The Cron of Tab

Damn, setting up crons was supposed to be a walk in the park, so much so that I didn’t even budget mental energy for it! Maybe that was the problem…

Anyways, lessons learned from setting up simple cron jobs.

  1. How-Tos are good, but man is better.
  2. crontab -e will either load your current crontab, or load a blank template for you.
  3. crontab -r will kill your current crontab. Which is why it’s nice to keep the output of crontab -l, which lists your crontab jobs, in a backup file. Because unless you like setting up crons, you don’t want to be left high and dry without a backup.
  4. try running your jobs before putting them in the crontab. Or, if you’re like me, do crontab -l, cut and paste, and figure out why /usr/local/binruby is not the command you want (/usr/local/bin/ruby was what I was looking for).
  5. to make sure your jobs are running, tail -f /var/log/syslog. Note that this doesn’t tell you if they’re crap or not.
  6. Or, append your output to a log, and check to see that the log is growing.

I’m still kind of cruxing about how I’m going to run this on a deployed app. I think I’m going to have to get ops to add deploy_user, and add the crons on deploy_user’s behalf. Of course, I’ll worry about that when I can actually smoothly install mod_rails on my semi jacked up box. I must be the only tard in the universe who screwed up a mod_rails install, but more on that tomorrow.

Tomorrow (er, 1 week later)

In the mad rush to launch (more later), I forgot to update this page, which is bad because this is my scratchpad that has more than once saved me from repeating a painful process. Summary: anyone installing mod rails should take 4 minutes and view the railscast. I was missing the following in my conf file:

LoadModule passenger_module /usr/local/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/passenger-1.0.5/ext/apache2/
RailsSpawnServer /usr/local/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/passenger-1.0.5/bin/passenger-spawn-server
RailsRuby /usr/local/bin/ruby

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