The UNIX Command Language is the first-ever paper published on the Unix shell. It was written by Ken Thompson in 1976.
The typed copy of this paper was published in Structured Programming (Infotech state of the art report). Scanned images and text transcript of the paper are made available here with permission from Ken Thompson.
The scanned images of the original paper were obtained by wesleyneo directly from Ken Thompson and published at archive.org on 10 Feb 2018 with permission from Ken Thompson. A copy of the original scanned images is also available in the img directory of this repository.
The scanned images were combined into a single PDF document
by me using Imagemagick’s
convert program in order to make it
easier to read the paper. The combined PDF document is available at the
If you find any errors in the Markdown transcript, please create an issue.
This is a remarkable paper due to its historical importance as well as due to its clear presentation and concise treatment. You are welcome to discuss your favourite excerpts from this paper on the issues page page of this repository.