Run & Edit Crontabs In Mac OS X With A GUI App

With the Unix underpinning of Mac OS X, it is possible to run crontabs which are scripts or programs that run on a set schedule. The problem for many users is that crontabs need to be set from the command line in Unix, but Koch und Schmidt Systemtechnik GbR has released a new product called CronniX that changes that. CronniX allows Mac OS X users to edit and install crontabs from a GUI-based app. According to Koch & Schmidt:

CronniX is a little tool to edit and install a "crontab". For those who donit know what crontab is, see the description below or "man crontab" in the Terminal for more details. In short, itis a scheduler that allows you to run shell commands or scripts at certain times or intervals. Itis a very powerful tool.

New in 1.1

  • Drag and drop support. As suggested by a user, CronniX now features drag and drop. Upon dropping a text selection on a line, it is inserted as a command in the command field. If you drop a file its name is inserted along with a prepended "open". This can be used to insert AppleScripts. If the drop is not on a line but rather the table view, a new line is inserted.
  • Open for different user. The file menu item "Open For User" will open a dialog that allows you to open another useris crontab. Note that you have to be super user ("root") to be able to do this. Crontab (the underlying Unix tool) will deny access to other useris crontabs for any user but the super user.
  • Online help.
  • Rewritten in Objective C. This makes CronniX start up faster and use less memory than the Java version.

How do I use it?
The interface of CronniX is rather ... simple. It features a "New line", "Remove line", and "Write" button, which incidentally perform the actions on the labels. Your current crontab is read automatically after startup. You can edit the fields and install it by pressing "Write". Note that the programis data structure is only updated if you press enter or tab after editing a field. This is the normal spreadsheet behavior of the underlying NSTableView object. Pressing "New line" adds a new line with the default settings as shown in the screenshot to your crontab. This line should also give a picture of the crontab syntax for those who donit know (or remember) the structure.

You can find more information on the product at Koch und Schmidt Systemtechnik GbRis Web site.