Karl Schmidt wrote:
> In response to Redhat
> Quoted here:
> "Description of problem:
> The location of the Cron file should be under /etc ...
> Redhat's response quoted here::
> "Do you propose the same for each other users crontabs? What if they don't
> have write access to /etc, this could cause problems. Why not just backup
> the /var/spool/cron directory as well as /etc.
> I don't see this as an issue."
Congratulations, you shot yourself into the RedHat Notabug league.
Even though RedHats brushoff was somewhat offish, I have to say
they are right in this case.
For starters, they have addressed most of your problem by having
the system crontab in /etc/crontab, even though it does not use
the traditional crontab syntax (the crontab syntax is a b c d e command,
RedHat's /etc/crontab has a b c d e logname directive filename), but let
My guess is that the reason for that is the same reason people went
away from /etc/rc and /etc/rc.local - it is easy to append something
to a script from an install script, ensuring that it gets actually
executed is another matter, and changing it once it is in there is
is a big headache. It is much easier to install or delete a file,
and have a script loop over all files in a directory (/etc/cron.hourly
It seems whoever answered the query as shown above had not soiled his
mind with too much technical knowledge.
But then, /var/spool/cron/crontabs IS a spool, and should not need
backing up. You should never type data that you want to keep into a
program that squirrels it away, "improves it", stores it in a
proprietary format, or recommends that you do not use an editor on
whatever it creates. If I wanted to keep a record of my password, I
would certainly not trust the passwd program to do that for me.
Keeping the crontabs in users home directories is a bad idea, just try
to think of it, you have 1000 users with automounted home directories,
would you want cron to cause a mountstorm *every minute* ? We found
that already having the graphical login tool mount all home directories
to look for a personalised icon there was such a Bad Idea that the
iconlogin got switched off within days of coming out (in 1991 or so).
In fact, giving users cron capabilities may be a bad idea entirely,
becasue there is no coordination, and you could get 100s of processes
starting just because 100s of users think it would be best to fetch mail
just before office hours so that it is available when they arrive at
eight in the morning, say. This is also a side benefit of the
/etc/cron.hourly etc. setup.
* Why not use metric units and get it right first time, every time ?
* email: cmaae47 @ imperial.ac.uk
* voice: +4420-7594-6912 (day)