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I'm looking for a way to run maintenance tasks when my computer is not being used. I don't leave it on 24x7, so the ideal scenario would be for it to wait until the computer has been idle for a certain period of time (e.g. when the screen saver is running) until it runs maintenance tasks.
I've read the man pages for anacron and it seems like a piece of the puzzle - I just need a way to schedule it to run when the computer is idle. After reading the man page on cron, I didn't see any option in there that would help.
I've searched Google linux and Google groups without much luck:
schedule tasks cpu OR computer idle
cron task idle
Simply schedule the task to occur whenever at priority 19. It will use idle CPU cycles, and not interfere to any significant degree with active processes. If you don't leave you computer on all the time, you can use the '@reboot' special cron time to run the process some time after the machine is started. For example:
In Windows, I found that option to be less than optimal. Even though these maintenance tasks were run at the lowest priority, if they were disk I/O intensive processes, they would tend to block higher priority processes that were also competing for disk I/O time. I'm assuming this is because it's not as easy to schedule disk time as it is CPU time.
I'm not sure if it would also be a problem with Linux or not.