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Cron alternatives fcron and hcron

Task Schedulers

Article from ADMIN 54/2019
By
The fcron and hcron scheduler alternatives to cron are suitable for computers that do not run around the clock, and each come with specific benefits.

Most computers don't run nonstop, not least with a view to saving electricity. However, you might still want to run some tasks automatically when you are not sitting in front of your computer: In the long run, launching a backup program manually all the time can be annoying. The classic cron scheduler lets you handle these tasks automatically, but if your PC is not running at the specified time, automatic execution is simply skipped.

Therefore, it makes more sense to assign regular tasks to a scheduler that performs routine tasks as soon as the computer is switched back on. I tested the fcron [1] and hcron [2] schedulers on Fedora 29 with the Backup Manager [3] program as the test application.

Installation

You can pick up RPM and DEB packages for hcron on the project website and easily install these on your system with the package manager after downloading.

Fcron can only be installed manually (Listing 1) and requires the GCC compiler and Sendmail. The FcronQ [4] graphical front end uses the Qt GUI framework. Therefore, you have to set up the Qt library for Python 3, as well as Python 3 (Listing 2, first line). For FcronQ, you only need to download, unpack, and install the source files (Listing 2, following lines).

Listing 1

Installing fcron

# dnf install gcc sendmail
[...]
$ wget http://fcron.free.fr/archives/fcron-3.2.1.src.tar.gz
$ tar xvf
...
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