From the PERIODIC(8) man page:

The periodic utility is intended to be called by cron(8) to execute shell scripts located in the specified directory.

One or more of the following arguments must be specified:

 daily    Perform the standard daily periodic executable run.  This usu-
          ally occurs early in the morning (local time).

 weekly   Perform the standard weekly periodic executable run.  This usu-
          ally occurs very early on Saturday mornings.

Why does it say for weekly, for example, that it "usually occurs very early on Saturday mornings?" Is it suggesting that the user set the cron-job for periodic weekly to be "very early on Saturday mornings?"

  • So right. I need to figure out how to flag my question or move it myself. – papiro Dec 27 '16 at 6:09

Your /etc/crontab file contains lines like this, by default:

# Perform daily/weekly/monthly maintenance.
1       3       *       *       *       root    periodic daily
15      4       *       *       6       root    periodic weekly
30      5       1       *       *       root    periodic monthly

Obviously, 4:15 AM Saturdays is only one of the many possible times which could be set for your weekly maintenance. The documentation isn't "suggesting" anything to me other than the fact that most people do not alter the default settings for these cron jobs, hence the jobs "usually" run at their default times.

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