Cron vs. Whenjobs vs. Goaljobs

Wolfgang S. Rupprecht wolfgang.rupprecht at
Wed Dec 18 20:31:26 UTC 2013

Jonathan Ryshpan <jonrysh at> writes:
> 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. 

Why not run /etc/cron.hourly/0anacron just before leaving for breakfast
(or give it an easier to remember alias like "run-anacron-now")?

What I do here the systems that are booted infrequently is add this to

@reboot root /etc/cron.hourly/0anacron 

and change /etc/anacrontab:

# the maximal random delay added to the base delay of the jobs
# the jobs will be started during the following hours only


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