format of /etc/crontab?

Rich Morin rdm at
Thu Jul 3 13:54:44 PDT 2003

The cron(8) man page (on my FreeBSD 4.7 system) says:

    Cron searches /var/cron/tabs for crontab files which are named after
    accounts in /etc/passwd; crontabs found are loaded into memory.  Cron
    also searches for /etc/crontab which is in a different format (see

The crontab(5) man page, however, says nothing about any differences in
the file formats.  Instead, it appears to describe only the format that
is used in /var/cron/tabs/* files.

I would like to know precisely how the format of /etc/crontab differs,
but I can't find any man page that addresses this.  Help?

email: rdm at; phone: +1 650-873-7841    - my home page, resume, etc.   - The FreeBSD Browser, Meta Project, etc. - Prime Time Freeware's DOSSIER series

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