has the bits somewhere.


On Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 5:44 PM Warren Toomey <wkt at tuhs.org> wrote:

> Hi all, I received an e-mail looking for the ksh-88 source code. A quick
> search for it on-line doesn't reveal it. Does anybody have a copy?
> Cheers, Warren
> Original e-mail:
>    I recently built a PiDP11 and have been enjoying going back in time
>    to 2.11BSD..  I was at UC Davis in the the early 1980's and we had
>    a few PDP-11/70's running 2.8/2.9 BSD. Back then we reached out to
>    David Korn and he sent us the source for KSH -- this would have been
>    in 1985ish if I remember, and we compiled it for 2.9 & 4.1BSD, Xenix,
>    and some other variants that used K&R C.  It may have been what was
>    later called ksh88.  I wish I still had the files from then..
>    I was wondering if you might know if there's an older version like this
>    or one that's been ported for 2.11BSD?
>    Many thanks,
>    Joe
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