Timezones for cron progress

At last some real progress on the addition of timezone support to cron that I have been working in my “spare” time.

Yesterday the proposal went for Architectural review. It is PSARC 2007/503 and has been submitted as a fast track. The full proposal includes some feature creep in that it also proposes support for two other environment variables to effect the behaviour of cron. These are:

  • HOME. This will allow you to have cron run your jobs from a directory other than your home directory. This is particularly useful for jobs running on NFS clients when using an authentication flavour that is not SYS.

  • SHELL. Let you have your job run by the specified shell rather than the bourne shell.

The reason for limiting the variables to just three is that only these three effect cron. Any other variable could be set on the command line and the shell in use would take advantage of it.

Finally whether you get this behaviour or not is controlled by the presence of a line in /etc/default/cron. This way OpenSolaris distributions can choose if they want the “correct” behaviour according to the standards or the more useful extended behaviour.

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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