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. 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.
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.
Unix is about the twenty-sixth most common naturally-occurring oscillator in Achim Flammenkamp's census, being about as common as octagon 2. On Catagolue, it is the most common period 6 oscillator and until 2020, it was the only non-trivial one to have appeared naturally, as all others consisted of period 2 and 3 rotors that do not interact. However, on May 8, 2020, an oscillator appeared naturally consisting of a unix whose spark is suppressed on one side by a clock.
- 16P6.1 at Heinrich Koenig's Game of Life Object Catalogs