cron doesn't work with dot in username
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2009-08-14 19:20 GMT   |   #1
I'm using Dillon cron version 2.3.3 on Slackware 12.2 and it doesn't work for a
user that has a dot in the username like first.lastname. If I edit the cron job
with crontab -e, it will run for several minutes, but then stop working. It
works for all users without a dot in their username. Is there a work around
for this, besides removing the dot from the username?
2009-08-14 19:20 GMT   |   #2
You do NOT want a dot in the username. It will confuse many programs.
(eg chown) Why would you want a dot in the username?
2009-08-14 21:20 GMT   |   #3
You already posted this on another group and got the same
answer you are going to get here.

The answer is "no". You can't use dots in the usernames.

Why you would even want to I cannot imagine.
2009-08-15 05:20 GMT   |   #4
If the job starts, it probably isn't stopping because of the dot.
2009-08-15 07:20 GMT   |   #5
Actually I haven't found any programs other than cron that mind the dot
in the username, chown works fine. I suppose I don't need a dot but I do
what a special character in the name and I'd rather not go through all the
trouble of changing it again as I have multiple computers and databases
where it needs to be changed. Well I suppose I could have root run
my cron jobs.
2009-08-15 09:20 GMT   |   #6
Yes the job starts and completes, but only for a few minutes. If I do
`crontab -e' and then enter this cron job

* * * * * date > /tmp/crontest

it runs fine for 6 minutes, but then stops running unless I do another
`crontab -e' in which case it will run for another 6 minutes and then stop.
2009-08-15 09:20 GMT   |   #7
I think

* * * * * /bin/date >> /tmp/crontest

would be more reliable test.
2009-08-15 14:35 GMT   |   #8
That is rather odd. Does this same test fail after 6 minutes on a non
dot username (I'd think if it works fine for 6 minutes, it's not the
dot in the username either). I can't imagine any scenario where a cron
would stop after 6 minutes unless the crond service itself was failing,
erroring, or something else. Did you check the last
access/modification or time stamp time on the /tmp/crontest file?
Perhaps it's just trying to write no content because the date command
failed for some reason? Maybe /tmp ran out of inodes or space, or
maybe some process killed it off for some reason? Maybe redirect any
STDERR as well, just in case? Maybe use append >> so you can reference
when the last update was, rather than it writing new content or
creating an empty file (which might just seem confusing, when the cron
itself is actually working, this way you'd know).
2009-08-15 21:20 GMT   |   #9
Slackware 12.2 uses the shadow password suite. Some commands that do NOT
work at all with a dot in the username are: useradd, usermod, and passwd.
2009-08-16 17:20 GMT   |   #10
You right useradd will not allow a dot, but I manually did it in /etc/passwd
and /etc/shadow. The commands usermod and passwd do work with a dot in the
username, no problems with either.

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