The History of the NetBSD Project

NetBSD took its roots from the original UCB 4.3BSD via the Net/2 release and 386BSD. The NetBSD project was founded by Chris Demetriou, Theo de Raadt, Adam Glass and Charles M. Hannum.

Frustration with the quality of patches in the wild and the inability to get patches included in 386BSD led to the founding of the NetBSD project in 1993. NetBSD's original focus was quality and architecture independence. FreeBSD was formed later with a focus on the i386 PC platform.

Since then, in addition to the many developments within the project, NetBSD has imported changes from other sources, including 4.4BSD Lite. NetBSD has also been used as the basis of other derivatives, including Apple's Rhapsody and Force 10's FTOS

NetBSD release announcements

BSD timeline


The UNIX system family tree: Research and BSD
---------------------------------------------

First Edition (V1)
     |
Second Edition (V2)
     |
Third Edition (V3)
     |
Fourth Edition (V4)
     |
Fifth Edition (V5)
     |
Sixth Edition (V6) -----*
       \                |
        \               |
         \              |
Seventh Edition (V7)    |
            \           |
             \        1BSD
             32V        |
               \      2BSD---------------*
                \    /                   |
                 \  /                    |
                  \/                     |
                 3BSD                    |
                  |                      |
               4.0BSD                2.79BSD
                  |                      |
               4.1BSD --------------> 2.8BSD
                  |                      |
              4.1aBSD -----------\       |
                  |                \     |
              4.1bBSD                \   |
                  |                    \ |
      *------ 4.1cBSD --------------> 2.9BSD
     /            |                      |
Eighth Edition    |                   2.9BSD-Seismo
     |            |                      |
     +----<--- 4.2BSD               2.9.1BSD
     |            |                      |
     +----<--- 4.3BSD -------------> 2.10BSD
     |            |               /      |
Ninth Edition     |              / 2.10.1BSD
     |         4.3BSD Tahoe-----+        |
     |            |              \       |
     |            |                \     |
     v            |                  2.11BSD
Tenth Edition     |                      |
                  |                  2.11BSD rev #430
               4.3BSD NET/1              |
                  |                      v
               4.3BSD Reno
                  |
   *---------- 4.3BSD NET/2 -------------------+-------------*
   |                    |                      |             |
386BSD 0.0              |                      |           BSD/386 ALPHA
   |                    |                      |             |
386BSD 0.1 ------------>+                      |           BSD/386 0.3.[13]
   |     \              |                  4.4BSD Alpha      |
   |     386BSD 1.0     |                      |           BSD/386 0.9.[34]
   |                    |                  4.4BSD            |
   |                    |                    / |             |
   |                    |   4.4BSD-Encumbered  |             |
   |                -NetBSD 0.8                |           BSD/386 1.0
   |               /    |                      |             |
FreeBSD 1.0 <-----'     *--NetBSD 0.9          |           BSD/386 1.1
   |                    |           .----- 4.4BSD Lite       |
FreeBSD 1.1             |          /     /     |     \       |
   |                    |         /     |      |      \      |
FreeBSD 1.1.5       .---|--------'      |      |       \     |
   |               /    |               |      |        \    |
FreeBSD 1.1.5.1   /     |               |      |         \   |
   |             /      *--NetBSD 1.0 <-'      |          \  |
   |            /       |                      |           \ |
FreeBSD 2.0 <--'        |                      |           BSD/OS 2.0
   |                     \                     |             |
FreeBSD 2.0.5             \                    |           BSD/OS 2.0.1
   |                 .-----\------------- 4.4BSD Lite2       |
   |                 |      \             |  |   |   |       |
   |                 | .-----|------Rhapsody |   |   |       |
   |                 | |     |        NetBSD 1.3 |   |       |
   |                 | |     |           OpenBSD 2.3 |       |
   |                 | |     |                BSD/OS 3.0     |
FreeBSD 2.1          | |     |                               |
 |   |               | |     *--NetBSD 1.1 -.              BSD/OS 2.1
 | FreeBSD 2.1.5     | |     |               \               |
 |     |             | |     *--NetBSD 1.2    \            BSD/OS 3.0
 | FreeBSD 2.1.6     | |     |  \          OpenBSD 2.0       |
 |     |             | |     |   \             |             |
 | FreeBSD 2.1.6.1   | |     |    \            |             |
 |     |             | |     |     \           |             |
