The cron and at packages provide Linux users with a method for scheduling jobs. at is used to run a job once. cron is used to run jobs on a schedule. If a report should be run every Friday at 8 p.m., cron is perfect for the job. If a user wants to run a sweep of the system to find a misplaced file, the job can be scheduled to run that evening using the at command.
This chapter explains how cron and at work. You might not be familiar with the anacron and kcron packages, but they extend the features of cron. We also explain these tools in this chapter. We show how to use cron and the other utilities, but we also show how they work and provide examples of what can go wrong.
This chapter is organized into the following sections:
We conclude the chapter with a section on four troubleshooting scenarios that demonstrate good methodologies for fixing problems with cron.