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Thread: syslog is flooded with /usr/bin/crontab entries

  1. #1
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    Question syslog is flooded with /usr/bin/crontab entries

    Hi all,

    I'm running Ubuntu 10.04. I recently tried to create a cronjob in my user's crontab which executes a bash scipt every 10 minutes by using Applications --> System Tools --> Scheduled tasks

    Directly after saving the cronjob I've noticed that my syslog file is flooded with "/usr/bin/crontab" messages every 9 seconds.

    It looks like this:
    Code:
    Aug 25 21:10:01 rechner CRON[2260]: (ubunky) CMD (/home/ubunky/scripts/test.sh >/dev/null 2>&1 # JOB_ID_1)
    Aug 25 21:10:03 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2269]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:10:12 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2273]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:10:21 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2277]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:10:30 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2281]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:10:39 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2285]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:10:48 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2289]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:10:57 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2296]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:11:06 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2322]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:11:15 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2326]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:11:24 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2330]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:11:33 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2334]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:11:42 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2338]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:11:51 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2342]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:12:00 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2346]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    Aug 25 21:12:01 rechner CRON[2350]: (ubunky) CMD (/home/ubunky/scripts/test.sh >/dev/null 2>&1 # JOB_ID_1)
    ... etc.
    What are these "LIST" messages and why do they appear every 9 seonds? As the PC runs the whole day this would mean a very big syslog file, wouldn't it?

    Do you know a way to suppress these messages? Have I done sth. wrong?
    Last edited by Ubunky; August 28th, 2011 at 06:09 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: syslog is flooded with /usr/bin/crontab entries

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubunky View Post
    Code:
    Aug 25 21:10:01 rechner CRON[2260]: (ubunky) CMD (/home/ubunky/scripts/test.sh >/dev/null 2>&1 # JOB_ID_1)
    Aug 25 21:10:03 rechner /usr/bin/crontab[2269]: (ubunky) LIST (ubunky)
    What are these "LIST" messages and why do they appear every 9 ....
    The "LIST" message appears if one does a "crontab -l" command. Are you doing that from your cron script? If not I wonder if the system's "Scheduled tasks" thing is a process trying to helpfully "monitor" the crontab file?

  3. #3
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    Re: syslog is flooded with /usr/bin/crontab entries

    Hi gmargo,

    thanks for your help.

    The "LIST" message appears if one does a "crontab -l" command. Are you doing that from your cron script?
    No. I'm basically using gconftool-2 within the script to change the standby time period under certain conditions. Btw. the scripts name isn't "test.sh". I've just changed it here in the code tags for paranoid reasons . Just in case you suspect it interferes with the systems test command.

    Even if I would have "crontab -l" in the bash script wouldn't this mean the LIST message would appear only all 10 minutes just like the cronjob executes the script and not every 9 seconds?

    If not I wonder if the system's "Scheduled tasks" thing is a process trying to helpfully "monitor" the crontab file?
    As far as I understand it, the "Scheduled tasks" thing is just an editor to the users crontab file. Why would it do a "crontab -l" every 9 seconds?
    Last edited by Ubunky; August 27th, 2011 at 10:14 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: syslog is flooded with /usr/bin/crontab entries

    I'm trying to follow what you did, so I booted up 10.04 Lucid with the default Ubuntu desktop (Gnome based), but I can't find "Applications --> System Tools --> Scheduled tasks" . What desktop are you using? Or where does this menu come from?

  5. #5
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    Re: syslog is flooded with /usr/bin/crontab entries

    I'm using Gnome 2.30.2. I think you have to install "gnome-schedule" from the repository as it's not part of a basic install.

  6. #6
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    Re: syslog is flooded with /usr/bin/crontab entries

    anybody else notice the "rechner" user and the "/home/ubunky/scripts/test.sh" in the cron definition?

    how about the OP post the contents of /home/ubunky/scripts/test.sh?
    DorkBlog

    If you want something you've never had, then you must do things you've never done.
    Tools every shell scripter should have, explainshell, shellcheck, and crontab sandbox.

  7. #7
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    Re: syslog is flooded with /usr/bin/crontab entries

    Quote Originally Posted by Habitual View Post
    anybody else notice the "rechner" user and the "/home/ubunky/scripts/test.sh" in the cron definition?
    I don't understand that. "rechner" is the host name. "ubunky" is the user name.

  8. #8
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    Re: syslog is flooded with /usr/bin/crontab entries

    I don't understand that.
    Me neither. Where's the problem? As gmargo says one's the hostname the other my username.

    how about the OP post the contents of /home/ubunky/scripts/test.sh?
    Sure, no problem.

    Code:
    #!/bin/bash
    
    # Function for running gconftool-2 in cronjob. Details http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=9109780
    export_variables () {
    	user=$( whoami )
    	pid=$( pgrep -u $user gnome-panel )
    
    	for dbusenv in $pid; do
    		DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS=$( grep -z DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS /proc/$pid/environ | sed -e 's/DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS=//' )
    
    		data="DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS=$DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS"
    		eval " export $data"
    	done
    }
    
    # Call function
    export_variables
    
    # Read current standby time period
    StandbyTime=$(gconftool-2 -g /apps/gnome-power-manager/timeout/sleep_computer_ac)
    
    # Check for .lock file
    if [ -f /medien/.lock ]; then
      if [ $StandbyTime -eq 0 ]; then
        exit 0
      else
        /usr/bin/gconftool-2 --type int --set /apps/gnome-power-manager/timeout/sleep_computer_ac 0 >/dev/null 2>&1
      fi
    # .lock doesn't exist
    else
      if [ $StandbyTime -eq 3600 ]; then
        exit 0
      else
        /usr/bin/gconftool-2 --type int --set /apps/gnome-power-manager/timeout/sleep_computer_ac 3600 >/dev/null 2>&1
      fi
    fi
    Last edited by Ubunky; August 27th, 2011 at 10:50 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: syslog is flooded with /usr/bin/crontab entries

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubunky View Post
    I'm using Gnome 2.30.2. I think you have to install "gnome-schedule" from the repository as it's not part of a basic install.
    Thank you for pointing me at that.

    As soon as I opened gnome-schedule through Applications -> System Tools -> Scheduled tasks, I started getting LIST hits in the log, every 9 seconds, just like you did.

    As soon as I closed the gnome-schedule window, those LIST hits stopped. Do you have it running?

  10. #10
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    Talking Re: syslog is flooded with /usr/bin/crontab entries

    As soon as I closed the gnome-schedule window, those LIST hits stopped.
    OMG, gmargo you're a genius . You're absolutely right. The "LIST" messages every 9 seconds are a result of the running gnome-schedule screen. As soon as I quit it, the messages stop. I wouldn't have figured that out in a million years.

    Thanks for all the work you put in and your help.

    Cheers
    Martin

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