/etc/default/cron obsolete?

Bug #486558 reported by niknah on 2009-11-22
This bug report is a duplicate of:  Bug #794082: cron ignores /etc/default/cron. Edit Remove
This bug affects 11 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
cron (Ubuntu)
Nominated for Lucid by Clint Byrum
Nominated for Maverick by Clint Byrum

Bug Description

Binary package hint: cron

Nothing important, it would confuse people less if unused files were removed.

I spent some time changing /etc/default/cron before I realised that it wasn't being used.
To add command line options, it's in /etc/init/cron.conf

Ubuntu 9.10
cron 3.0pl1-106ubuntu3

Changed in cron (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Low

In my opinion this is a break of functionality.
A lot of people are custom with tweaking the configrations in /etc/default and will be wondering why things are breaking after migration of there servers to 10.04.

In /etc/default/cron was also the parsing of the system environment tweaked.
The following functionality from cron.init is also missing in cron.upstart
# Read the system's locale and set cron's locale. This locale
# will be inherited by cron (used to set charset of emails)
# and tasks running under it.

parse_environment ()
    [ -r /etc/environment ] && ENV_FILE="/etc/environment"
    [ -r /etc/default/locale ] && ENV_FILE="/etc/default/locale"
    [ $ENV_FILE = none ] && return

    for var in LANG LC_ALL LC_CTYPE; do
        value=$(egrep "^[^#]*${var}=" $ENV_FILE | tail -n1 | cut -d= -f2)
        eval $var=$value

# Parse the system's environment
if [ "$READ_ENV" = "yes" ] ; then

Sebastian Bertho (sbertho) wrote :

I second that - the whole configuration of cron is broken in 10.04.

This bug just wasted 30 min of my time. I don't care about the extra functionality re READ_ENV and that should be a separate bug but please remove /etc/default/cron from the package.

theotherreceive (receive) wrote :

Just got bitten by this too. How has this bug been open for over a year?

At the very least please remove the file from /etc/default or insert a comment to let users know that it is as useful as tyres on a horse. Preferably though, please fix support for /etc/default/cron.

Clint Byrum (clint-fewbar) wrote :

Raising the importance to Medium. I'm not sure how a regression like this got missed for so long.

tags: added: regression-release
Changed in cron (Ubuntu):
importance: Low → Medium
Richard Huddleston (rhuddusa) wrote :

Just got bitten by this too.

Roger Taylor (lyhjy55ar) wrote :

I've just been bitten by this as well.

I'm not altogether sure that this file should be obsolete as there is no alternative to the TZ (timezone) option. I think the bug should be that this file should still be used.

I want to run cron in a different timezone to my own and as far as I can see there is no alternative method for achieving this. Since timezones change between summer and winter time at different times of the year it is not very convenient to me to use local time as I have to manually adjust 4 times a year for clock changes.

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