An acquaintance complained about something not running on their system and asked for some help. I did a crontab -e and it mysteriously was blank! We were able to restore their crontab from a backup but she wants to find out what happened so they could take steps to avoid this happening in the future.

I checked history to see if someone accidentally ran a crontab -r and that wasnt the case. Someone mentioned that if someone was editing the crontab while the system is rebooting could also cause its disappearance. Checked too and that wasnt the case, the box has been up for 20 days.

Anyone have any ideas what could have caused crontab to just up and disappear?

  • possible duplicate of HELP: I deleted cron tab file and need to recover it. – pauska Oct 26 '10 at 18:27
  • i dont think so, because we know we didn't delete the crontab by grepping history. this is more on investigating the causes of why it disappeared. – rumz Oct 26 '10 at 18:48
  • Do use use "sudo" for discretionary access to system-type accounts, or do you just have a bunch of people all logged in at once? – MadHatter Oct 26 '10 at 19:13
  • At this site its just the root user (i hear someone screaming, oh wait, thats me), no sudo either. It is just one person who normally logs in though, and that person went away on vacation. – rumz Oct 26 '10 at 19:43

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