This week I looked briefly at automating repetitive tasks with the CRON Utility. In this case, I wanted to shutdown/reboot the ESX server at a designated time. This was used in conjunction with ESX’s ability to automatically start-up and shutdown VMs.
Crond is a service which is used to schedule scripts of hourly/daily/weekly/monthly events. VMware utilizes this to run their own scripts, which can be seen in /etc/cron.daily, /etc/hourly and so on. Cron can also handle events such as: on reboot run this script with its @reboot syntax Along side these system-wide cron configurations you can also have per-user cron configurations. In my example, I’m using a per-user cron configuration to shutdown my servers at 9.30pm every evening. My development environment is accessible to some people – but due to physical limitations I cannot run my servers 24/7. So I need them to start-up in the morning and shut down in the evening.
- Logon to the Service Console as ROOT
- Create a cron configuration file in ROOT’s home directory with
nano -w crontab
- Type in this configuration:
30 21 * * * shutdown -h now
The path statements allow cron to find the shutdown utility which is held in /sbin.
command shutdown -h now causes ESX to do a full shutdown. The -h forces a halt which stops the swap
file and un-mounts the drives. 30 21 is 9:30pmâ€¦
For more information about setting the time value see this link
- Save the contab fileâ€¦
- Register this configuration file with crontab with:
Confirm this has been registered with crond by listing the crontabs for root with:
If you wish to remove a scheduled event use:
- Restart the crond service with:
service crond restart
This was first published in September 2005