Monday, March 22, 2010

cron on Windoze using cygwin

There is quite a useful little document,, that explains how to install the cygwin cron, complete the cygwin setup screenshots. Very nice. But there is a little nasty when setting up cron in a corporate network. Typically the home directory is a network drive which will not be accessible. It took me a while to work out what was wrong and how to fix it. Some of the advice I found whilst googling turned out to be wrong. I tried setting HOME in the crontab. No effect. I tried seting HOME as an environment variable in the control panel. No effect. Finally I edited /etc/passwd and changed the value of the home directory field from /cygdrive/u to /cygdrive/c. Problem solved! Also, note that the pdf document says how to run the cron config command. This was very helpful because other web pages omit this and it turns out to be crucial to getting the service running. Without that config the service gets installed but dies as soon as it starts up.