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Mac OS X Tiger in a Nutshell by Jason McIntosh, Chuck Toporek, Chris Stone, Andy Lester

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Name

periodic

Synopsis

periodic name

Serves as a method of organizing recurring administrative tasks. periodic is used in conjunction with the cron facility, called by the following three entries from /etc/crontab:

1   3   *   *   *   root    periodic daily
15  4   *   *   6   root    periodic weekly
30  5   1   *   *   root    periodic monthly

The facility is controlled by the /etc/defaults/periodic.conf file, which specifies its default behavior. periodic runs all the scripts that it finds in the directory specified in name. If name is an absolute pathname, there is no doubt as to which directory is intended. If simply a name—such as daily—is given, the directory is assumed to be a subdirectory of /etc/periodic or of one of the alternate directories specified in the configuration file's local_periodic entry.

periodic can also be executed from the command line to run the administrative scripts manually. For example, to run the daily script, run periodic as root using daily as its argument:

$ sudo periodic daily

The configuration file contains several entries for valid command arguments that control the location and content of the reports that periodic generates. Here are the entries related to daily:

# Daily options
...
daily_output="/var/log/daily.out" Append report to a file
daily_show_success="YES"          Include success messages
daily_show_info="YES"             Include informational messages
daily_show_badconfig="NO"         Exclude configuration error
messages.

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