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The hcron-conv program converts, in both directions, between crontab and hcron. See the hcron-conv man page for more.

From cron to hcron

  • for each command and the preceding comments of the command of a crontab file are written to individual event files starting a name "0"
  • variables and percent sign handling are ignored
  • the hostname parameter of hcron-conv is required in order to fill in the hcron host field
  • optionally, an email address can be provided using the --mail option in order to fill in the hcron notify_email field


crontab -l > crontab.copy
mkdir crontab.conv
hcron-conv --to-events hcron-server crontab.copy crontab-conv

The results are in crontab-conv/.

In many cases, the conversion from crontab to hcron is lossless.

From hcron to cron

  • each event file in a specified directory is used to generate a single crontab entry
  • if the hcron host field is not empty, the command for the new crontab entry is prepended with ssh <host>
  • variables and comments are ignored
  • optionally, a remote shell other than ssh can be specified using the --remoteShell option


hcron-conv --to-crontab crontab.from_hcron hcron_dir

The results are in the crontab.from_hcron file.

If variables are used, conversion from hcron to crontab may not produce useful results or will require a bit of massaging.