Monday, September 3, 2007

GNOME GUI task scheduler install howto

As per recent entry, here's another alternative on managing at and cron jobs utility from GNOME using a friendly GUI interface.

Gnome man:
Gnome-schedule is a grapichal user interface to 'crontab' and 'at', both used to schedule tasks. It supports periodical tasks and tasks that happens once in the future. It is written in python using pygtk.

Gnome-schedule supports both 'vixie-cron' and 'dcron', it has been developed and tested on a variety of distributions.

Gnome-schedule also supports titles and icons for your tasks so that they are more easily to keep track of. And you can create templates so that you won't have to create the same task again and again. So that if you want to schedule a virus check at 03:00 today, you can save it as a template and choose it from an dropdown box when you want. Or want to compile the kernel.. again.. at 00:00. This is saved in gconf and may easily be shipped with each distribution.

Major features
- If run as root you can edit any users 'crontab' and 'at' tasks.
- A parser that translates 'crontab' entries into human readable strings like 'Every hour' and not '0 * * * *' which might seem confusing to some.
- An applet where you from an dropdown menu can choose to add a task, manage tasks and get help.
- You can choose to use advanced mode which will display the tasks in a different way, where you can see the 'crontab' entries like you are used to.
- As mentioned you can set a title and an icon for tasks.
- Create templates like 'Virus check' or 'Compile kernel'.
- Predefined common expressions like: every minute, every week, tomorrow, next week.
- You may use an calendar to browse for the day you want a task executed.


# yum -y install gnome-schedule

BINARY LAUNCH: Ctrl+F2, gnome-schedule

This GUI based cron utility creates a chance for new comers with cron utility mechianism to achieve the same cron utility control done from command line by using a user friendly GUI interface via GNOME.

During program execution, gnome-scheduler scans for active cronjobs from cron spool utility and list them our from gnome-scheduler main pane. Toolbar and iconified menus are also available from Gnome-scheduler as shown with the below screenshots.

By creating a new job using gnome-schedule, you will be prompted by interactive wizard type of window prompts. Gnome-scheduler then prompts you for additional task requirements as listed below:

a. the name of the program or script to execute
b. interval time and/or number of program execution desired
c. descriptive comment for the desired cron job
d. output destination when executing the cron job
e. user account to be used for executing the cron job

See a newly created job for listing files from root folder location:

My screenshot in action:

Editing cron job using GNOME-scheduler in action:

All is done.


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