 | FreeBSD 2.1.7     | |     |      |          |             |
 |     |             | |     |  NetBSD 1.2.1   |             |
 | FreeBSD 2.1.7.1   | |     |                 |             |
 |                   | |     |                 |             |
 |                   | |     |                 |             |
 *-FreeBSD 2.2       | |     |                 |             |
 |        \          | |     |                 |             |
 |     FreeBSD 2.2.1 | |     |                 |             |
 |         |         | |     |                 |             |
 |     FreeBSD 2.2.2 | |     |             OpenBSD 2.1       |
 |         |         | |     |                 |             |
 |     FreeBSD 2.2.5 | |     |                 |             |
 |         |         | |     |             OpenBSD 2.2       |
 |         |         | |     *--NetBSD 1.3     |             |
 |     FreeBSD 2.2.6 | |     |    |            |             |
 |         |         | |     | NetBSD 1.3.1    |           BSD/OS 3.1
 |         |         | |     |    |        OpenBSD 2.3       |
 |         |         | |     | NetBSD 1.3.2    |             |
 |     FreeBSD 2.2.7 | |     |    |            |             |
 |         |         | |     |    |            |           BSD/OS 4.0
 |     FreeBSD 2.2.8 | |     |    |            |             |
 |         |         | |     |    |            |             |
 |         v         | |     |    |        OpenBSD 2.4       |
 |     FreeBSD 2.2.9 | |     |    |            |             |
 |                   | |     |    |            |             |
FreeBSD 3.0 <--------* |     |    v            |             |
 |                     |     | NetBSD 1.3.3    |             |
 *---FreeBSD 3.1       |     |                 |             |
 |       |             |     |                 |           BSD/OS 4.0.1
 |   FreeBSD 3.2----*  |  .--*--NetBSD 1.4 OpenBSD 2.5       |
 |       |          |  |  |  |    |            |             |
 |       |          |  |  |  |    |            |             |
 |       |          |  |  |  |    |            |             |
 |   FreeBSD 3.3    |  |  |  | NetBSD 1.4.1    |             |
 |       |          |  |  |  |    |        OpenBSD 2.6       |
 |   FreeBSD 3.4    |  |  |  |    |            |             |
 |           |      |  |  |  |    |            |           BSD/OS 4.1
FreeBSD 4.0  |      |  |  |  | NetBSD 1.4.2    |             |
 |           |      |  |  |  |    |            |             |
 |           |      |  |  |  |    |            |             |
 |   FreeBSD 3.5    |  |  |  |    |        OpenBSD 2.7       |
 |           |      |  |  |  |    |            |             |
 |   FreeBSD 3.5.1  |  |  |  |    |            |             |
 |                  |  |  |  |    |            |             |
 *---FreeBSD 4.1    |  |  |  |    |            |             |
 |      |           |  |  |  |    |            |             |
 |   FreeBSD 4.1.1  |  |  /  |    |            |             |
 |      |           |  | /   |    |            |             |
 |   FreeBSD 4.2   Darwin/   | NetBSD 1.4.3    |             |
 |      |         Mac OS X   |             OpenBSD 2.8     BSD/OS 4.2
 |      |             |      |                 |             |
 |      |             |      |                 |             |
 |      |           10.0     *--NetBSD 1.5     |             |
 |   FreeBSD 4.3      |      |    |            |             |
 |      |             |      |    |        OpenBSD 2.9       |
 |      |             |      | NetBSD 1.5.1    |             |
 |      |             |      |    |            |             |
 |   FreeBSD 4.4-.    |      | NetBSD 1.5.2    |             |
 |      |        | Mac OS X  |    |            |             |
 |      |        |   10.1    |    |        OpenBSD 3.0       |
 |   FreeBSD 4.5 |    |      |    |            |             |
 |      |         \   |      |    |            |           BSD/OS 4.3
 |   FreeBSD 4.6   \  |      |    |        OpenBSD 3.1       |
 |      |           \ |      | NetBSD 1.5.3    |             |
 |   FreeBSD 4.6.2 Mac OS X  |                 |             |
 |      |            10.2    |                 |             |
 |   FreeBSD 4.7      |      |                 |             |
 |      |             |      *--NetBSD 1.6 OpenBSD 3.2       |
 |   FreeBSD 4.8      |      |    |            |             |
 |      |             |      | NetBSD 1.6.1    |             |
 |      |--------.    |      |    |        OpenBSD 3.3     BSD/OS 5.0
 |      |         \   |      |    |            |             |
 |   FreeBSD 4.9   |  |      |    |        OpenBSD 3.4     BSD/OS 5.1 ISE
 |      |          |  |      |    |            |
 |      |          |  |      | NetBSD 1.6.2    |
 |      |          |  |      |    |            |
 |      |          |  |      |    |        OpenBSD 3.5
 |      |          |  |      |    v            |
 |   FreeBSD 4.10  |  |      |                 |
 |      |          |  |      |                 |
 |   FreeBSD 4.11  |  |      |                 |
 |                 |  |      |                 |
 |                  `-|------|-----------------|---------------------.
