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PERIODIC(8)		  BSD System Manager's Manual		   PERIODIC(8)

     periodic -- run periodic system functions

     periodic directory	...

     The periodic program is intended to be called by cron(8) to execute shell
     scripts located in	the specified directory.

     One or more of the	following arguments must be specified:

     daily    Perform the standard daily periodic executable run.  This	usu-
	      ally occurs early	in the morning (local time).

     weekly   Perform the standard weekly periodic executable run.  This usu-
	      ally occurs on Sunday mornings.

     monthly  Perform the standard monthly periodic executable run.  This usu-
	      ally occurs on the first day of the month.

	      Perform the standard daily security checks.  This	is usually
	      spawned by the daily run.

     path     An arbitrary directory containing	a set of executables to	be

     If	an argument is an absolute directory name it is	used as	is, otherwise
     it	is searched for	under /etc/periodic and	any other directories speci-
     fied by the local_periodic	setting	in periodic.conf(5) (see below).

     The periodic program will run each	executable file	in the directory or
     directories specified.  If	a file does not	have the executable bit	set,
     it	is silently ignored.

     Each script is required to	exit with one of the following values:

     0	   The script has produced nothing notable in its output.  The
	   <basedir>_show_success variable controls the	masking	of this	out-

     1	   The script has produced some	notable	information in its output.
	   The <basedir>_show_info variable controls the masking of this out-

     2	   The script has produced some	warnings due to	invalid	configuration
	   settings.  The <basedir>_show_badconfig variable controls the mask-
	   ing of this output.

     >2	   The script has produced output that must not	be masked.

     If	the relevant variable (where <basedir> is the base directory in	which
     the script	resides) is set	to "NO"	in periodic.conf, periodic will	mask
     the script	output.	 If the	variable is not	set to either "YES" or "NO",
     it	will be	given a	default	value as described in periodic.conf(5).

     All remaining script output is delivered based on the value of the
     <basedir>_output setting.

     If	this is	set to a path name (beginning with a `/' character), output is
     simply logged to that file.  newsyslog(8) knows about the files
     /var/log/daily.log, /var/log/weekly.log and /var/log/monthly.log, and if
     they exist, it will rotate	them at	the appropriate	times.	These are
     therefore good values if you wish to log periodic output.

     If	the <basedir>_output value does	not begin with a `/' and is not	empty,
     it	is assumed to contain a	list of	email addresses, and the output	is
     mailed to them.

     If	<basedir>_output is not	set or is empty, output	is sent	to standard

     The periodic command sets the PATH	environment to include all standard
     system directories, but no	additional directories,	such as
     /usr/local/bin.  If executables are added which depend upon other path
     components, each executable must be responsible for configuring its own
     appropriate environment.

     /etc/crontab	 The periodic program is typically called via entries
			 in the	system default cron(8) table.

     /etc/periodic	 The top level directory containing daily, weekly, and
			 monthly subdirectories	which contain standard system
			 periodic executables.

			 The periodic.conf system registry contains variables
			 that control the behaviour of periodic	and the	stan-
			 dard daily, weekly, and monthly scripts.

     /etc/periodic.conf	 This file contains local overrides for	the default
			 periodic configuration.

     The system	crontab	should have entries for	periodic similar to the	fol-
     lowing example:

	   # do	daily/weekly/monthly maintenance
	   0	  2	  *	  *	  *	  root	  periodic daily
	   0	  3	  *	  *	  6	  root	  periodic weekly
	   0	  5	  1	  *	  *	  root	  periodic monthly

     The /etc/defaults/periodic.conf system registry will typically have a
     local_periodic variable reading:

	   local_periodic="/usr/local/etc/periodic /usr/X11R6/etc/periodic"

     To	log periodic output instead of receiving it as email, add the follow-
     ing lines to /etc/periodic.conf:


     To	only see important information from daily periodic jobs, add the fol-
     lowing lines to /etc/periodic.conf:


     sh(1), crontab(5),	periodic.conf(5), cron(8), newsyslog(8)

     Exit status is 0 on success and 1 if the command fails for	one of the
     following reasons:

     usage: periodic <directory	of files to execute>  No directory path	argu-
     ment was passed to	periodic to specify where the script fragments reside.

     <directory> not found  Self explanatory.

     The periodic program first	appeared in FreeBSD 3.0.

     Since one specifies information about a directory using shell variables
     containing	the string, <basedir>, <basedir> must only contain characters
     that are valid within a sh(1) variable name, alphanumerics	and under-
     scores, and the first character may not be	numeric.

     Paul Traina <>
     Brian Somers <>

BSD			       November	28, 2001			   BSD


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