NQS was originally developed for NASA back in 1985; the source code was sold to many companies, including Silicon Graphics, Cray Research and Monsanto Company. SG developed their own variant for use in IRIX 4, although it was discontinued before IRIX 5. Cray has enjoyed good commercial success with its NQE product, which features many enhancements over the original NQS.
Monsanto chose to place “Monsanto NQS” under the GNU GPL and provided enhancements for IRIX and ports to several versions of UNIX, including SunOS and DEC OSF/UNIX, culminating in NQS v3.36 in 1994.
In 1994, the University of Sheffield began a two-year funded program to provide all of UK academia with a robust and portable UNIX batch processing system. The University built on the excellent work of John Roman at Monsanto, releasing “Generic NQS” with new features, fixed bugs and support for over twenty versions of UNIX, including Linux.
Today, Generic NQS continues to be supported by Stuart Herbert in his spare time, using machines running Linux and FreeBSD.