Cron vs. Whenjobs vs. Goaljobs

Jonathan Ryshpan jonrysh at
Wed Dec 18 08:43:18 UTC 2013

On Wed, 2013-12-18 at 00:52 +0000, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 7:23 PM, Jonathan Ryshpan
> <jonrysh at> wrote:
>         I'm interested in a replacement for cron which would allow me
>         to run various cron jobs on demand, and mark them as having
>         been run, so they won't be run again from the schedule.
>         Looking through the Fedora repository, I noticed whenjobs,
>         which looks like it may do the job (no pun intended).  The
>         documentation for whenjobs says that it is obsolete and has
>         been replaced by goaljobs.
>         Has anyone tried out whenjobs or goaljobs.  Any problems?
>         Will they do what I need done?
> Is there some reason 'at' won't do what you want?

I don't think at will do the job.  

In more detail: I have a cron job which backs up my desktop system every
day.  The job is actually invoked by anacron, which starts it about an
hour after I boot up the system for the day.  Backing up takes from half
an hour to an hour and a half, depending.  

      * Frequently, I start the system, check my email and leave for
        breakfast; on these days, I'd like backup to start when I leave;
        I would invoke it by a shell script or whatever.
      * Other days, I stay on the system for a while; on these days I'd
        like cron to start the job whenever its algorithms think best.
      * I don't want to leave starting the job completely to a shell
        script run from a terminal, because I'd often forget to run it.

If I can replace cron with at and get the desired result, I'll be happy.

Thanks - jon

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