8.1: Cron ignoring crontab updates

perryh at pluto.rain.com perryh at pluto.rain.com
Sat Sep 4 06:36:57 UTC 2010

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.

OK, I had the mechanism wrong.  The main point is, it should not
require manual intervention by an administrator to get cron(8) to
notice when crontab(1) has revised a crontab.  The one thing I can
think of, short of a bug, is that a change made less than 1 minute
before the newly-added or -removed event might not be noticed in

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