how to change daily cron emails to go to user account instead of root

Ernie Luzar luzar722 at
Tue Sep 1 15:10:24 UTC 2015

Arthur Chance wrote:
> On 01/09/2015 13:33, Ernie Luzar wrote:
>> Руслан Бурханов wrote:
>>> Ernie, look:
>>> Open you rc.conf, copy string and modify flags for cron daemon:
>>> cron_flags="-j 60 -m 'YOU at MAIL'"
>>> Then, restart cron daemon (it is not necessary reboot system):
>>> /etc/rc.d/cron restart
>>> Then take a look on cron process:
>>> ps auxww | grep cron
>>> If you doing all okey, it will be something like:
>>> root       561  0.0  0.1  7984  1528  ??  Is    3:16PM   0:00.01
>>> /usr/sbin/cron -j 60 -m YOU at MAIL -s
>> Thank you Руслан Бурханов for the informative reply.
>> I did as you said and still the cron email went to root.instead of to 
>> bob.
>> I edited rc.conf and added this  cron_flags="-m 'bob at mydomain'" followed
>> by  "service cron restart" console command.
>> ps auxww console command showed
>> root 1953 0,0 0.2 10184 1940 -  Is  1:05PM  0:00.30 /usr/sbin/cron  -m
>> bob at mydomain -s
>> I am running version 10.2 on the host.  In the /var/log/maillog file I
>> can see postfix messages showing  root  receiving the emails.
>> rc.conf hostname= option value is the same as the mydomain value in the
>> cron_flags=  option.
>> Looks and acts like cron is not processing the over ride destination at
>> daily cron security check time.
>> Other than this problem of over ridding the cron email destination every
>> thing seems to be working as one would expect.
>> Is this enough to declare this a bug and submit a bug report?
>> Can you suggest other tests I can do to help debug this problem?
> In the case of mail from periodic (the usual source of mail to root) 
> there is no bug. I've already explained to you that periodic reroutes 
> its output independent of cron's settings, and I've shown you how to 
> deal with that.
> You've also had the suggestion of using aliases to ensure that any 
> mail to root *whatever its origins* goes to some other user.
> Have you tried either of those techniques?

Hello Arthur Chance;
Thank you for your reply.

To answer your questions. I have not tried the techniques of postfix 
alias and periodic.conf that you have been so good as to point out.

Lets step back and look at the big cron picture. Cron is designed as per 
the cron manual pages to use rc.conf  cron_flags=  option to over ride 
the default "root" destination. Now you state and tests prove that the 
cron periodic routines reroutes its output independent of cron's 
settings. To my way of thinking this is the definition of the bug I am 
experiencing. The periodic routines are in error by not adhering to the 
cron design standard. The periodic routines need code added to them to 
comply with the cron design and check for or use the value in the flags 
option to over ride the destination.

Adding the statements you previous posted to periodic.conf is a 
work-a-round, not a fix or the correct method as per man cron. The goal 
here is not to just get things working by a secondary method, but more 
to the point of getting bugs corrected.

Thank you for pointing out the cause of this bug. I am going to post a 
bug report on this.

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