Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 89390
problems with crontab and emacs if $TMP is set
Last modified: 2007-04-18 12:53:13 EDT
Description of problem:
Crontab does not work properly if emacs is used as the editor and $TMP is set to
an alternate location (not /tmp).
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Red Hat 9 (not in 7.1 or 8.0)
Steps to Reproduce:
1.set $EDITOR or $VISUAL to emacs (if VISUAL is set it will be used rather than
2.set TMP to alternate location where you have writepermission (other than /tmp)
3.run crontab and make som change in your crontab.
crontab: no changes made to crontab
crontab: installing new crontab
the temp-file is actually in /tmp even if you do set $TMP to another value.
emacs does not seem to exit with a strange return value (when I searched about
the problem I found this link
but the proposed solution gives a correct returnvalue of 0)
Seems to be the same result if $TMP points to a legal directory (where you have
write permission) or not. I do not get this on my RH 7.1 box with emacs-20.7-34,
Perusing the vixie-cron source doesn't suggest that it supports
using TMP at all. ICBW but at first glance it looks hardcoded
to /tmp to me.
Do you get any different with "EDITOR=vi"?
With EDITOR=vi it works fine.
I only get the problem with emacs, not with vi or pico so it might be an error
in emacs. But it seems like emacs does not terminate with an error code (when I
made a test it returned a 0) so I don't know why cron doesn't think that the
file has been changed. The file gets erased afterwards so vixie-cron apparently
reads it but somehow it doesn't think it's updated.
Were you able to reproduce following the three steps?
Here's what I see with vi:
% ls -dl $HOME/tmp
drwx------ 12 petersen petersen 4096 4æ 17 09:10 /home/petersen/tmp
% EDITOR=vi TMP=$HOME/tmp crontab -e
"/tmp/crontab.10884" 1L, 30C
For you the temp file isn't in "/tmp"?
As i wrote under "additional information", the temp-file is actually in /tmp
even if you do set $TMP to another value. But still it does not update
properly. Have you tried with emacs? As far as I know it's only the emacs-
crontab-$TMP combination that doesn't work so testing with vi(or pico) will not
give any problems
Thanks for the clarification - I thought the complaint was that
TMP was being ignored.
Yep, reproduced. Looks like you're right and it is related to
the exit status of emacs.
Created attachment 91271 [details]
Diff of straces with and without TMP set
I don't seem able to reproduce the non-zero exit code
though by invoking from the commandline though.
When just invoking emacs I mean.
Ok, when I tried I got a normal exit code from emacs but maybe I missed
something in how it's invoked from crontab.
Should it be declassified as an emacs bug?
Not sure, it could be a vixie-cron bug, but I am the package
maintainer of that too, so we can just leave it here for now
(xemacs seems to be ok with crontab too.)
Hmm, I don't need able to reproduce this anymore with current
rawhide (FC3 test releases).
Could you try to test it with that?
Closing for now.