Introduction to Fcron

The Fcron package contains a periodical command scheduler which aims at replacing Vixie Cron.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-9.0 platform.

Package Information

Fcron Dependencies


An MTA, text editor (default is vi from the Vim-8.1.1846 package), Linux-PAM-1.3.1, and DocBook-utils-0.6.14

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/fcron

Installation of Fcron

For security reasons, an unprivileged user and group for Fcron should be created (perform as the root user):

groupadd -g 22 fcron &&
useradd -d /dev/null -c "Fcron User" -g fcron -s /bin/false -u 22 fcron

Install Fcron by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr          \
            --sysconfdir=/etc      \
            --localstatedir=/var   \
            --without-sendmail     \
            --with-boot-install=no &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Finally, fix a big in the systemd unit:

sed -i 's:/var/run/fcron.pid:/run/fcron.pid:' \

DESTDIR install must be done as root user.

Command Explanations

--without-sendmail: By default, Fcron will attempt to use the sendmail command from an MTA package to email you the results of the fcron script. This switch is used to disable default email notification. Omit the switch to enable the default. Alternatively, you can use the --with-sendmail=</path/to/MTA command> to use a different mailer command.

--with-boot-install=no: This prevents installation of the bootscript included with the package.

--with-editor=</path/to/editor>: This switch allows you to set the default text editor.

--with-dsssl-dir=</path/to/dsssl-stylesheets>: May be used if you have DocBook-utils-0.6.14 installed. Currently, the dsssl stylesheets are located at /usr/share/sgml/docbook/dsssl-stylesheets-1.79.

Configuring Fcron

Config Files

/etc/fcron.conf, /etc/fcron.allow, and /etc/fcron.deny

Configuration Information

There are no required changes in any of the config files. Configuration information can be found in the man page for fcron.conf.

fcron scripts are written using fcrontab. Refer to the fcrontab man page for proper parameters to address your situation.

If Linux-PAM is installed, two PAM configuration files are installed in /etc/pam.d. Alternatively if /etc/pam.d is not used, the installation will append two configuration sections to the existing /etc/pam.conf file. You should ensure the files match your preferences. Modify them as required to suit your needs.

Periodic Jobs

If you would like to setup a periodic hierarchy for the root user, first issue the following commands (as the root user to create the /usr/bin/run-parts script:

cat > /usr/bin/run-parts << "EOF" &&
# run-parts:  Runs all the scripts found in a directory.
# from Slackware, by Patrick J. Volkerding with ideas borrowed
# from the Red Hat and Debian versions of this utility.

# keep going when something fails
set +e

if [ $# -lt 1 ]; then
  echo "Usage: run-parts <directory>"
  exit 1

if [ ! -d $1 ]; then
  echo "Not a directory: $1"
  echo "Usage: run-parts <directory>"
  exit 1

# There are several types of files that we would like to
# ignore automatically, as they are likely to be backups
# of other scripts:
IGNORE_SUFFIXES="~ ^ , .bak .new .rpmsave .rpmorig .rpmnew .swp"

# Main loop:
for SCRIPT in $1/* ; do
  # If this is not a regular file, skip it:
  if [ ! -f $SCRIPT ]; then
  # Determine if this file should be skipped by suffix:
    if [ ! "$(basename $SCRIPT $SUFFIX)" = "$(basename $SCRIPT)" ]; then
  if [ "$SKIP" = "true" ]; then
  # If we've made it this far, then run the script if it's executable:
  if [ -x $SCRIPT ]; then
    $SCRIPT || echo "$SCRIPT failed."

exit 0
chmod -v 755 /usr/bin/run-parts

Next, create the directory layout for the periodic jobs (again as the root user):

install -vdm754 /etc/cron.{hourly,daily,weekly,monthly}

Finally, add the run-parts to the system fcrontab (while still the root user):

cat > /var/spool/fcron/systab.orig << "EOF"
&bootrun 01 * * * * root run-parts /etc/cron.hourly
&bootrun 02 4 * * * root run-parts /etc/cron.daily
&bootrun 22 4 * * 0 root run-parts /etc/cron.weekly
&bootrun 42 4 1 * * root run-parts /etc/cron.monthly

Systemd Unit

Enable fcron to start at boot using the previously installed systemd unit.

systemctl enable fcron

Finally, again as the root user, start fcron and generate the /var/spool/fcron/systab file:

systemctl start fcron &&
fcrontab -z -u systab


Installed Programs: fcron, fcrondyn, fcronsighup, and fcrontab
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /usr/share/doc/fcron-3.2.1 and /var/spool/fcron

Short Descriptions


is the scheduling daemon.


is a user tool intended to interact with a running fcron daemon.


instructs fcron to reread the Fcron tables.


is a program used to install, edit, list and remove the tables used by fcron.

Last updated on 2019-08-17 15:07:08 -0700