Editing a CRON file

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# 1  
Old 05-18-2002
Editing a CRON file


I am accessing CRON via telnet and want to set up some jobs. I have typed crontab -e to edit my cronfile but I can't seem to enter anything when I type on my keyboard. All I have is a flashing cursor at the top with ~ on the start of each line.

How can I enter the jobs and save this file? Thanks for any help


# 2  
Old 05-18-2002
Network cron

when you edit a cron file using crontab -e

crontab use vi editor, to start typing hit the Esc key on your keyboard followed by i key to insert then you could start typing

to save hit the Esc key on your keyboard, then semi colom i.e :
followed by wq
# 3  
Old 05-18-2002
Re: cron

Originally posted by hassan2
when you edit a cron file using crontab -e

crontab use vi editor, to start typing hit the Esc key on your keyboard followed by i key to insert then you could start typing

to save hit the Esc key on your keyboard, then semi colom i.e :
followed by wq
here the editor is decided by the EDITOR environment variable. the default is ed. you can set it to vi and then make the changes as mentioned above
# 4  
Old 05-20-2002
editing crontab

try this,

do a crontab -l
copy and paste all content to a new file
then using vi or any other editor, edit the new file to add jobs.
save changes and then run this command to submit this file to your crontab

#crontab newfilename

to confirm do a crontab -l

hope this works for you
# 5  
Old 05-21-2002
crontab -e is working fine if i do set the variable EDITOR=vi first.
# 6  
Old 05-21-2002
Save a copy of the crontab for root

I would say that directly editing the crontab file is dangerous!

Holistic is close to my suggestion. You can do the following commands. I keep a copy of my root crontab for safe keeping.

crontab -l > tempcron # saves crontab to a file
vi tempcron # edit crontab file safely!!
crontab tempcron reapply changes to crontab with config file.

This is a foolproof way to modify the crontab. Sometimes if you get control chars in the crontab it may corrupt it.

Always use vi and edit using another file.

# 7  
Old 05-22-2002
It sounds like the OP is getting dropped into vi, and doesn't know what to do from there.

Search for a vi reference or tutorial - that'll help.

And there nothing wrong with using the crontab command, as long as you're aware of what you're doing. You could just as easily replace the entire crontab incorrectly using "crontab filename" as you could making an error in vi / ed / whatever and saving before you exit.
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