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PERIODIC(8)             FreeBSD 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
                  usually occurs early in the morning (local time).

     weekly       Perform the standard weekly periodic executable run.  This
                  usually occurs on Sunday mornings.

     monthly      Perform the standard monthly periodic executable run.  This
                  usually occurs on the first day of the month.

     security     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
     specified 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

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

     2     The script has produced some warnings due to invalid configuration
           settings.  The <basedir>_show_badconfig variable controls the
           masking 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

     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 standard daily, weekly, and monthly

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

     The system crontab should have entries for periodic similar to the
     following 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
     following lines to /etc/periodic.conf:


     To only see important information from daily periodic jobs, add the
     following 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
     argument was passed to periodic to specify where the script fragments

     <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
     underscores, and the first character may not be numeric.

     Paul Traina <>
     Brian Somers <>

FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE        November 28, 2001       FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE


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