SUMMARY: Crontab Problems

From: Paul Trippett <>
Date: Tue Jul 17 2001 - 09:03:15 EDT

In return to my question about Crontab problems.

This was caused by an interesting bug in SSH, thanks to John Surveyor
[] for the answer. His exact words are below:

x-- SNIP --x

Could it be the case that you are using Solaris 8, with auditing enabled
logging onto the system using SSH ?

I suggest that you check the /var/cron/log file and, if the above is all
true, look for errors related to auditing. (Check the file anyway in
you have a different problem)

Apparently SSH doesnt authenticate correctly so that the auditing doesnt
believe your identity. If you then change the crontab it will refuse to
it. I am told that this is an SSH bug and that Sun don't regard it as
problem. I don't know the exact cause of the problem.

If this all applies to you then there are some workarounds.

1. Check whether the bug has been fixed in the latest version of SSH (I
havent checked this myself for a while)
2. Log on by other means, eg. console.
3. Turn off auditing, with bsmunconv - the full procedure involves a
4. After logging on with SSH then use login(1) to reauthenticate. This
doesnt close the SSH session. Only then use su.=20

An example of (4) would be

$ ssh myname@remotesystem
passwd: xxxxxxxx
	-- /etc/motd appears here
$ login myname
passwd xxxxxx
$ su
passwd: yyyyyyyy
# crontab -e
	-- and make your changes

x-- SNIP --x


Paul Trippett
System Engineer, COLT UK Internet
Received on Tue Jul 17 14:03:15 2001

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