[Techtalk] incrontab

Meryll Larkin mll at alwanza.com
Wed Nov 4 18:12:50 UTC 2015

I-notify cron  aka inode cron  aka incron  is a fairly newish program
available on/for most Linux distros (I think) with kernels  2.6.13 or more

I'm using it  to replace something that disappeared a long time ago called a
sesme scheduler - of course every script/configuration on the replacement
FTP/SFTP server is going to be refactored... its only 300 accounts.

I'm curious if anyone has had any experiences with incrontab as I've run
into some unexpected behavior and I haven't found good documentation on the
web - BTW, if you DO find good documentation on the web, please point me to

incrontab is supposed to be similar to cron except that file-events trigger
the items listed rather than clock time.  I've gotten it working on my
server (yay!) so this isn't about troubleshooting as much as it is about me
wanting to hear from other people about technique ideas.

For example, unlike crontab, the incrontab file does not accept comment
lines (!).  This is problematic because I won't be the maintainer (I've
given notice), and the folks who will be maintaining it are "a little light"
in their Linux skills, and lazy about reading documentation.  Before I dish
the company up a piece of well-deserved karma, I still have to be me .. and
I'm a little OCD about leaving stuff the best way possible.  I would create
a script a wrapper for this (with an alias in /root/.bashrc) , but I've got
a limited amount of time and 300 accounts to configure.  Any ideas?

My OS is RedHat Enterprise 6.7  and I see absolutely NOTHING related to
incron in /var/log/syslog (doesn't exist on RHE) and NOTHING in
/var/log/messages.  I do see some logging in /var/log/cron  but I would like
to give incrontab its own dedicated log.  In the process of getting it to
work initially, I wrote my own logger which I could put into /var/log and
then arrange for log rotation, but is there an easier way?

I think I am going to need to run incrontab as root because much of what I
need to do with it is copying data files from one home directory to another
and then changing ownership.  Unless anyone has a suggestion that might be
more secure?

Finally, if anyone has any really cool incrontab examples, I'd love to hear
about/see them.

thanks all,

Meryll Larkin

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