 |                    |      |                 |                      \
FreeBSD 5.0           |      |                 |                       |
 |                    |      |                 |                       |
FreeBSD 5.1           |      |                 |               DragonFly 1.0
 |          \         |      |                 |                       |
 |           ----- Mac OS X  |                 |                       |
 |                   10.3    |                 |                       |
FreeBSD 5.2           |      |                 |                       |
 |      |             |      |                 |                       |
 |   FreeBSD 5.2.1    |      |                 |                       |
 |                    |      |                 |                       |
 *-------FreeBSD 5.3  |      |                 |                       |
 |           |        |      |             OpenBSD 3.6                 |
 |           |        |      *--NetBSD 2.0     |                       |
 |           |        |      | |  |            |               DragonFly 1.2.0
 |           |     Mac OS X  | | NetBSD 2.0.2  |                       |
 |           |       10.4    | |  |            |                       |
 |       FreeBSD 5.4  |      | |  |            |                       |
 |           |        |      | |  |        OpenBSD 3.7                 |
 |           |        |      | | NetBSD 2.0.3  |                       |
 |           |        |      | |  |            |                       |
 *--FreeBSD  |        |      | |  v        OpenBSD 3.8                 |
 |    6.0    |        |      | |               |                       |
 |     |     |        |      |  \              |                       |
 |     |     |        |      | NetBSD 2.1      |                       |
 |     |     |        |      |                 |                       |
 |     |     |        |      *--NetBSD 3.0     |                       |
 |     |     |        |      | |  |            |               DragonFly 1.4.0
 |     |     |        |      | |  |        OpenBSD 3.9                 |
 |  FreeBSD  |        |      | |  |            |                       |
 |    6.1    |        |      | |  |            |                       |
 |     |  FreeBSD 5.5 |      | |  |            |                       |
 |     |              |      | | NetBSD 3.0.1  |               DragonFly 1.6.0
 |     |              |      | |  |            |                       |
 |     |              |      | |  |        OpenBSD 4.0                 |
 |     |              |      | | NetBSD 3.0.2  |                       |
 |     |              |      | NetBSD 3.1      |                       |
 | FreeBSD 6.2        |      |                 |                       |
 |     |              |      |                 |               DragonFly 1.8.0
 |     |              |      |             OpenBSD 4.1                 |
 |     |              |      |                 |               DragonFly 1.10.0
 |     |           Mac OS X  |                 |                       |
 |     |             10.5    |                 |                       |
 |     |              |      |             OpenBSD 4.2                 |
 |     |              |      *--NetBSD 4.0     |                       |
 | FreeBSD 6.3        |      |    |            |                       |
 |            \       |      |    |            |                       |
 *--FreeBSD    |      |      |    |            |               DragonFly 1.12.0
 |    7.0      |      |      |    |            |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |        OpenBSD 4.3                 |
 |     |       |      |      | NetBSD          |               DragonFly 2.0.0
 |     |    FreeBSD   |      |  4.0.1      OpenBSD 4.4                 |
 |     |      6.4     |      |                 |                       |
 |     |              |      |                 |                       |
 |  FreeBSD 7.1       |      |                 |                       |
 |     |              |      |                 |               DragonFly 2.2.0
 |  FreeBSD 7.2       |      *--NetBSD     OpenBSD 4.5                 |
 |             \      |      |   5.0           |                       |
 |             \      |      |  / | \          |                       |
 |              |  Mac OS X  |  | |  \         |                       |
 |              |    10.6    |  | |   \        |                       |
 |              |     |      |  | | NetBSD     |               DragonFly 2.4.0
 |              |     |      |  | |  5.0.1 OpenBSD 4.6                 |
 |              |     |      |  | |    |       |                       |
 *--FreeBSD     |     |      |  | |    |       |                       |
 |    8.0       |     |      |  | |    |       |                       |
 |     |     FreeBSD  |      |  | | NetBSD     |                       |
 |     |       7.3    |      |  | |  5.0.2     |               DragonFly 2.6.0
 |     |        |     |      |  | |        OpenBSD 4.7                 |
 |  FreeBSD     |     |      |  | |            |                       |
 |    8.1       |     |      |  | |            |                       |
 |     |        |     |      |  | |            |               DragonFly 2.8.2
 |     |        |     |      |  | |        OpenBSD 4.8                 |
 |     |        |     |      |  | *--NetBSD    |                       |
 |  FreeBSD  FreeBSD  |      |  |    5.1       |                       |
 |    8.2      7.4    |      |  |     |        |               DragonFly 2.10.1
