that would be useable for basic sysadmin types (maybe something nCurses)? Found one tcl/tk at: http://www.linux-kheops.com/pub/vcron/vcronGB.html but running an X tool would app would be too complicated for this requirement. TIA, Lee
What kind of basic unix admin can't deal with % export EDITOR=vi % crontab -e ? -- Sent from my mobile device http://www.glumbert.com/media/shift http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGvHNNOLnCk "This officer's men seem to follow him merely out of idle curiosity." -- Sandhurst officer cadet evaluation. "Securing an environment of Windows platforms from abuse - external or internal - is akin to trying to install sprinklers in a fireworks factory where smoking on the job is permitted." -- Gene Spafford learn french: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30v_g83VHK4
Didn't say they were *unix* admins, .. no way I'd saddle some of these guys with vi, much less setting the cron time parameters correctly. Lee
There is a simple and effective system for this level. Have them write all their cron stuff in their crontab-let pad Set crontab-alarm clock to go off at appropriate times Type in commands from crontab-let pad. Never fails -- A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. -- Robert Heinlein
On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 10:00 PM, Chris Bennett < Heh. I did that at my last place. You want your web pages to go out automagically? OK, develop it, and when you're done, stick it onto this staging server. At 2am each morning, an rsync from staging sever to my prod server happens. After that, it rsyncs to each of the prod webservers. Throw in a couple of keys, and a year after I left, it was still working. Except that no one dared touch it, because "it just works" Even though I documented everything. But, they were click and drool monkeys, so.... -- http://www.glumbert.com/media/shift http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGvHNNOLnCk "This officer's men seem to follow him merely out of idle curiosity." -- Sandhurst officer cadet evaluation. "Securing an environment of Windows platforms from abuse - external or internal - is akin to trying to install sprinklers in a fireworks factory where smoking on the job is permitted." -- Gene Spafford learn french: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30v_g83VHK4
Then you are far, far better off not letting them anywhere near the server room if they are that unqualified. Give them some time to learn and a training server, but make sure that the probationary period does not pass. If they're the typical smart-as-a-box of hair Microsoft admin, you're better off getting them back out the door ASAP. If they turn out to be capable of learning then making heavy use of custom formulas in sudoers can give them training wheels on the production server while they get up to speed. /Lars
No, that isn't going to work. This isn't some elitist club - if we can't provide a simple, sane, safe way for a [priviledged] user to push a backup image out to a DR server, than *we* have failed as technologists. Lee
You are missing the point of "privilege" then. Privilege gives you access to tools and right to shoot yourself in the foot. It is obvious to me that someone was elevated to a privileged level without having the necessary skill set. Perhaps the better question is why are unqualified people giving the tools to shoot themself? Sounds like a management issue, not a system design issue. The question really is, is the cost of experienced personnel more than the cost of educating your inexperienced staff to a proficiency level high enough to gain privileged access? If so, train your staff, otherwise expect to have visits to your office because someone shot your organization in the foot. diana
On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 12:36 PM, Diana Eichert <email@example.com> wrote: That this is a management issue is central, I think. It sounds like "management" wishes to provide lusers with "safe tools", also called Are the days when a "professional" was expected to know everything in his area gone? At my first programming job, which was on Cyber 174s running NOS, I was given two manuals, an empty office and told to familiarize myself with it for a couple of days. As a maintenance programmer, my "training" consisted of a thick listing of the program I was to maintain, and access to the original programmer. Later, when minicomputers came in, I was told "Learn VMS". We had the manuals. At various times I was simply told to "Learn OS/360" and finally "Learn Unix". Most of this learning took place at home, on my own time. The idea of sending a "professional" engineer to a class on "using vi" or somesuch was insane. (This was not a stingy company -- they'd send employees to grad classes at Stanford if *needed*, or to specialized classes (I recall one in programming SGI's then-new "geometry pipeline"). To the OP, buy the people "vi in a nutshell" (OReilly [*]), and give them a printed copy of the cron* (*) manpages. Tell them to get it together in three days of night study. If they balk at it or fail, transfer them to the mailroom or to the curb. If the lusers are not "computer professionals", hire some. If the lusers are stupid, give them scripts. Don't give them root. :) If they just can't use vi, well, doesn't crontab -e support the VISUAL environmental variable? [Of course it does.] They can use some other ascii-editor. [*] Consider giving each luser a "gift certificate" for OReilly. Best wishes, Dave -- teh googlez read my emails 'n' STUFF!!!! LOLZ!!! urz 2!!! LOLZ!!!
