About Me, FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X, Technical

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/crontab because every other reasonable SysAdmin already knows where it is. If anything is used in addition to /etc/crontab, leave a note in /etc/crontab advising 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.

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Categories: About Me, FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X, Technical

  • Brian Moyles

    first place I look on any system is in /var/cron or /var/spool/cron. User crontabs get stored in there, one per file.

  • MikeyAye

    D-Man ~~~~~~~~~

    Ya know, most of the time I just surf the dumb pages, kinda like I watch brainless movies because I just want to relax and not have to think a lot.

    But then sometimes I want to read a webpage that is in a language other than English, just to expand my horizons.

    When this happens I hit the DannyMan page and look for a blog-type entry with a title that looks suspicious – like “SysAdmin OpEd: Where to Keep the Crons.”

    So I read it and am pleased that I get to read something by my good friend DannyMan and I am pleased to know that there are real smart people of the world that can read this and actually know WTF is going on. After all, my future depends on you smarties. Makes me proud that I actually know what’s a SysAdmin, of course I only know that becuz my fren IS one.

    But mostly I am pleased to return to my boyhood, remembering hearing Janis singing on KSAN FM in SF – “Contrabs just another word for nothing left to lose…..”

    After all, as any grade-schooler will tell you, Contrabs is just “SBARTNOC” backwards.

    Happy MLK Day, Slim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you get an extra day off!!!!!!!

    How ’bout Zachary’s for pizza sometime soooooon??????????