8.1: Cron ignoring crontab updates

patrick gibblertron at gmail.com
Fri Sep 3 17:27:25 UTC 2010

Yes, it's definitely updating:

[root at juno /var/cron/tabs]# ls -ald /var/cron/tabs
drwx------  2 root  wheel  512 Sep  2 12:49 /var/cron/tabs

And after editing my crontab:

[root at juno /var/cron/tabs]# ls -ald /var/cron/tabs
drwx------  2 root  wheel  512 Sep  3 10:25 /var/cron/tabs

I've been using FreeBSD since version 4, and this has never once been
an issue, nor is this an issue on a system with a fresh install of


On Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 2:37 AM, Arthur Chance <freebsd at qeng-ho.org> wrote:
> On 09/03/10 09:19, perryh at pluto.rain.com wrote:
>> Chris Rees<utisoft at gmail.com>  wrote:
>>> You have to SIGHUP cron, not restart it.
>>> # killall -HUP cron
>> Isn't crontab(1) supposed to do that, without separate intervention?
> From man cron
>>     Additionally, cron checks each minute to see if its spool directory's
>>     modification time (or the modification time on /etc/crontab) has
>> changed,
>>     and if it has, cron will then examine the modification time on all
>>     crontabs and reload those which have changed.  Thus cron need not be
>>     restarted whenever a crontab file is modified.  Note that the
>> crontab(1)
>>     command updates the modification time of the spool directory whenever
>> it
>>     changes a crontab.
> From the original post crontab seems to be working, so all I can suggest
> is to "ls -ld /var/cron/tabs" before and after using crontab -e and see
> if the modtime is being changed correctly.

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