Trouble-shooting Cron Problems FreeBSD5.4

Dan Nelson dnelson at
Tue Oct 31 18:30:20 UTC 2006

In the last episode (Oct 31), Martin McCormick said:
> 	After building a new FreeBSD5.4 system, I have done
> something bad to it.
> 	When cron runs jobs in /etc/crontab as operator, it seems
> as if that 6TH field in /etc/crontab is being interpreted as a
> command rather than the user ID it is supposed to run under.  I
> keep getting messages like:

The "operator" user has no access to /etc/crontab.  You have probably
copied entries from the system crontab (i.e. /etc/crontab) into a
user's crontab.  The system crontab has the extra "user" column, where
user crontabs don't (since they always run as the user).

> From:    operator at system.domainname (Cron Daemon)
> Subject: Cron <operator at system> root	newsyslog

operator won't be able to run newsyslog anyway, since it can't write to
/var/log and can't send signals to syslogd (which runs as root). 

You'll probably want to move those lines back to the system crontab.
	Dan Nelson
	dnelson at

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