Trying to settle a friendly argument. Is "cron" an acronym for something?

Additionally, did it's current canonical name "cron" originate from something shortened for something like chronos or chronological?

A quick google search didn't find what i was looking for. It ended up being a forum thread that was unsettled

  • 7
    χρόνος [chronos] (greek) = time, tabula (latin) = board, Iyyobh [job] (hebrew) = the penitent/hated one
    – taffer
    Jan 25 '12 at 20:01
  • A quick look into my V7 Unix manual (doesn't everyone have one handy?) shows no such reference, nor have the various papers from the time. Prior to that, you'd have to dig into Multics which referred to batch queues as "absentee computation".
    – msw
    Jan 25 '12 at 22:36

cron derives from Chronos which is a word for time in Greek .

And tab stands for table. You can know that it means a time table.


I would agree with taffer on likely origins of the command but I think that the only person right now that could definitively answer the question would be Brian Kernighan himself

  • I think Ritchie or even Pike might know, Pike's on G+ if anyone's interested enough to bother asking him.
    – bsd
    Jan 26 '12 at 17:50
  • @bdowning Dennis Ritchie passed away late last year
    – Karlson
    Jan 26 '12 at 17:55
  • Yeah, I knew that. I meant Kernighan, though again, Pike is the one with a G+ acct.
    – bsd
    Jan 26 '12 at 19:09

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