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Running a cron job for advisories

Discussion of Ken True's web site templates

Moderator: saratogaWX

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aznetcowboy
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Running a cron job for advisories

Post by aznetcowboy » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:42 pm

First of all, let me say I have never, and I mean never, had anything to do with a cron job. However, I'd like to add more areas to my advisories, When looking at the comments in the settings.php it says "if more than 4 zone/county codes are used, a message will appear if you are NOT using cron to provide updates". So how do I do set up a cron job to allow me to have more than 4 advisory code/zones? :?
Tom Wills
Kingston Knolls Terrace, Tucson, AZ

El Gheko Neighborhood Weather Station: http://www.elgheko.us
El Gheko Neighborhood Association: http://na.elgheko.us

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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by saratogaWX » Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:54 pm

Setup of a cron job is very hoster-specific. Some have a website 'control panel' where you enter the cron specifications.
Some hosters only offer cron functions through the command-line interface (when logged in via SSH).

First check your hoster's Q&A about cron jobs to see which variety they support.

Then we can try to help with getting it set up...

Just FYI, my 1and1 hoster uses the command-line interface (via SSH login thru PuTTY). In my crontab, I have the
entry:

*/5 * * * * /kunden/homepages/9/d141952417/htdocs/wx/run-nws-alerts.txt

Which says:
Every 5 minutes (the */5) run the command run-nws-alerts.txt

The run-nws-alerts.txt is really a bash script to run the nws-alerts collection and save the results.:

Code: Select all

#!/bin/bash
cd /kunden/homepages/9/d141952417/htdocs/wx
# Clean out old copies if any
ps auxw | grep "nws-alerts.php" | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty kill >/dev/null &2>1
/usr/bin/php5 -q nws-alerts.php > nws-alerts-status.tmp
cp nws-alerts-status.tmp nws-alerts-status.txt
#
Note that ALL the paths for files are VERY HOSTER SPECIFIC so you can't just copy/paste without editing
to reflect your hoster's environment. Also, some hosters do not offer cron job functionality. In that case,
you can use a Windows Task Manager scheduled task to read http://your.website.com/nws-alerts.php every 5 minutes and that will do the same as the (missing) cron job functionality.

Hope this helps...

Best regards,
Ken

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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by aznetcowboy » Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:27 pm

saratogaWX wrote:Setup of a cron job is very hoster-specific. Some have a website 'control panel' where you enter the cron specifications.
Some hosters only offer cron functions through the command-line interface (when logged in via SSH).

First check your hoster's Q&A about cron jobs to see which variety they support.

Then we can try to help with getting it set up...

Just FYI, my 1and1 hoster uses the command-line interface (via SSH login thru PuTTY). In my crontab, I have the
entry:

*/5 * * * * /kunden/homepages/9/d141952417/htdocs/wx/run-nws-alerts.txt

Which says:
Every 5 minutes (the */5) run the command run-nws-alerts.txt

The run-nws-alerts.txt is really a bash script to run the nws-alerts collection and save the results.:

Code: Select all

#!/bin/bash
cd /kunden/homepages/9/d141952417/htdocs/wx
# Clean out old copies if any
ps auxw | grep "nws-alerts.php" | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty kill >/dev/null &2>1
/usr/bin/php5 -q nws-alerts.php > nws-alerts-status.tmp
cp nws-alerts-status.tmp nws-alerts-status.txt
#
Note that ALL the paths for files are VERY HOSTER SPECIFIC so you can't just copy/paste without editing
to reflect your hoster's environment. Also, some hosters do not offer cron job functionality. In that case,
you can use a Windows Task Manager scheduled task to read http://your.website.com/nws-alerts.php every 5 minutes and that will do the same as the (missing) cron job functionality.

Hope this helps...

Best regards,
Ken
Let's see if I understand this. As I do not have any run-nws-alerts.txt file, I should run nws-alerts.php? The cron I have created is:
*/5* * * * /usr/local/bin/php /home/elghek00/domains/domain.com/public_html/nws-alerts.php
I hope that is correct. As there have no alerts lately, it may be some time before I fine out? :groan:
Tom Wills
Kingston Knolls Terrace, Tucson, AZ

El Gheko Neighborhood Weather Station: http://www.elgheko.us
El Gheko Neighborhood Association: http://na.elgheko.us

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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by saratogaWX » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:10 pm

Almost right...

change

Code: Select all

*/5* * * * /usr/local/bin/php /home/elghek00/domains/domain.com/public_html/nws-alerts.php
to

Code: Select all

*/5 * * * * /usr/local/bin/php /home/elghek00/domains/domain.com/public_html/nws-alerts.php
there needs to be a space after the */5

A better approach might be to create run-nws-alerts.txt in your document root (same place as nws-alerts.php) with the contents

Code: Select all

#!/bin/bash
cd /home/elghek00/domains/domain.com/public_html
# Clean out old copies if any
ps auxw | grep "nws-alerts.php" | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty kill >/dev/null &2>1
/usr/local/bin/php -q nws-alerts.php > nws-alerts-status.tmp &2>1
cp nws-alerts-status.tmp nws-alerts-status.txt
#
then change the cron entry to read

Code: Select all

*/5 * * * * /bin/bash /home/elghek00/domains/domain.com/public_html/run-nws-alerts.txt
That makes sure that the nws-alerts.php uses your home directory default.

