Louis Pouzin

Louis Pouzin
Born 20 April 1931
Alma mater École Polytechnique
Occupation computer scientist, engineer
Awards Knight of the Legion of Honour[*], Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, IEEE Internet Award

Louis Pouzin (born 1931 in Chantenay-Saint-Imbert, Nièvre, France) invented the datagram and designed an early packet communications network, CYCLADES.[1][2]

He studied at the École Polytechnique from 1950 to 1952.

His work influenced Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, and others in the development of TCP/IP protocols used by the Internet.[1]

Having participated in the design of the Compatible Time Sharing System (CTSS), Pouzin wrote a program called RUNCOM around 1963/64. RUNCOM permitted the execution of contained commands within a folder, and can be considered the ancestor of the command-line interface and shell scripts. Pouzin was, in fact, the one who coined the term shell for a command language in 1964 or '65. Pouzin's concepts were later implemented in Multics by Glenda Schroeder at MIT.[3]

From 1967 to 1969 Pouzin delevoped one operating system for Météo-France, the French national meteorological service, using ControlData6400 as hardware. This system was created for weather forecast and statiscs and was used for 15 years.[4]

In 2002 Pouzin -along with Jean-Louis Grangé, Jean-Pierre Henninot and Jean-François Morfin- participated in the creation of Eurolinc, which is a non-profit association that promotes multilingualism in domain names. In june 2003, Eurolinc was accredited by UNO to participate at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).[5]

In November 2011, he founded Savoir-Faire, an alternative root company, with Chantal Lebrument and Quentin Perrigueur. [6][7]

In 2012 he developed a service called Open-Root, which is dedicated to sell top-level domains (TLD) in all scripts outside of ICANN. This way people can develop second-level domains for free.[8]


1997 - Pouzin received the ACM SIGCOMM Award for "pioneering work on connectionless packet communication".[1]

2003 - Louis Pouzin was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French government on March 19, 2003.

2012 - Pouzin was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.[9]

2013 - Pouzin was one of five Internet and Web pioneers awarded the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.[10]


  1. 1 2 3 "Postel and Pouzin: 1997 SIGCOMM Award Winners", ACM SIGCOMM web site
  2. "A Technical History of CYCLADES", Technical Histories of the Internet & other Network Protocols (THINK), University of Texas, 11 June 2002
  3. "The Origin of the Shell", Multicians, accessed 31 March 2012
  4. Grangé, J. L. (2012). Oral history interview with Jean-Louis Grangé by Andrew L. Russell.
  5. http://www.eurolinc.eu/
  6. http://owni.fr/2012/01/13/les-nouvelles-root-de-l%E2%80%99internet/
  7. Savoir-faire biographies - http://www.open-root.eu/decouvrir-open-root/biographies/
  8. http://open-root.eu/
  9. 2012 Inductees, Internet Hall of Fame website. Last accessed April 24, 2012
  10. "2013 Winners Announced" Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering
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