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4.1 Invoking mcron

Mcron should be run by the user who wants to schedule his jobs. It may be made a background job using the facilities of the shell. The basic command is mcron [OPTION ...] [file ...] which has the effect of reading all the configuration files specified (subject to the options) and then waiting until it is time to execute some command. If no files are given on the command line, then mcron will look in the user’s cron configuration directories: these are ~/.cron (deprecated), the directory indicated by the XDG_CONFIG_HOME environment variable, or ~/.config/cron if this variable is not set. In any case, files which end in the extension .vixie or .vix will be assumed to contain Vixie-style crontabs, and files ending .guile or .gle will be assumed to contain scheme code and will be executed as such; ANY OTHER FILES WILL BE IGNORED - specify a file name of “-” and then pipe the files into the standard input if you really want to read them, possibly using the stdin option to specify the type of file.

The program accepts the following options.

-s count

With this option specified no commands are run. Instead, the program computes the times the commands would be run and prints the information to the screen, and then immediately exits.

The count indicates the number of commands to display.


With this option the program will detach itself from the controlling terminal and run as a daemon process.

-i (vixie|guile)

This option is used to indicate whether the configuration information being passed on the standard input is in Vixie format or Guile format. Guile is the default.


This option causes a message to be printed on the standard output with information about the version and copyright for the current program.


This causes a short but complete usage message to be displayed on standard output.

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