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I tried messing around with the 'at' command over the weekend but couldn't get it to work. I think I understand how it works. It's a way of scheduling a ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Using the 'at' command


    I tried messing around with the 'at' command over the weekend but couldn't get it to work. I think I understand how it works. It's a way of scheduling a job - for eg., to send an e-mail.

    I kept it simple, typing 'at 14:45', then at the prompt
    at> xmms /mnt/cdrom

    Followed by Ctrl.+D to signal that I'd finished. Maybe xmms wasn't a good choice, but it was just a try out. The at command seems to be broken. Any ideas? I've read the manual in some depth, and checked /etc./at.allow and /etc/at.deny These don't seem to be the problem.

    Any ideas anyone? It's amusing that the command 'at teatime' is a valid option. This schedules a job for 16:00
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  2. #2
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    What excactly error message do you get?
    Do you have your "atd" demon up'n'running?
    Why don't you have a look into cron and it's facilities rather than "at"?

  3. #3
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Hi - thanks for the reply. No error messages at all. I didn't know there was a daemon involved with that utility. I'll take a look when I go home

    Ah... cron. I don't need it really. I'm a very casual desktop user at the moment, and the computer gets used for writing and multimedia. If I want to do a backup I tend to do it manually. I think 'at' would be more useful for me right now.

    I decided to do a shell refresher course over the weekend. There are a lot of things I don't use on my system Maybe I'll play around with cron as well - that daemon is definitely running!
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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  5. #4
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    Well, my point here is that "at" is just another "hybrid" of "cron".
    Ok, I can admit it is sometimes easier to configure "at" jobs than "cron" jobs, especially when you are a GUI user. Even though, it is not that hard to configure cron either.

  6. #5
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    The problem with both cron and at is that they don't have access rights to x. You can get around this by using xhosts command, and then specifiing which x session to use in the at command. There's inherent flaws with this, however, in that if user a is using X when user b's cron GUI job goes off, they'll get an eye ful of xmms (or whatever) on their screen. Also you'll get serious errors if noone is loged in.

    xmms comes with a real nifty alarm clock that's user specific:
    http://www.xmms.org/plugins.php?details=7

    It's real easy to install using URPMI and configure. You can also use KDE alarm for user specific GUI stuff:
    http://pim.kde.org/components/kalarm.php
    Hope that helps,
    Jeremy
    Registered Linux user #346571
    "All The Dude ever wanted was his rug back" - The Dude

  7. #6
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback! In fact an Xmms alarm is just the kind of thing I wanted. I'll download it and have a fiddle. :P
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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