Crontab Under Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)

Beware – if you use crontab and are upgrading to Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), your existing crontab files will be DELETED by the upgrade!**(actually only moved & disabled – see comments) Back ’em up first (yeah, I know you should always do a backup before upgrading, but this is really the only issue I found).

Also note that Leopard’s firewall seems to let everything through by default, even if that’s not what you previously had your firewall set to do.


  1. Jacques Distler said,

    November 9, 2007 at 7:36 am

    Not strictly true. All your crontab files are still there in /var/cron/tabs/ . They’re just no longer USED.

  2. wickedlush said,

    November 9, 2007 at 9:33 am

    Thank you, Jacques – that is interesting… I can see that /var/cron/tabs/ does indeed contain my old files, but I have since created new (and slightly different) crontabs – do you know where the new crontabs are stored?

  3. Jacques Distler said,

    November 9, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    I was hoping you were gonna tell me.

    Then I was hoping you were going to explain the proliferation of messages like:

    Nov 9 16:20:00 golem[1] (0x11e900.cron[10402]): Could not setup Mach task special port 9: (os/kern) no access

    in my system logs.

  4. James said,

    November 30, 2007 at 9:20 am

    In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the new crontabs are in /usr/lib/cron/tabs

  5. wickedlush said,

    December 3, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Thanks, James!

  6. Asteroid » Blog Archive » Backing up a 1&1 root server said,

    December 4, 2007 at 11:59 am

    […] to me, doing an “upgrade” install of Leopard empties out the crontabs of all users, stashing copies in /var/cron/tabs. This deactivates your jobs without warning. This means that the […]

  7. Tyler said,

    December 5, 2007 at 3:40 am

    You shouldn’t use cron anymore. It was deprecated in 10.4 Tiger and superseded by launchd.

  8. wickedlush said,

    December 6, 2007 at 8:48 am

    Not *another* thing to learn…? Brain’s full :-)

    OK – here’s one of many good resources online:

    Thanks, all

  9. Setting up cron / launchd on OS X 10.5? | Wulf said,

    November 26, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    […] set up a cron job to daily-sync everything at some ungodly hour in the morning, but to my surprise OS X 10.5 does not support cron! I’ve tried setting up launchd plists to get it syncing, but am having exactly zero luck. I […]

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