Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Am Special: Cron Edition

I've been running Gentoo Linux for at least four years now. I used to use the vixie-cron daemon to run scheduled tasks like keeping installed software and a directory database up to date until I bought a new computer over a year ago. When I set up the new computer I decided to switch from vixie-cron to fcron because the machine is primarily a desktop system and fcron apparently is more suited to systems that aren't always on.

It wasn't long before I realized that my scheduled tasks were not running when they should. I did some cursory explorations at the time to figure out what was wrong. The daemon was starting up and running fine and the scripts were properly installed in the cron directories. I was busy with other things at the time and so I put solving the problem on the back burner until today when it finally bugged me enough that I wanted to fix it. I dug a little deeper and checked the system cron scheduling file (/etc/crontab) which is where I found this message:
# fcron || dcron:
# This is NOT the system crontab! fcron and dcron do not support a system crontab.
# to get /etc/cron.{hourly|daily|weekly|montly} working with fcron or dcron do
# crontab /etc/crontab
# as root.


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