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On UNIX, the boot code is traditionally found in the directory /usr/mdec. Some modern UNIX variants keep this tradition up (e.g. OpenBSD) while others have changed the directory layout (e.g. FreeBSD). I was able to find a /usr/mdec directory in 5th edition UNIX, but not in any of the incomplete earlier versions. No explanation for the name is given.

Where does the name /usr/mdec come from and what does it mean?

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    I suspect the dec part was chosen because the code is DEC-specific... – Stephen Kitt Jul 31 '18 at 13:22
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    There are also references to mdec in V4. – Stephen Kitt Jul 31 '18 at 13:31
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    I suspect it to mean DEC as well - the directory contains DEC machine specific boot code – tofro Jul 31 '18 at 14:01

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