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kbradnam 02-22-2005 08:14 PM

Will version 2.0 solve my cron scheduling problems?
Hi again,

After a few days experimenting with crontab entries, I've had to give up trying to automate the running of SuperDuper! via a cron job.

My first attempt used the adminstrators crontab entry but this - like most Mac OS X user accounts it seems - is only active when that user is logged in. Not helpful if you want your backups to run in the middle of the night.

My second attempt was to enable the backups to run as root by adding lines to the /etc/crontab file. This initially worked whilst I was logged in as the admin user, but if you are not logged in at all then very strange things happen....

The central login window remains at the center of the screen but behind this the root user desktop appears and launches SuperDuper (incidentally I found out that I had to re-register the SuperDuper program as the root user). SuperDuper starts but never runs the desired backup though.
I think is because the root user needs to have all of the various library settings stored locally (/var/root rather than in the adminstrators home area).

What is scary about this approach is that even though the login window remains on screen you can take charge of windows behind it (presumably with full root access to delete anything you wanted to).

So I'm currently at a loss as to how to schedule SuperDuper without physically being at the machine or leaving an account logged in.

Will the scheduling functions that you have mentioned for version 2.0 be able to help me out?



dnanian 02-22-2005 08:24 PM

Our current plan is to only allow backups to work -- for regular users -- when their accounts are logged in. This covers the vast majority of users.

As you've seen, there are issues involved with trying to run as root -- basically, we have to run without a UI. While this is something we might do in the future, it's not something we plan to do in v2.0.

kbradnam 02-22-2005 08:30 PM

Ok, thanks - as ever - for a prompt reply. For now I'm happy to run backups by hand (or simply shedule them for a period during the day when I expect to be logged in as admin), but I may look at a psync or rsync solution in the longer term.


P.S. I still intend to try the fix that you sent me to see if I can stop the home partition being unmounted during a backup...just waiting to get some time on the server when no users are logged in!

dnanian 02-22-2005 08:43 PM

Keith --

You don't have to run SuperDuper! from a privileged user. You can run it, scheduled, from a non-privileged one by unlocking on that user's account...

magnet 02-24-2005 03:26 AM

v 2.0 ... when??
Just curious, when do you expect 2.0 to be released.

Love the product more than ever, Dave. But then, you know that, I was gushing all over it at MacWorld.



dnanian 02-24-2005 08:13 AM

Hey, Ken -- nice to see you here.

Not trying to be coy, but it'll be ready when it's ready. We're working hard to get it finished, but we also won't ship it until it's done -- and there's no fixed date on 'done'. Not too much longer...

zack 02-25-2005 04:55 PM

I finally got scheduled backups to work - perfectly everytime!

Wasn't easy due to some strange things apple does, spent hours trying to solve it, but finally scheduled backups work without compromising on sleep.

I'll post detailed instructions once I get home.

dnanian 02-25-2005 05:16 PM

Definitely let us know what problem you ran into...

michel 02-25-2005 05:31 PM


Originally Posted by dnanian
Hey, Ken -- nice to see you here.

Not trying to be coy, but it'll be ready when it's ready. We're working hard to get it finished, but we also won't ship it until it's done -- and there's no fixed date on 'done'. Not too much longer...

Hi Dave,

That's OK : take your time and release a reliable version ! ;-)


dnanian 02-25-2005 05:38 PM

Thanks, Michel: that's exactly what we're trying -- always trying -- to do!

zack 02-26-2005 01:30 PM

Here's my story on trying to get the perfect setup

Went and bought a Seagate external hard drive after my first Mac crash
Deleted the back s/w that came with it since it won't let me boot from the drive
Installed SD
Learnt the hard way that schedulers don't wake a sleeping Mac
In System Pref, under Energy Saver, schedule, there is an option to Start Mac at a preset time. I set it up at 2.00am everyday
Now strange things started happening, it would wake up sometimes, it wouldn't other times. There apparently was some problem when the USB printer was turned on and connected that interfered with the sleep patterns of Mac
Installed the latest apple update, trashed all preferences, ran maintenece scripts (Onyx) and finally that wasn't a problem any more
Now in order to get SD to run after the Mac wakes up at 2.00 am, I need a scheduler. Used Cronnix and scheduled to run SD at 2:04am.

Even stranger things started happening. On every test I would see the mac wakes up and runs SD, yet in the morning when I check the logs I would find the Mac actually woke up but went to sleep immediately without running SD!

Then after some hair pulling found out that when a Mac isn't woken up using a keypress, the Mac actually goes to sleep in 2 minutes or so and not by what the setting is in Sys Pref..Energy Saver..Sleep (Usually set at 15 minutes). So the Mac wakes up and goes to sleep immediately since it wasn't woken up by a keypress and doesn't give SD a chance!

After some digging found a program called keypress.c which simulates a keypress. Unfortunately there wasn't a compiled version, so compiled it and finally had a setting that works!

In Sys Pref, wake Mac at 2.00 am
In Cronnix Schedule Keypress to run at 2.01am
In Cronnix Schedule SD to run at 2.03am

You are all set!

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