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vixie-cron e-mails me the output of cron jobs, with one message per job.

I would rather receive messages in batches, with either a configurable number of messages per batch or (better) each batch covering a defined time period. I already use logwatch to get daily e-mails; a solution that could be integrated into this system would be ideal.

I can't find a way of configuring vixie-cron (version 4.1-81) to output to a directory or a log file instead of directly to the SMTP client. I am aware that I can manually redirect the output to a different location in crontab itself, but it seems like there should be a way to change the default.

I also wonder what the best tool for sending the e-mails would be (if not logwatch).

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can tell Cron to send the output to syslog. I believe that cron output will be sent to /var/log/cron on most systems. From here, you can create a logwatch job to scan /var/log/cron and send you the output once per day.

From man 8 cron:


This option will direct cron to send job output to the system log using syslog(3). This is useful if your system has no sendmail(8), or if mail is disabled using -m off.

On some distros, logwatch comes with a logwatch script named 'cron' and a configuration file named 'cron.conf'. See for one example. I do not have these files on my RHEL6 system.

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Perfect, thanks. Not sure how I missed the -s option in the man page. – supervacuo Aug 23 '12 at 17:55

What about settine the email address for a specific cron (MAILTO=mailname, if I recall) where all the mail messages go and have an alias to simply put it into a file. Then process the file as you wish, .... logrotate, or whatever else you want.

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