06 July 2010

For the longest time I have wanted to get rid of dozen or so cron messages I receive every morning about things like DB backups, DB cleanups/vacuums, reporting etc. There are a number of solutions out there to help you manage the cron spam such as cronic, shush and cronwrap. They help by e-mailing you only if there is a problem however don’t store the cron output itself. To get around that issue I have developed cronologger which can be downloaded from


Cronologger is a BASH script that stores all the cron output into a database. I am using CouchDB since it is a great document oriented database that allows me to add attachments (blobs) to a document. I assume it would not be hard to use MongoDB, Riak and others.

Some of the benefits of this utility are

  • Reduce cron spam

  • Provide the ability to correlate adverse affects by overlaying cron events on e.g. Ganglia graphs

  • Provide a better report of all the batch jobs that ran, diff them with past jobs if they should look the same, etc.

  • Provide the ability to easily view what is currently running on the whole infrastructure ie. job_duration < 0

  • Review historical output

I am still working on web GUI for most of these things. I will gladly accept patches and new contributions.

Tip: To get view a list of documents in a CouchDB database you can use the _utils view e.g. http://localhost:5984/_utils/