SysAdmin OpEd: Where to Keep the Crons
This is just a note which I contributed to a thread on sage-members, to get something off my chest, as to where people should maintain their crontab entries. I sincerely doubt that reading what I have to say will bring you any great illumination.
I’d say, any reasonable SysAdmin should default to
/etc/crontabbecause every other reasonable SysAdmin already knows where it is. If anything is used in addition to
/etc/crontab, leave a note in
/etc/crontabadvising the new guy who just got paged at 3:45am where else to look for crons.
For production systems, I strongly object to the use of per-user crontabs. I’m glad to hear I’m not alone. One thing I have to do in a new environment tends to be to write a script that will sniff out all the cron entries.
And then there was the shop that used
/etc/crontab, user crons, and fcron to keep crons from running over each other. This frustrated me enough that I did a poor job of explaining that job concurrency could easily be ensured by executing a command through (something like) the lockf utility, instead of adding a new layer of system complexity.
Yes, I am a cranky old SysAdmin.