Trouble-shooting Cron Problems FreeBSD5.4

Martin McCormick martin at
Tue Oct 31 19:49:33 UTC 2006

Dan Nelson writes:
> 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).

	Thank you.  That is exactly what happened.  I checked the
working system by doing

crontab -e -u operator

and there was no crontab there at all.  I then went to the ailing
system and, voila, there was the copy of /etc/crontab complete
with all its comment lines.  I remember being confused at one
stage about /etc/crontab because of the line

\# /etc/crontab - root's crontab for FreeBSD

	After all, the root user also has a crontab file with the
normal user fields (minus the special 6TH field).

	Somewhere along the way, I probably typed either

crontab -u operator crontab

from /etc or did a crontab -e -u operator and joined /etc/crontab
in to the new table.

	Remember the saying that goes, "Nothing can be made
foolproof because fools are so ingenious?"  That pretty well says
it all.  I am not sure how I figured it might need to go in the
operator account, but that's where it wound up.  I am sure that
solves the problem.  I'll know in 15 minutes when the next
newsyslog command fires and I don't get the squawk.:-)

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK 
Systems Engineer
OSU Information Technology Department Network Operations Group

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list