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b2o5b$b2o5b2$bo6b$obo5b$o2bo2b2o$4bob2o$2b2o! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ AUTOSTART ]] #C [[ GPS 3 THUMBSIZE 2 ]]
Pattern type Oscillator
Number of cells 16
Bounding box 9×9
Frequency class 29.3
Period 6
Mod 6
Heat 11.3
Volatility 0.80
Strict volatility 0.80
Discovered by David Buckingham
Year of discovery 1976

Unix (plural: unices) is a period-6 oscillator that was found by David Buckingham on February 10, 1976. It consists of two blocks eating a long barge and is a useful sparker.[1] Its name derives from the fact that it was for some time the mascot of the Unix lab of the mathematics faculty at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. With just 16 cells, it is the smallest known period 6 oscillator.[2]

A 5-glider synthesis of this oscillator was found by Goldtiger997 on May 14, 2019, based on a 4-glider collision submitted to Catagolue by Arie Paap in a custom apgsearch symmetry.[3]


Unix is about the twenty-sixth most common naturally-occurring oscillator in Achim Flammenkamp's census, being about as common as octagon 2.[4] On Catagolue, it is the most common period 6 oscillator and the only non-trivial one to have appeared naturally, as all others consist of period 2 and 3 rotors that do not interact.[5]

See also


  1. Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection.
  2. "Class 2 Objects Catalog". Retrieved on March 14, 2009.
  3. Jeremy Tan (May 14, 2019). Re: Synthesising Oscillators (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
  4. Achim Flammenkamp (September 7, 2004). "Most seen natural occurring ash objects in Game of Life". Retrieved on January 15, 2009.
  5. Adam P. Goucher. "Statistics". Catagolue. Retrieved on October 27, 2018.

External links

  • 16P6.1 at Heinrich Koenig's Game of Life Object Catalogs