No, you missed the original topic. Thanks anyway, Lee
hi there, have a look at webmin, that might have a crontab module. -f -- so easy, a child can do it. child sold seperately.
Wait. What the hell is so hard about: jb@eris:~ $ man -k crontab crontab (1) - maintain crontab files for individual users crontab (5) - tables for driving cron jb@eris:~ $ man 5 crontab [...] While lines in a user crontab have five fixed fields plus a command in the form: minute hour day-of-month month day-of-week command [...] If the "[privileged]" user is unwilling to learn, and further unwilling to look this stuff up online to check his setups are right, and -worse- unwilling to check their work (you know, that thing you're supposed to have learned to do in elementary school before you turn in your homework), we should provide a framework around their needs? Really? Being a UNIX Systems Admin means knowing your tools, and most importantly your toolkits. Cron is a tool, making it "simpler" for a new admin is doing you both a disservice in the long run. jb
If you have to ask what's so hard, it's too hard. The OP was about making the process **SIMPLE**, .. not complicated. Man pages are used to learn about a command, .. not a way to perform a specific command such as The question was about a way to provide a way to change a crontab entry for ***NON SYS ADMINS***. Lee
Users can edit their own crontabs. You can set for them some GUI editor trough variable for crontab and prepare some icon on desktop or something similar. But if you want for them to be able to edit root crontab then reactions of other people here are valid. PS: I'm curious why non-sysadmin aka normal user need in these times edit crontab as more then 95% of normal users is not able to eg. work with directories/files in file manager. I'm relatively young but I know that use of crontab and similar CLI stuff was standard in 70's or 80's for secretaries, people from academy area and similar.
yep I tested it now because I use just vi for it. $ export VISUAL=/usr/bin/gedit $ echo $VISUAL /usr/bin/gedit $ crontab -e will start gedit and I can modify my crontab in GUI editor. Man pages even on Linux are pretty straightforward and if someone can't understand how to use those 5 columns then there is a bigger problem to solve then which OS or editor to use.
Man pages typically have examples. 'man 5 crontab' gives me a full breakdown of the field and allowed values, and further down gives a couple of examples of entries with a full description of what the examples do. As I said, you're intentionally being difficult. That is really simple. 0 5 * * * /usr/local/bin/backup.sh Every day at 0500 run /usr/local/bin/backup.sh. How is that difficult No, the question was about an alternative to editing cron entries for "basic sys admin types", that's a far cry from "non sys admins". kmw -- A: Maybe because some people are too annoyed by top-posting. Q: Why do I not get an answer to my question(s)? A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text. Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
*BUT* man pages are not instructions to perform a task/function, .. and No, you are not bothering to comprehend the question - these are *NOT* sysadmin types, .. and the procedure must be SIMPLE - open this nCurses application, check a different box, save and exit. To whom? Your I perhaps, . . but that is not within the scope of this Again, the original requirement is *SIMPLE* - no interpretation allowed. Click "5AM" will work, "0 5 * * *" will not. Remember, .. KISS rules. Lee
Your original post said, and I cut'n'paste, "that would be useable for basic sysadmin types". How the fuck can anyone comprehend a question you're incapable of asking correctly? I'm willing to bet that, somewhere, a kindly old lady is crying into her afternoon tea because *you* didn't pay any goddamn attention when she was trying to teach young Lee how to clearly communicate a request to other people without turning into a raving, entitled ass. The Douche is strong with this one.  http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=126654203832022&w=2
Certainly not you, .. who, amongst others, are far more interested in spouting crap than providing any useful information. Sometimes it's amazing how vocal some people are, .. I guess we're lucky that thare are a good bunch of folks out there more interested in creating good code tham spouting bs. Lee
Brett is one of those who do good things with code for the rest of us using OpenBSD. OTOH, I can't figure out why you haven't scripted something to do crontab editing and released it as a port. I'll take Brett's contributions over yours any day. -- Darrin Chandler | Phoenix BSD User Group | MetaBUG firstname.lastname@example.org | http://phxbug.org/ | http://metabug.org/ http://www.stilyagin.com/ | Daemons in the Desert | Global BUG Federation
WOW, a USEFUL suggestion! I bet an outsider would wonder how in the hell anything productive gets done around here! Three days of BS and ONE useful suggestion. Lee
Dude? Seriously? Your mother's a whore.
