Configure the scripts that run periodically to perform various system maintenance tasks

Author: name contact BSD flavour

Reviewer: name contact BSD flavour

Reviewer: name contact BSD flavour


BSD systems provide many scripts that are used to maintain and verify the integrity of the system. Be able to locate and run these scripts manually as required as well as configure which scripts run daily, weekly and monthly on each BSD system.


The BSD systems provide scripts for verifying integrity and security and for providing daily, weekly, and monthly system maintenance and reports. These are started via cron. (Cron is covered in section Configure an action to be scheduled by cron(8).)

OpenBSD and NetBSD use shell scripts called /etc/daily, /etc/weekly, and /etc/monthly.

FreeBSD and DragonFly use a tool called 'periodic' that runs several other scripts found in /etc/periodic/daily, /etc/periodic/weekly, and /etc/periodic/monthly directories.

The output of the maintenance jobs is saved to /var/log/daily.out, /var/log/weekly.out, and /var/log/monthly.out.

Also, the same reports are emailed to "root" (by default).

TODO: is the output of freebsd and dragonfly saved by default?

TODO: cover basics of what each does

TODO: mention configuration files

TODO: point to docs for more details

TODO: mention security script(s)

On OpenBSD, the daily job runs at 1:30 a.m. and the weekly job at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday.

On NetBSD, the daily job runs at 3:15 a.m. and the weekly job runs at 4:30 a.m.

On FreeBSD and DragonFly, the daily jobs run at 3:01 a.m. and the weekly job runs at 4:15 a.m.

The BSDs run the monthly job at 5:30 a.m. on the first day of the month.

TODO: note about no monthly by default on NetBSD.


Practice Exercises

More information

periodic.conf(5) and periodic(8) on Dragonfly and FreeBSD; security.conf(5), daily.conf(5), weekly.conf(5), and monthly.conf(5) on NetBSD; daily(8), weekly(8), and monthly(8) on OpenBSD