Best regards,
Ken

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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by aznetcowboy » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:38 pm

saratogaWX wrote:Almost right...

change

Code: Select all

*/5* * * * /usr/local/bin/php /home/elghek00/domains/domain.com/public_html/nws-alerts.php
to

Code: Select all

*/5 * * * * /usr/local/bin/php /home/elghek00/domains/domain.com/public_html/nws-alerts.php
there needs to be a space after the */5

A better approach might be to create run-nws-alerts.txt in your document root (same place as nws-alerts.php) with the contents

Code: Select all

#!/bin/bash
cd /home/elghek00/domains/domain.com/public_html
# Clean out old copies if any
ps auxw | grep "nws-alerts.php" | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty kill >/dev/null &2>1
/usr/local/bin/php -q nws-alerts.php > nws-alerts-status.tmp &2>1
cp nws-alerts-status.tmp nws-alerts-status.txt
#
then change the cron entry to read

Code: Select all

*/5 * * * * /bin/bash /home/elghek00/domains/domain.com/public_html/run-nws-alerts.txt
That makes sure that the nws-alerts.php uses your home directory default.

Best regards,
Ken
Ken,

I did just as you suggested and it appears to working just fine. Now to await for some alerts to show up. ;)

Tom
Tom Wills
Kingston Knolls Terrace, Tucson, AZ

El Gheko Neighborhood Weather Station: http://www.elgheko.us
El Gheko Neighborhood Association: http://na.elgheko.us

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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by aznetcowboy » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:09 am

Ken,

Looks like I spoke way to soon. I am getting the following in my source with the portion in blue showing up at the top of my page:

<!-- nws-alerts noCron=true .. running nws-alerts.php inline -->
nws-alerts: Checking more than four warning/county codes can delay the loading of your pages. You should use a cron job to get the data.
<!-- nws-alerts.php - 1.15 - 19-Aug-2013 - NWS Public Alerts -->
<!-- Cron job not used -->


My cron code looks like:

*/5 * * * * /home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/run-nws-alerts.txt >/dev/null 2>&1


and my run-nws-alerts.txt looks like the following:

#!/bin/bash
cd /home/elghek00/domains/domain.com/public_html
# Clean out old copies if any
ps auxw | grep "nws-alerts.php" | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty kill >/dev/null &2>1
/usr/local/bin/php -q nws-alerts.php > nws-alerts-status.tmp &2>1
cp nws-alerts-status.tmp nws-alerts-status.txt
#


So why doesn't this work? I have set the permissions to 777 in an attempt tp see if that will help. Nope, it didn't. Now what? Wish I understood Cron a lot better. :groan:
Tom Wills
Kingston Knolls Terrace, Tucson, AZ

El Gheko Neighborhood Weather Station: http://www.elgheko.us
El Gheko Neighborhood Association: http://na.elgheko.us

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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by aznetcowboy » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:48 pm

Still trying to get this problem resolved. My Cronjob is as follows (as suggested earlier):
*/5 * * * * /home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/run-nws-alerts.txt

My run-nws-alerts.txt is as follows (also as suggested earlier):
#!/bin/bash
cd /home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/
# Clean out old copies if any
ps auxw | grep "nws-alerts.php" | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty kill >/dev/null &2>1
/usr/local/bin/php -q nws-alerts.php > nws-alerts-status.tmp &2>1
cp nws-alerts-status.tmp nws-alerts-status.txt
#


I am seeing the following in my index.php file:
<!-- nws-alerts noCron=true .. running nws-alerts.php inline -->
nws-alerts: Checking more than four warning/county codes can delay the loading of your pages. You should use a cron job to get the data.
<!-- nws-alerts.php - 1.15 - 19-Aug-2013 - NWS Public Alerts -->
<!-- Cron job not used -->


However, I am not getting any error messages in my email. Why can't I get this cron job to work? I am confused. I really want to get this resolved.

