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From Wikipedia:cron:

Cron is a time-based job scheduler for Unix-like computer operating systems. Cron enables users to schedule jobs (commands or shell scripts) to run automatically at a certain time or date. It is commonly used to automate system maintenance or administration, though its general purpose nature means that it can be used for other purposes, such as connecting to the Internet and downloading email.


There are multiple cron implementations available for users to choose from. Template:Package Official (Dillon's Cron) is available in [core] and is installed as part of the base group.

# pacman -S dcron

Alternatively, users may wish to install Template:Package AUR or Template:Package AUR from the AUR; both offer a wider range of features and configuration options.


The cron daemon parses a configuration file known as crontab. Each user on the system can maintain a separate crontab file to schedule commands individually. The root user's crontab is used to schedule system-wide tasks.

crontab files should not be edited directly. Instead, users are encouraged to utilize the Template:Codeline command. Issuing Template:Codeline, for example, opens the current user's crontab in their preferred editor.

By default, root's crontab looks like this:


The files themselves are usually stored as Template:Filename. For example, root's crontab is found at Template:Filename.