If *you* are letting underqualified users have privileged access to an Unix machine then the failure here is *you*. If *you* can't spend five minutes teaching your "sys admins" how to use 'crontab -e' then the failure here is *you*. If *you* are deploying an operating system that you don't have a qualified admin to handle then the failure here is *you*. It sounds to me like you don't have "basic sys admin types", you have a bunch of Microsoft folks that don't actually know anything about system administration, they just know how to click "okay". Teach them how to use Unix, they'll be better off for it. This isn't an OpenBSD or software issue (because the tools exist to easily and safely edit cron, and to easily and safely backup your system), this is a personnel issue - and if you can't be buggered to teach your admins how to use the tools provided, you should probably use a different system, just don't use Unix because the tools are pretty standard. kmw -- A: Maybe because some people are too annoyed by top-posting. Q: Why do I not get an answer to my question(s)? A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text. Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
Didn't say they had access to the **MACHINE** THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT FOR THE NCURSES QUESTION, if you had bothered to read the OP instead of bitching about what you THOUGHT it meant. Sheesh. Lee
Lee - if they don't have access to the machine then **why are you looking for alternatives to crontab**? If they don't have access to the machine then how in blazes are their changes going to useful other than as a text file on some random machine that isn't the one they need to be active on? Which is to say - I've read the entire thread so far and this is the first time you've said they won't have access to the machine. Instead of asking "what is an alternative to <foo>", you should come out and say exactly what problem you need to solve, because as of this post it has become a moving target. kmw -- A: Maybe because some people are too annoyed by top-posting. Q: Why do I not get an answer to my question(s)? A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text. Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
Changes to the actual machines will be pushed via ssh, .. but that's way too much detail for the level of the question I was asking. Lee
I couldn't dissagree more! I too have been following this thread, and I'm confused. Many people have jumped in and slammed various concepts - they're all pretty much right in what they've said, but they've all pretty much put their own interpretation on the original question, because it's **Not clear what problem you're actualy trying to solve.** I can imagine a situation where your question is valid and sensible, but that would be just be me going off on a tangent - give us some background, explain *properly* why the answers you've been given are unsatisfactory. I have to say, it does sound to me as if you're being deliberately obtuse. Give us the full story, and I'm sure you'll get a very good answer. Or several. paulm
What's so difficult about "need a way to edit crontab with something like an nCurses" interface? That seems to be, by definition, simple, Certainly not intended, .. however I cannot imagine why the statment above The chaps tweaking the crontab entries are Windoze admins, and they need to adjust the start/stop times on cronjobs that start and stop replication services. It would *seem* that there would be a way to apply all this fancy technology we have in our toolkits for a simple, point-and-shoot (a la nCurses) UI that requires no a priori knowledege other than an account name & password. Lee
Then have them create a Windows service that runs ssh and does whatever it is that needs doing. They can adjust the schedule to their hearts' content.
This seems to be the crux of the problem. To you the question is accurate and succinct - to most others who have responded. it is not. Who is right and who is wrong? who cares, point is we need the full story, even if you dont understand why. paulm One more point to make, I dont know if it has any relevance, I'm just inventing a situation here in the absense of the full story. If it doesnt apply, then just ignore. If you impliment a graphical ui which gives uneducated/inexperienced 'admins' unrestricted (remote) access to root's crontab, that would be incredibly stupid. If you do impliment a system, (either your own or an existing tool) then it should have proper access controls and validity checking to ensure they can only change the info that they should be changing. This probably means rolling your own.
