CRON(8)                     System Manager's Manual                    CRON(8)


     cron - clock daemon


     cron [-n] [-l load_avg]


     The cron daemon schedules commands to be run at specified dates and
     times.  Commands that are to be run periodically are specified within
     crontab(5) files.  Commands that are only to be run once are scheduled
     via the at(1) and batch(1) commands.  Normally, the cron daemon is
     started from the /etc/rc command script.  Because it can execute commands
     on a user's behalf, cron should be run late in the startup sequence, as
     close to the time when logins are accepted as possible.

     cron loads crontab(5) and at(1) files when it starts up and also when
     changes are made via the crontab(1) and at(1) commands.  Additionally,
     cron checks the modification time on the system crontab file
     (/etc/crontab), the crontab spool (/var/cron/tabs), and the at spool
     (/var/cron/atjobs) once a minute.  If the modification time has changed,
     the affected files are reloaded.

     Any output produced by a command is sent to the user specified in the
     MAILTO environment variable as set in the crontab(5) file or, if no
     MAILTO variable is set (or if this is an at(1) or batch(1) job), to the
     job's owner.  If a command produces no output or if the MAILTO
     environment variable is set to the empty string, no mail will be sent.
     The exception to this is at(1) or batch(1) jobs submitted with the -m
     flag.  In this case, mail will be sent even if the job produces no

   Daylight Saving Time and other time changes
     Local time changes of less than three hours, such as those caused by the
     start or end of Daylight Saving Time, are handled specially.  This only
     applies to jobs that run at a specific time and jobs that are run with a
     granularity greater than one hour.  Jobs that run more frequently are
     scheduled normally.

     If time has moved forward, those jobs that would have run in the interval
     that has been skipped will be run immediately.  Conversely, if time has
     moved backward, care is taken to avoid running jobs twice.

     Time changes of more than 3 hours are considered to be corrections to the
     clock or time zone, and the new time is used immediately.

     The options are as follows:

     -l load_avg
             If the current load average is greater than load_avg, batch(1)
             jobs will not be run.  The default value is 1.5.  To allow
             batch(1) jobs to run regardless of the load, a value of 0.0 may
             be used.

     -n      By default, cron will detach from the current tty and become a
             daemon.  The -n option disables this behavior and causes it to
             run in the foreground.


     /etc/crontab        system crontab file
     /var/cron/atjobs    directory containing at(1) jobs
     /var/cron/log       cron's log file
     /var/cron/tabs      directory containing individual crontab files
     /var/run/cron.sock  used by crontab(1) to tell cron to check for crontab
                         changes immediately


     at(1), crontab(1), syslog(3), crontab(5)


     Paul Vixie <>


     crontab(5) files will be ignored if they do not have the proper file
     mode.  For user crontab files created by crontab(1), the mode must be
     0600.  If the system crontab file is used, /etc/crontab must not be
     writable by any user other than root and must not have the execute, set-
     user-ID, set-group-ID or sticky bits set.

OpenBSD 6.4                      June 8, 2017                      OpenBSD 6.4

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