Abandoning vixie – fillin fcron

Perhaps cron doesn’t get used much anymore, but Gentoo’s vixie-cron is broke. Vixie-cron works just fine as a daemon executing commands in /etc/cron.*, but for the user it’s not. Yes I was sure to be added to the cron and crontab group, followed Gentoo Cron Tutorial, but vixie-cron would bark, “Permission Denied” when I tried to edit the crontab. The only way I could fix this as user was to change the permission of /var/spool/cron/crontabs to that of user:crontab this however broke it for the daemon – a problem I could not recover from. I re-installed vixie-cron to no effect.

I would report this as a bug but I happened to look at vixie-cron details on it’s ftp and discover it hasn’t been updated for 3 years so I’m not going to bother. The Gentoo Cron Tutorial actually references dcron and fcron more often so I imagine Gentoo is going away from it. Anyways, I got fcron installed and it works nicely, tyvm.

Abandoning vixie - follow fcron

Fcron is a built with a slightly more ambitious than vixie choosing, for example, to rather to use a binary for a system crontab and not the standard /etc/crontab. Gentoo developer jer provides some nice instructions in the ebuild to adapting the system. I took the time to write in plain text his instructions and put it on the wiki.

Gentoo Wiki Fcron

About Gen2ly

<3's linux

Posted on 2008-01-21, in Linux. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I switched to fcron too for the same reasons… just some month ago as there were some ‘random failures’ happening.

  2. I did not have problems with vixie-cron but fcron is so much powerful… and it has option to not log the startup of some tasks (very useful if you execute something every 2 mins or so).

  3. Hmm, this seems very strange to me. I’ve never had problems with vixie-cron on many widely different gentoo systems. Typically ‘crontab -e’ is how you edit user crontabs, you cannot edit them directly, even on ubuntu systems. Does that work for you?

    And ugh, following your link to Tutorial, as with many gentoo docs, even though it’s got (maybe too much) great accurate info, it doesn’t mention this critical piece at all. Maybe I need to volunteer to work on Gentoo documentation.

  4. dcron or fcron I’m predicting will be put into the Gentoo install guide by next release.

  5. yes rada, fcron documentation is a little more complicated than vixie-cron the conversion requires more to do. The good news is the setup is nice and solid. I too like writing documentation. :)

  6. Actually, I don’t seem to have communicated clearly, maybe I’d better stay away from documentation! ;) I meant “Please don’t run down vixie-cron; it sounds like you had problems running it as user since you weren’t using crontab -e to set up crontabs, and that was not in the vixie-cron tutorial, but perhaps even crontab -e was bugged for you.” And the point about lack of current vixie-cron work is certainly valid. Guess I should look into d or f cron for next install or upgrade.

  7. Actually it was the “crontab -e” as user that produced the “Permission Denied” problem. We talked about it in the forums but after a night wrangling with it I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle. Probably just a quirk, but I’m thinking it won’t be support software much longer that’s why I decided to use fcron.

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