Scheduled Activity: cron and at
The user's interface to the crontab and at commands is very similar across different versions of Unix, but implementations of underlying directory structures, daemons, and access controls may differ. Be sure to review your system documentation to take advantage of all aspects of these powerful commands.
There's practically no limit to the use of crontab and at, but let me offer a few words of warning. First, consider security issues when enabling user crontab and at permissions. Obviously, a disgruntled co-worker could leave a “time-bomb” of some sort, limited only by his other permission restrictions. Many versions of crontab and at allow you to specify “allow” and “deny” files to control which users have access to the utilities. You could also use root's crontab to check for and remove user crontabs (or any other files) if you want to.
Also, debug your crontab file entries thoroughly. Check that they are working. These entries are usually scheduled to execute at times of low-usage, so it is unlikely you'll be around to observe them at the time.
John Raithel is a consulting technical writer specializing in documenting the system and network administration of the Unix operating system, and is currently working on World Wide Web and firewall documentation for Silicon Graphics, Inc. He lives in a small town on the central California coast where he plays with his Linux and SunOS “mini-network”. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide