mintCast 281 – Talking cron jobs

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Bi-weekly Wanderings:

  • Isaac’s been doing more for GNU and digging into Emacs.
  • Rob’s been digging into Linux audio to setup the new podcast rig and also got his “auto-updater” to work.

News:

Linux Innards:

  • Rob talks about his adventures and experience working with Cron and Anacron.

Vibrations from the Ether:

  • Thanks to everyone that emailed us or left comments on the webpage.
  • Contribute to Linux Mint!

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  • Next time we’ll be discussing last year’s and new year’s predictions.
  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone….we’ll be back in 3 weeks!

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Hosts: Rob and Isaac
Live Stream every other Sunday 2:00 p.m.(Central): mintcast.org/livestream

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Podcast Entry and exit music provided by Mark Blasco (podcastthemes.com). Podcast bumpers provided by Oscar.

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2 thoughts on “mintCast 281 – Talking cron jobs

  1. Rob, if you want to dig more into learning about job scheduling, take a look at systemd timers (read man systemd.timer or https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Systemd/Timers). Arch Linux stopped including cron in the base system and recommends using systemd timers instead (cron is still in the repos). You can use the Persistent=True option to get missed tasks to run like they do with Anacron. A nice feature of systemd timers is that their output gets stored in the journalctl log and their status can be queried with systemctl status. I use a systemd timer to trigger my backups.

    Also, you can set up the environment for your cron jobs if you want. There are some examples here: https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/67940/cron-ignores-variables-defined-in-bashrc-and-bash-profile/418262 Be careful if you set BASH_ENV in cron. I have seen infinite loops set up by cron jobs that call bash scripts because the script sources the BASH_ENV file and the BASH_ENV file called a bash script which sourced the BASH_ENV file that called that bash script again, etc.

    I used vim for a long time and still use it for certain tasks now. More recently, I have been using emacs more since I found the evil plugin that makes emacs use the vim keybindings. emacs seems a little easier to extend than vim and has a few nice plugins that are easier to set up than in vim. It also seems to have a bit better architecture. I like that I can run it as a server and connect with emacsclient. This means that opening new emacs processes is very quick because it is just connecting to the running server rather than re-loading all of my plugins and doing the other start up jobs. Also, emacs has a built in plugin manager. Wtih vim, you have to install a third-party one.

  2. Thanks Rob and Isaac for that intro to cron. And thanks Will re systemd timers. Yes, Rob – it’s trying to persuade users to do the updates. My daughter runs a business with Windows and a couple of Mint boxes. Trouble is, she’s 350 miles away so it’s difficult to get there to do the updates. But I will try and add cron or systemd timers for auto-updates.

    As a soho user I don’t use vim or emacs, I only use the text editor provided by the system. Mint is on all those spare boxes and laptops I’ve acquired over the years. My wife has used her HP14 Chromebook for 3+ years and we both use Samsung Galaxy tablets. I only use Windows for ABBYY ocr (gocr doesn’t work for me) and updating my TomTom satnav (why? – it uses Linux!).

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