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When I do crontab -e, are the changes applied immediately when I save the file, or do I have to exit vim for it to be applied?

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It waits until you exit the editor. From the manpage:

The -e option is used to edit the current crontab using the editor specified by the VISUAL or EDITOR environment variables. After you exit from the editor, the modified crontab will be installed automatically.

You can also tell by just watching stdout; it waits until you exit the editor and then outputs:

crontab: installing new crontab

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Yeah, I noticed that, but wanted to make sure. After all, it could have printed it to stdout when I saved, "or something". Thanks for the confirmation. –  ripper234 Mar 18 '11 at 19:09

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