 |     |              |      |  |     |    OpenBSD 4.9                 |
 |     `-----.     Mac OS X  |  |     |        |                       |
 |            \      10.7    |  |     |        |                       |
 |             |      |      |  |     |    OpenBSD 5.0                 |
 *--FreeBSD    |      |      |  |     |        |                       |
 |    9.0      |      |      |  |  NetBSD      |               DragonFly 3.0.1
 |     |    FreeBSD   |      |  |   5.1.2      |                       |
 |     |      8.3     |      |  |     |        |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |  |  NetBSD      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |  |   5.1.3      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |  |     |        |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |  |  NetBSD      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |  |   5.1.4      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |  |          OpenBSD 5.1                 |
 |     |       |   Mac OS X  |  `--------.     |                       |
 |     |       |     10.8    |           |     |                       |
 |     |       |      |      *--NetBSD   |     |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    6.0    |     |                       | 
 |     |       |      |      |    | |    | OpenBSD 5.2         DragonFly 3.2.1
 |  FreeBSD    |      |      |    | | NetBSD   |                       |
 |    9.1      |      |      |    | |   5.2    |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    | |    |     |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    | | NetBSD   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    | |  5.2.1   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    | |    |     |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    | | NetBSD   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    | |  5.2.2   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    | |          |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |  \         |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |   NetBSD   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |    6.0.1   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |      | OpenBSD 5.3         DragonFly 3.4.1
 |     |       |      |      |    |   NetBSD   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |    6.0.2   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |      |     |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |   NetBSD   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |    6.0.3   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |      |     |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |   NetBSD   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |    6.0.4   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |      |     |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |   NetBSD   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |    6.0.5   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |      |     |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |   NetBSD   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |    6.0.6   |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    |            |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |    *--NetBSD    |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |         6.1     |                       |
 |     |    FreeBSD   |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |      8.4     |      |       NetBSD    |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |        6.1.1    |                       |
 |     |              |      |          |      |                       |
 |  FreeBSD           |      |       NetBSD    |                       |
 |    9.2             |      |        6.1.2    |                       |
 |     |           Mac OS X  |          |      |                       |
 |     |             10.9    |          |  OpenBSD 5.4                 |
 |     `-----.        |      |          |      |               DragonFly 3.6.0
 |            \       |      |          |      |                       |
 *--FreeBSD    |      |      |       NetBSD    |                       |
 |   10.0      |      |      |        6.1.3    |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |               DragonFly 3.6.1
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |               DragonFly 3.6.2
 |     |       |      |      |       NetBSD    |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |        6.1.4    |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |          |  OpenBSD 5.5                 |
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |               DragonFly 3.8.0
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |               DragonFly 3.8.1
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |               DragonFly 3.6.3
 |     |       |      |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |    FreeBSD   |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |      9.3     |      |          |      |                       |
 |     |              |      |       NetBSD    |               DragonFly 3.8.2
 |     |              |      |        6.1.5    |                       |
 |     |           Mac OS X  |                 |                       |
 |     |             10.10   |                 |                       |
 |     |              |      |             OpenBSD 5.6                 |
 |  FreeBSD           |      |                 |                       |
