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Cron, anacron, cronie, systemd-timers

[This goes to -devel, the cron and cronie maintainers and the
participants of the discussion in #897138 ("O: anacron"). If there is a
better forum to discuss this, please point me in the direction]


with buster being freshly out of the door, it is the time to take
technical decisions. I would like to point your attention the cron
situation in Debian. The vast majority of our systems is still running
vixie cron, which has been dead upstream for two decades. The Debian
maintainer is doing the code maintenance, with a Debian revision of
currently 134. Machines that do not run continuously usually use anacron
in addition to cron, which has had its last upstream releas in the year
2000 and is sans Debian maintenacne for more than a year.

On the other hand, there is cronie, which is used in the Red Hat world
for years, is a well-tested code base, maintained upstream (in a rather
slow pace), but only has an eight years old package in experimental on
the Debian side.

And on the third side, we have systemd timers, which are not suited as
a complete replacement. There is code to transform crontab entries into
systemd timer units, but functionality that cron delivers, such as
in-sequence execution of the cron.{daily|weekly|monthly} jobs and the
ability to send cron-job output per e-mail (which can be a nuisance, but
is still functionality a lot of code depends upon).

Without having a closer look at cronie (it basically works noiselessly
on CentOS systems with me not noticing for months that it's not vixie
cron), my gut feeling says that moving over to systemd timers completly
might not be a good solution, but using cronie in the future might be
helpful. Christian, the cronie maintainer, also being an uploader for
vixie cron, will probably help to make necessary adaptions for a
seamless migration.

What is the issue that keeps cronie out of unstable? If it just a matter
of personpower, or are there technical reasons? If it's just a matter of
personpower, I'd like to help.

Are there any points towards keeping vixie cron and anacron around? I
would love to hear your opinion.


Marc Haber         | "I don't trust Computers. They | Mailadresse im Header
Leimen, Germany    |  lose things."    Winona Ryder | Fon: *49 6224 1600402
Nordisch by Nature |  How to make an American Quilt | Fax: *49 6224 1600421

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