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Cron is a utility that schedules tasks to run automatically in the background at the interval specified by the cron daemon, which then executes these tasks. Crontab is the configuration file that contains a list of items to be run and their schedule, so it is in this file that the time is configured. A cronjob is the name of a single job or task.


*/5 * * * * /usr/sbin/ntpdate -u

In this example, it is running the ntpdate, which synchronizes the time at an interval of five minutes against



You can edit the crontab file by using the command

crontab -e

or by accessing the file via an editor such as vi.


We have a number of cron jobs the most common are:

* * * * root /opt/ma/netmail/sbin/cleancores -d 2>&1 >/dev/null

This does a clean up of the core files (mplus-cleancores)

* * * * root /opt/ma/netmail/sbin/ndswatchdog 2>&1 >/dev/null

This does a status check on the Novell Directory Services (mplus-ndswatchdog)

* * * * root /opt/ma/ooo/bin/ 2>&1 >/dev/null

This runs a test on the attachment policy service (mplus-ooo)

0 0 * * 0 root /opt/novell/eDirectory/bin/ndsrepair -U -A no -F /root/ndsrepair.log >> /dev/null 2>&1

This runs a repair of the Novell Directory Services (mplus-ndsrepair)

0 * * * * root /opt/ma/netmail/sbin/nsrlupdate 2>&1 >/dev/null

his runs an update to the spam engine (mplus-nsrlupdate)

/7 * * * * root /opt/ma/netmail/sbin/rblcheck 2>&1 >/dev/null

This runs the rblcheck tool, which re-registers your system with the service (mplus-rblcheck)


This disables the root user from receiving system mail.

Any output from the commands above is essentially deleted by the job itself (2>&1 >/dev/null - output sent to dev/null).