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10.5: Migrate crontabs from 10.4 System 10.5
In Mac OS X 10.4 (and earlier?), crontabs (the lists of tasks scheduled with cron) were stored in /var/cron/tabs. However, in 10.5, they are now stored in /usr/lib/cron/tabs, and the installer doesn't seem to move any existing files from the old to the new location. So, the easy way to bring your old crontabs across is to run the following command in a Terminal:
sudo mv /var/cron/tabs/* /usr/lib/cron/tabs
Note that this command will replace any crontabs you've edited or set up since upgrading to Leopard with the version you had in Tiger; if you think there's likely to be a clash, it would be a good idea to open the old files in a text editor and copy-and-paste the entries across to your new crontab (using crontab -e) instead.
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10.5: Migrate crontabs from 10.4 | 5 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Migrate crontabs from 10.4
Authored by: Anonymous on Dec 23, '07 07:28:32PM

Had I only known this shortly after migration ... I've rebuilt all my crons by now, but this would've been useful. A poor oversight by the Apple team.

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10.5: Migrate crontabs from 10.4
Authored by: TvE on Dec 24, '07 05:32:48AM

I believe that Apple has only left CRON working for backwards compatibility AND they have pushed the developers toward launchd during most of Tigers life, so I can hardly agree that it is a FAULT from Apple.

My experience is that many non-gui changes to *.conf files etc. are NOT migrated, eg changes to /ets/httpd/httpd.conf

My theory is:
If one is clever enough to alter stuff like this one is naturally also smart enough to:

1. Backup these file (EG with "Archive and Install") especially before system updates big or small
2. Verify whether or not the info have found the way to the new OS update with Apple's help
3. If not, manually move them to the new OS manually (or even a script, since the next major upgrade probably will also not move the stuff for you

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Anyone use /etc/crontab ?
Authored by: steresi on Jan 02, '08 12:32:36PM

I've set up my cron jobs here a while back:


This worked in 10.4 and is still working in 10.5, without any changes by me (I did a normal upgrade, not an Archive and Install). I'm not sure if this is a standard location or what!

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Anyone use /etc/crontab ?
Authored by: vlbrown on Mar 21, '08 08:21:24PM

Yes, /etc/crontab is the system crontab. It used to be the only option. The cron/tabs directory was a later invention which supports user crontab files.

Only an admin (using sudo) can access /etc/crontab. Any user can, however, set up their own scheduled jobs in .../cron/tabs/userid using the crontab program.

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10.5: Migrate crontabs from 10.4
Authored by: Schwie on Feb 18, '08 11:38:37AM
My old crontabs were located in:


This was a system that started at 10.0 and has been upgraded ever since...

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