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What is hcron?

hcron is a periodic command scheduler along the lines of the ubiquitous cron–but with  unique features.

hcron scales easily from a handful of events to many thousands:

At Environment Canada, hcron is in 24/7 operational use with over 300 users, over 3000 event definitions, and more than 130000 events scheduled each day.

What Sets hcron Apart?

Many features are unique to hcron:

  • events are named and organized hierarchically
  • events are defined individually (by file)
  • key=value based event definition
  • events are composable (include directive)
  • template events (template_event field)
  • event chaining of one or more events (next_event and failover_event fields)
  • powerful and concise variable manipulation
  • events do not get clobbered during system reinstalls
  • network-oriented rather than host-oriented
  • event tree document generation tool (see Generating Event Tree Documentation NEW)
  • on-demand activation of existing events

Comparing cron/crontab to hcron

crontab entry:

# hello_dolly
0 11,21 * 2-12/2 * ssh 'echo "hello dolly" > /tmp/hello_dolly'; mail -s done

hcron event file (called hello_dolly):

command=echo "hello dolly" > /tmp/hello_dolly

Using hcron means never needing to check the crontab man page to remember the field order. But there is more to hcron than a key=value approach.

See the Documentation for more.

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