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FS#16085 - [dcron] Replace with bcron

Attached to Project: Arch Linux
Opened by Sven-Hendrik Haase (Svenstaro) - Monday, 07 September 2009, 21:03 GMT
Last edited by Paul Mattal (paul) - Monday, 25 January 2010, 13:37 GMT
Task Type Feature Request
Category Packages: Core
Status Closed
Assigned To Paul Mattal (paul)
Architecture All
Severity Medium
Priority Normal
Reported Version
Due in Version Undecided
Due Date Undecided
Percent Complete 100%
Votes 8
Private No


I suggest replacing the rather old dcron by bcron for Arch Linux by default because bcron seems a lot more modern and complete than dcron or fcron. bcron supports /etc/cron.d/ which our current dcron does not. bcron also aims to be more secure and other big name distros have switched to bcron already.

Of course, while the last point isn't an argument in itself, it shows that bcron is usable and stable.
This task depends upon
 FS#12910 - [dcron] No syslog for dcron 

This task blocks these from closing
 FS#12662 - [dcron] Missing MTA dependancy in dcron 
Closed by  Paul Mattal (paul)
Monday, 25 January 2010, 13:37 GMT
Reason for closing:  Won't implement
Additional comments about closing:  We did not switch to bcron, but rather upgraded to dcron 4.x which provides the features desired from bcron.
Comment by Sven-Hendrik Haase (Svenstaro) - Monday, 07 September 2009, 21:04 GMT
Find more about bcron here
Comment by Alexander Duscheleit (jinks) - Tuesday, 08 September 2009, 06:11 GMT
How can it be, that bcron is more "modern" than fcron? Bcron's last update was 2005, fcron's 2007.

I've never consciously used bcron (aka it might have been the active cron on some system where I didn't change the cron daemon) and usually prefer fcron for all my boxes, especially for the not-always-running ones since fcron offers a lot of features to handle that case.

Of course fcron has the same "problem" of not handling /etc/cron*, but this can usually be worked around by a simple script which runs/imports/etc. the relevant files.

That being said, bcron still gets my vote over dcron. Al least it *has* a release date in it's homepage. It may also be the more sane coice over fcron which behaves rather differently than any of the other crons.
Comment by Aaron Griffin (phrakture) - Tuesday, 08 September 2009, 17:50 GMT
I'm for this :)
Comment by Sven-Hendrik Haase (Svenstaro) - Tuesday, 08 September 2009, 20:12 GMT
Aaron, don't forget you promised me eternal love-making if I get /etc/cron.d/* fixed :)
Comment by solsTiCe (zebul666) - Wednesday, 09 September 2009, 10:30 GMT
i don't know bcron.
but given it is at its 0.09 release and fcron at 3.0.4, i am more for fcron. given that the release number are meaningfull
fcron combine anacron's feature in it and there is no need to have another program to get the job done.

but if some big distro use it, then what can i say, go for it..., i will continue to use fcron anyway
Comment by Thomas B├Ąchler (brain0) - Monday, 21 September 2009, 22:19 GMT
I can only repeat my statement from  FS#12910 : fcron is the best :)
Comment by Sven-Hendrik Haase (Svenstaro) - Wednesday, 23 September 2009, 05:13 GMT
I don't mind either way if it makes /etc/cron.d work :)
Comment by Nathanael Schaeffer (john_schaf) - Wednesday, 14 October 2009, 16:35 GMT Comment by Sven-Hendrik Haase (Svenstaro) - Saturday, 14 November 2009, 01:42 GMT
Can we resolve this now?
Comment by Paul Mattal (paul) - Sunday, 06 December 2009, 19:33 GMT
Sounds like this one is just in need of a decision. Anyone have a strong enough opinion to propose a course of action?

I guess I don't have enough problems with cron to warrant changing anything. But others probably do.

Comment by PiousMinion (PiousMinion) - Thursday, 24 December 2009, 21:45 GMT
There are a lot of cron options, but I strongly disagree with using one that doesn't support the standard crontab syntax. There is no way I'm going to be using fcron in any system that others will access and have them at a loss for words for why their cron jobs don't work.</rant>
fcron is okay if that is what you want, but it should by no means be the default.

Comment by Paul Mattal (paul) - Monday, 04 January 2010, 02:56 GMT
After further research, I recommend bcron as the new option.

Full rationale in mailing list thread:

On/after 1/10, I will package bcron in [extra], and if my longer tests confirm it's a suitable replacement, I will suggest to tpowa that it replace dcron in [core].

Comment by Paul Mattal (paul) - Monday, 04 January 2010, 04:11 GMT
It seems dcron at least thinks it can do /etc/cron.d as of 3.1 (we're on 3.2). From the CHANGELOG file:

Add support for root-run crontab files in /etc/cron.d and rewrite a
good chunk of the crontab file management code. By VMiklos and Matt

I'm mostly curious to see what effect this information has on the relationship between Aaron and Sven-Hendrik. :)