 |   10.1             |      |                 |               DragonFly 4.0.1
 |     |              |      |                 |                       |
 |     |              |      |                 |               DragonFly 4.0.2
 |     |              |      |                 |                       |
 |     |              |      |                 |               DragonFly 4.0.3
 |     |              |      |                 |                       |
 |     |              |      |                 |               DragonFly 4.0.4
 |     |              |      |                 |                       |
 |     |              |      |                 |               DragonFly 4.0.5
 |     |              |      |                 |                       |
 |     |              |      |             OpenBSD 5.7                 |
 |     |              |      |                 |               DragonFly 4.2.0
 |  FreeBSD           |      |                 |                       |
 |   10.2             |      |                 |                       |
 |     |            macOS    *--NetBSD 7.0     |                       |
 |     |            10.11    |   | |       OpenBSD 5.8                 |
 |     |              |      |   | `--.        |               DragonFly 4.4.1
 |  FreeBSD           |      |   |    |    OpenBSD 5.9                 |
 |   10.3             |      |   |    |        |                       |
 |     |              |      |   | NetBSD      |                       |
 |     |              |      |   |  7.0.1      |                       |
 |     `------.       |      |   |    |        |               DragonFly 4.6.0
 |            |       |      |   |    |        |                       |
 |            |       |      |   |    |        |                       |
 *--FreeBSD   |     macOS    |   |    |    OpenBSD 6.0                 |
 |   11.0     |     10.12    |   | NetBSD      |                       |
 |     |      |       |      |   |  7.0.2      |                       |
 |     |      |       |      |   |             |                       |
 |     |      |       |      |   *--NetBSD     |                       |
 |     |      |       |      |   |   7.1       |                       |
 |     |      |       |      |   |    |        |                       |
 |     |      |       |      |   |    |        |                       |
 |     |      |     macOS    |   |    |        |               DragonFly 4.8.0
 |     |      |     10.13    |   |    |    OpenBSD 6.1                 |
 |  FreeBSD   |       |      |   |    |        |               DragonFly 5.0.0
 |   11.1  FreeBSD    |      |   |    |        |                       |
 |     |    10.4      |      |   |    |    OpenBSD 6.2         DragonFly 5.0.1
 |     |              |      |   |    |        |                       |
 |     `------.       |      |   | NetBSD      |               DragonFly 5.0.2
 |            |       |      |   |  7.1.1      |                       |
 |            |       |      |   |    |        |                       |
 |            |       |      |   | NetBSD      |                       |
 |            |       |      |   |  7.1.2      `--.                    |
 |            |       |      |   |                |                    |
 |            |       |      |   `-----.      OpenBSD 6.3              |
 |            |       |      *--NetBSD |          |            DragonFly 5.2.0
 |            |       |      |   8.0   |          |                    |
 |            |       |      |   |     |          |            DragonFly 5.2.1
 |            |       |      |   |     |          |                    |
 |            |       |      |   |     |          |            DragonFly 5.2.2
 |         FreeBSD    |      |   |     *--NetBSD  |                    |
 |           11.2     |      |   |         7.2    |                    |
 |            |     macOS    |   |         |      |                    |
 |            |     10.14    |   |         |  OpenBSD 6.4              |
 |            |       |      |   |         |      |                    |
 |            |       |      |   |         |      |            DragonFly 5.4.0
 *--FreeBSD   |       |      |   |         v      |                    |
 |   12.0     |       |      |   |                |            DragonFly 5.4.1
 |     |      |       |      |   |            OpenBSD 6.5              |
 |     |      |       |      |   |                |                    |
 |     |      |       |      |  NetBSD            |                    |
 |     |      |       |      |   8.1              |            DragonFly 5.6
 |     |      |       |      |                    |                    |
 |     |      |       |      |                    |            DragonFly 5.6.1
 |     |   FreeBSD    |      |                    |                    |
 |     |     11.3     |      |                    |                    |
 |  FreeBSD           |      |                OpenBSD 6.6              |
 |   12.1             |      |                    |                    |
 |     |              |      |                    |                    |
 |     v              |      |                    |                    |
 |                    |      |                    |                    |
FreeBSD 13 -current   |  NetBSD -current   OpenBSD -current   DragonFly -current
 |                    |      |                    |                    |
 v                    v      v                    v                    v
 


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