Thursday, August 12, 2010

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

In what world is it a reasonable Sysadmin action to stop cron entirely, just to avoid an (otherwise-harmless) email alert from one cron job out of 30+ jobs on a host?

I am not sure why this particular insanity is boggling my mind so much today. (Perhaps some of it is due to the Sysadmin in question first trying to use 'svcadm diable cron' -- FOUR TIMES -- before realizing their typo.)


Chad Mynhier said...

Oh, come on. What harm can there be in stopping cron?

rantingnerd said...

What, don't you have a cron that enters "4 8 15 16 23 42" into a 1980-era computer every 108 minutes?

Kevin said...

Wow. Even mindlessly appending > /dev/null 2>&1 would have been better.

I also love the "use cron to restart broken service every x time units before it breaks in some way (usually resource leakage)" school of sysadmining. And by love I mean I want to punch it in the face.

rantingnerd said...

If the were going to edit the crontab, they could have simply commented it out. :-P

How about "run a cron job every hour that reinstalls the crontab from a source file"? That way if you don't notice that you have to edit the source file, your changes get stomped. Wheeee!

Aram said...


rantingnerd said...

"El diable" is exactly what I thought when I saw it! :-)

Kevin said...

Entertainingly my Thursday was ruined due to a crontab change I made back in February.

What's wrong with this:

23 30 * * * db-user important-db-maint-cmd

Of course it's not that important - ran fine without it for 6 months. And we had six hours to spare when we realised it hadn't been running.

rantingnerd said...

Wouldn't you ALWAYS have at least six hours to spare, with that one?

What OS's crontab didn't complain about that?