I am very impressed by the oratary skills you have all shown in this
I agree with Theo. Please take this troll-fest off the list. You can all flame each other privately. -- A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. -- Robert Heinlein
In the time you've been spamming my inbox, every half-competent sysadmin could have learned ncurses(3) and write the perfect(tm) interface for his purpose. I'll just leave this here: http://doxfer.com/Webmin/ScheduledCommands#The_Scheduled_Commands_module
Sorryk, my posts have been but a pittance in the BS spouted on this thread, .. it's a shame that nobody bothered to reply with any useful Guess you didn't read my original reply - but that's OK, I know it might have been buried inthe crap. Lee
This is the *exact* level of detail that's needed. You don't need an alternative method of editing crontab, you need to be able to write cron-compatible files and have those pulled into cron. That's a *significant* difference. Rather than reply to your next email via a separate one, I'll include The "question" was about editing a crontab entry. The question you originally asked was insufficient (and apparently the initial data you supplied was incorrect). What it should have been was "I have a machine that I'm going to let some folks look after and I want to let some non sys-admin, non Unix folks change scheduled times for things to run in cron but they won't have any access to the machine other than via scp, is there a GUI that can write cron compatible output that I can then push to that remote machine?" For that matter, I find "edit this text file, change the 2 to a 5, save it" to be simpler and more fool-proof, but difficult versus simple is relative; recompiling my FreeBSD kernel for PAE support is simple to me, telling someone how to clear their browser history and cache in Internet Explorer would be a much more difficult, more time Cron *is* simple. You give it a time, you give it a command, it does its job. What you are trying to accomplish is completely separate from what you asked about. Now that you have provided some *necessary* information (the users *don't* have access to the machine, their inability to edit cron is not a skill issue but an access issue, et cetera), you might get a meaningful answer from anyone you haven't already pissed off by being difficult, being obstinate, being obdurate, failing to give the full parameters of what you are trying to accomplish and trying to back-track on what you said over the course of your own half-dozen or so emails on the subject. kmw -- A: Maybe because some people are too annoyed by top-posting. Q: Why do I not get an answer to my question(s)? A: Because it messes up the order in which people ...
Actually, this is not too much info at all - it's absolutely critical information. Crontabs are not meant to be edited directly. Copying a text file by ssh counts as being edited directly. You must use crontab(1) to edit the file. If you cannot, or dont want to, then you need to impliment a proper system to remotely update a crontab - a far cry from your original question. paulm
There's nothing "elitist" about requiring baseline knowledge, and I think "reading the man page for crontab and understanding what the fields mean" sets that bar quite low. Anyone who can't clear that bar may be a nice person, a fine person, a wonderful person, but they have absolutely no business being in a system/network administration role. For whatever reason, they just don't have what it takes. Perhaps they'll go off and acquire it: people do learn and grow. But until/unless they do, they should be doing something else for a living, doubly so in the contemporary environment, where their ignorance/incompetence is an active menace to everyone else on the 'net. Or at least to your operation: surely something as critically important as backups can not, should not, be relegated to such people. "Mister Hart, here is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer." --- Kingsfield I often find it remarkable that we had secretarial staff working at the command line and creating quite complex documents with troff, eqn, and tbl 25 years ago, yet so-called "system administrators" today can't use vi (let alone ed). ---Rsk
this reminds me of the saying about giving a man a fish vs teaching him how to fish.
That would be like trying to teach a Bedouin to fish, .. not going to happen. Lee
Please, Bedouins can fish, after all, they live near oasis which typically have fish :) -- http://www.glumbert.com/media/shift http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGvHNNOLnCk "This officer's men seem to follow him merely out of idle curiosity." -- Sandhurst officer cadet evaluation. "Securing an environment of Windows platforms from abuse - external or internal - is akin to trying to install sprinklers in a fireworks factory where smoking on the job is permitted." -- Gene Spafford learn french: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30v_g83VHK4
Wow, from the page "BE CARREFUL, some Slackware seem to have an access right problem for at, which must be fixed ( chmod 777 /var/spool/atjobs ), in order to get vcron running ! " Seriously... Steph
'crontab -e' Unless "basic admin" had developed some new meaning of which I am unaware. -- Chris Dukes