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Old 01-04-2006, 06:20 AM   #1
mr fidget
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Question leaving Mandriva on all night


Hello,

I have recently installed Mandriva 2006LE on my computer, and I am very happy with that decision.
I got into the idea of using Linux by reading a book called “The joy of Linux” (ISBN 0761531513).

The books approach to the Linux world is very light-hearted, and in in my case it makes also quite convincing arguments.

There is something, however that bugs me with regards to the apparent necessity of leaving your computer on.

Apart from silly, humorous reasons, the book points out, and I quote, that “Linux, and Unix in general, presents an even better argument for leaving a computer on all night: if you don't, and you don't take additional care, it messes things up...”.
It then says that on many machines, Linux does some housekeeping at prefixed time of the day, like 3 at night.

I would like to ask, and I hope you pardon my naivety, if that is indeed true and applies to Mandriva.
If so, what are these tasks and why can't I just have these task run at more suitable times?

Personally I don't like leaving an electrical appliance on for no reason and unsupervised. I feel it to be a waste as well as a hazard.

So If I can do something to avoid messing things up and keep the machine off when I want to, I am eager to learn how.
 
Old 01-04-2006, 06:48 AM   #2
cs-cam
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It does nothing major over night, turn it off.
 
Old 01-04-2006, 07:20 AM   #3
phil.d.g
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It does things like update the locate database.

In fact, many distros have an additional program to run any jobs on startup that it missed whilst shutdown

Don't worry about shutting it down overnight
 
Old 01-04-2006, 07:27 AM   #4
aerogate
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Hi there,

My PC has been switched on since 1998 apart from power down during hardware upgrades.
Electrical equipment likes being left on, especially equipment that uses a lot of power, have you ever noticed how light bulbs tend to blow immediately after switching them on, same thing is true for TV`s, computers and monitors, although not always.

That`s interesting about the 3 am cleanup, must say i`ve noticed sudden disk activity in the early am, usually once per week, and until now had no idea what was causing it.
 
Old 01-04-2006, 11:53 AM   #5
mr fidget
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil.d.g
It does things like update the locate database.

In fact, many distros have an additional program to run any jobs on startup that it missed whilst shutdown

Don't worry about shutting it down overnight
Thanks phil.d.g
 
Old 01-04-2006, 12:03 PM   #6
mr fidget
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerogate
That`s interesting about the 3 am cleanup, must say i`ve noticed sudden disk activity in the early am, usually once per week, and until now had no idea what was causing it.
Thanks, aerogate.

May I suggest you read the book then? It gives quite a few insight. I expecially found useful the way it explains things like GNU or fre software and so on.

All the best!
 
Old 01-04-2006, 12:09 PM   #7
rshaw
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cron jobs are usually scheduled overnight. you can change the time these run or install anacron which will run missed jobs during normal hours
 
Old 01-05-2006, 09:31 AM   #8
mr fidget
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by rshaw
cron jobs are usually scheduled overnight. you can change the time these run or install anacron which will run missed jobs during normal hours
Thank you rshaw.

I have run crontab -l, which AFAI understand should list the cron jobs available. I have run it both on my account as well as root, but in both cases I get "no crontab for <username>". Is there any other way to discover what are the task the system runs?

Thank you for the tip on anacron. I have checked the sourceforge homepage and got the impression that this would definitely be something ideal for my case. However, as I have pointed out above I would need what is actually running on the system.

Incidentally I have learnt about the locate and the "updatedb" commands, which is useful indeed.

All the best.
 
Old 01-05-2006, 01:33 PM   #9
nafan
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The Webmin administration system has an excellent cron user interface. The 'hidden' jobs aren't listed in any user's crontab, but live in /etc/cron.daily /etc/cron.hourly /etc/cron.monthly and /etc/cron.weekly as scripts or symlinks to executables.

These are generally little housekeeping tasks that are nice to have run automatically, e.g., running the hourly security check, updating the slocate database, rotating log files so your system doesn't get choked by huge kernel & security logs and logs from X11/xorg.

Last edited by nafan; 01-05-2006 at 01:36 PM.
 
Old 01-07-2006, 06:32 AM   #10
mr fidget
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by nafan
The Webmin administration system has an excellent cron user interface. The 'hidden' jobs aren't listed in any user's crontab, but live in /etc/cron.daily /etc/cron.hourly /etc/cron.monthly and /etc/cron.weekly as scripts or symlinks to executables.

These are generally little housekeeping tasks that are nice to have run automatically, e.g., running the hourly security check, updating the slocate database, rotating log files so your system doesn't get choked by huge kernel & security logs and logs from X11/xorg.
Thanks nafan, that makes matters clearer.

I had a look at the locations you have pointed out and I have also installed anacron as suggested above. I have noticed that the hard disk now shows some activity now and then, of course it could be just me imagining things

If I could ask another question, a ls of /etc/cron.daily shows:
Code:
0anacron*   makewhatis.cron*  rpm*
logrotate*  msec@             tmpwatch*
I used kedit to take a peek at the files, with regards to 0anacron the file shows this command:
Code:
anacron -u cron.daily
I was wondering if I have to type /usr/sbin/anacron to access anacron from konsole (for example, to show the help text) shouldn't the command in the /etc/cron.daily directory actually read as /usr/sbin/anacron -u cron.daily to work?

Thanks!
 
Old 01-07-2006, 01:35 PM   #11
nafan
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr fidget
I used kedit to take a peek at the files, with regards to 0anacron the file shows this command:
Code:
anacron -u cron.daily
I was wondering if I have to type /usr/sbin/anacron to access anacron from konsole (for example, to show the help text) shouldn't the command in the /etc/cron.daily directory actually read as /usr/sbin/anacron -u cron.daily to work?

Thanks!
I was just checking on my system, and the /sbin and /usr/sbin directories are only in root's path variable. AFAIK as the system would execute this as root, it will be able to find anacron.

HTH
 
Old 01-08-2006, 03:09 AM   #12
carl0ski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerogate
Hi there,

My PC has been switched on since 1998 apart from power down during hardware upgrades.
Electrical equipment likes being left on, especially equipment that uses a lot of power, have you ever noticed how light bulbs tend to blow immediately after switching them on, same thing is true for TV`s, computers and monitors, although not always.

That`s interesting about the 3 am cleanup, must say i`ve noticed sudden disk activity in the early am, usually once per week, and until now had no idea what was causing it.
a CRT monitor alone uses 40 watts an hour after the initial startup.

so it is still a good idea to leave off.


however i have sometimes shut down every day and other times Mandriva was left running for 30 days straight.

the installation doesnt get any problems
until like me you push it around and play with features in Root user that you shouldnt.


PS i my system below runs fine on a 230Watt power supply.

Who said Dual core = 400Watt plus :P

Last edited by carl0ski; 01-08-2006 at 03:11 AM.
 
Old 01-08-2006, 07:42 AM   #13
Qew
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I tend to shut my machine off over night, although there can be days when I leave it on when downloading or just want to leave it on. What I've done is edit /etc/crontab to change the 4am hour tasks to begin within the 7pm hour, where I'm more than likely to have the machine on. OK, you get some disk activity done during the day rather than at night when you're probably tucked up in bed, but it's not that bad. Still, using Anacron is probably a better move.
 
  


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