SUMMARY: Using rdist to update Crontabs

Earnest, Jim - TAFB/B1083 (
Fri, 31 Oct 1997 07:05:00 -0800 (PST)

Original Question:
This question is in regards to SUNOS 4.1.4. I suppose that this question
would be equally valid for Solaris 2.x.

The man pages for CRON state that CRON examines crontab files only when the

files have been modified via the "crontab" and "at" commands. This is to
reduce overhead of having to check new or changed crontabs at "regularly
scheduled intervals".
We have some SS20's that we wish to maintain identical crontabs. The
problem is that when we need to infrequently update the group crontab file
and propagate it out to the SS20's, CRON on those systems does not know
about the newly updated cron tab. The group crontab file is propagated via

Is there a method of notifying CRON via the CRON FIFO that a particular
crontab has been updated? Anyone know where to get some source code for
CRON? Any other ideas?


1.) Use rdist to copy the files to a temporary location and then use the
"special" option in the distfile to run the "crontab" command to place the
newly installed crontab into the correct location and notify cron.

2.) Send a HANGUP signal to cron - cron -HUP <cron pid>
I have not tested this, I will have to later an verify that it works
for SunOS

Many thanks to the BORG crew that quickly responded to my situation

Todd Boss
Eugene Kramer
Kevin Davidson
Singh Adrian
Daniel Kluge
Stefan Voss
Glenn Stachell
David Schiffrin
Karl Vogel
Dave A Flanigan

Just to name a few....

Please forgive me if I did not list your name and you responded to my
request. There were just so many I don't have time to type them all.
However, my heart felt thanks go out to you.

Jim Earnest