Something More Than Cron

Eric Wald eswald at
Sat Feb 13 08:18:19 MST 2010

Shane Hathaway wrote:
> I'd like some suggestions for Unix/Linux software that does just a bit
> more than our old standby, cron.  I'd like:
> - A complete report of what was run and when (cron doesn't do this)
> - An email even if the job takes a long time (cron apparently doesn't
> send email if the job takes more than 5 minutes)

Could these two be added by a simple wrapper around your real cron job?
It could start by adding a single line to a log file, then steal all of
the input and pipe it into sendmail.  Rough guideline:

echo `date -u +"%s"` "$@" >> /var/log/jobsrun.log
( echo "From: $0 at localhost"; \
  echo "To: $USER at localhost";
  echo "Subject: Job transcript for $1";
  echo; \
  "$@" ) |& sendmail -i $USER at localhost

Good luck.

- Eric

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