How to Automate your Life in Linux using Cron


One of the great benefits of using computers is that they are ideal candidates for performing the uninteresting jobs humans get tired of doing. Most of us would be bored senseless making database
backups everyday, cleaning out disks, updating report files, and managing system logs. These activities are typically linear, mundane processes that are straightforward enough to require little intervention, which makes them ideal candidates for automation.

One of the most fundamental pieces of the toolbox within all Unix-type operating systems is called cron. This small utility is like an alarm clock. When the alarm goes off, it tells the computer to do whatever you have configured it to do. As an example, if you perform a backup every day, you can get cron to perform this for you at a specific time. Another example is if you need to generate a weekly report about a project—cron can generate this report automatically.

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