Tom
Tom Wills
Kingston Knolls Terrace, Tucson, AZ

El Gheko Neighborhood Weather Station: http://www.elgheko.us
El Gheko Neighborhood Association: http://na.elgheko.us

Image

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aznetcowboy
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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by aznetcowboy » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:44 pm

aznetcowboy wrote:Still trying to get this problem resolved. My Cronjob is as follows (as suggested earlier):
*/5 * * * * /home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/run-nws-alerts.txt

My run-nws-alerts.txt is as follows (also as suggested earlier):
#!/bin/bash
cd /home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/
# Clean out old copies if any
ps auxw | grep "nws-alerts.php" | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty kill >/dev/null &2>1
/usr/local/bin/php -q nws-alerts.php > nws-alerts-status.tmp &2>1
cp nws-alerts-status.tmp nws-alerts-status.txt
#


I am seeing the following in my index.php file:
<!-- nws-alerts noCron=true .. running nws-alerts.php inline -->
nws-alerts: Checking more than four warning/county codes can delay the loading of your pages. You should use a cron job to get the data.
<!-- nws-alerts.php - 1.15 - 19-Aug-2013 - NWS Public Alerts -->
<!-- Cron job not used -->


However, I am not getting any error messages in my email. Why can't I get this cron job to work? I am confused. I really want to get this resolved.

Tom
A folowup here. Finally I got an email from the cron job. It says:
/home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/run-nws-alerts.txt: line 6: 790 Terminated /usr/local/bin/php -q nws-alerts.php > nws-alerts-status.tmp

I have no idea what this is telling me. Just as I was hopeful that the cron job was working. :evil:

I am getting messages via email addressed to "Cron <elghek00@lhvm02> /home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/run-nws-alerts.txt" stating "kill 756: No such process". The number after the Kill word varies from three to five digits. What is this telling anyone?
Tom Wills
Kingston Knolls Terrace, Tucson, AZ

El Gheko Neighborhood Weather Station: http://www.elgheko.us
El Gheko Neighborhood Association: http://na.elgheko.us

Image

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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by aznetcowboy » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:49 pm

aznetcowboy wrote:
aznetcowboy wrote:Still trying to get this problem resolved. My Cronjob is as follows (as suggested earlier):
*/5 * * * * /home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/run-nws-alerts.txt

My run-nws-alerts.txt is as follows (also as suggested earlier):
#!/bin/bash
cd /home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/
# Clean out old copies if any
ps auxw | grep "nws-alerts.php" | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty kill >/dev/null &2>1
/usr/local/bin/php -q nws-alerts.php > nws-alerts-status.tmp &2>1
cp nws-alerts-status.tmp nws-alerts-status.txt
#


I am seeing the following in my index.php file:
<!-- nws-alerts noCron=true .. running nws-alerts.php inline -->
nws-alerts: Checking more than four warning/county codes can delay the loading of your pages. You should use a cron job to get the data.
<!-- nws-alerts.php - 1.15 - 19-Aug-2013 - NWS Public Alerts -->
<!-- Cron job not used -->


However, I am not getting any error messages in my email. Why can't I get this cron job to work? I am confused. I really want to get this resolved.

Tom
Just wondering here if my run-nws-alerts.txt is set up correctly? I noticed that the "nws-alerts: Checking more than four warning/county codes can delay the loading of your pages. You should use a cron job to get the data." message is coming from the nws-alerts-status.tmp file and the nws-alerts-status.txt is empty.

Is no one using a cron job for the advisories? Certainly I can't be the only one. What is wrong with my cron job??? I certainly am not seeing the problem.
Tom Wills
Kingston Knolls Terrace, Tucson, AZ

El Gheko Neighborhood Weather Station: http://www.elgheko.us
El Gheko Neighborhood Association: http://na.elgheko.us

Image

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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by aznetcowboy » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:26 am

The closer I seem to get, the more I wonder if anyone else is actually running a cron job for advisories. Right now as soon as I thought all was well, I get the following:

PHP Notice: Undefined index: SERVER_NAME in /home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/nws-alerts.php on line 544
PHP Notice: Undefined index: SERVER_NAME in /home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/nws-alerts.php on line 556
PHP Notice: Undefined index: SERVER_NAME in /home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/nws-alerts.php on line 556
PHP Notice: Undefined index: SERVER_NAME in /home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/nws-alerts.php on line 556

The last line referencing line 556 repeats 8 more times. I only find the reference to SERVER_NAME in the list 544 and 556. I am ready to give up on this cron job. I an starting to think it can't be done. I am open to any and all suggestions as how to get this resolved.
Tom Wills
Kingston Knolls Terrace, Tucson, AZ

El Gheko Neighborhood Weather Station: http://www.elgheko.us
El Gheko Neighborhood Association: http://na.elgheko.us

Image

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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by saratogaWX » Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:20 am

It appears that your PHP/hoster does not set $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] environmental variable.

You can get around this by changing nws-alerts-config.php

Code: Select all

###  END OF MAIN SETTINGS   ###
to

Code: Select all

if(!isset($_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'])) {$_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] = 'www.elgheko.us';}
###  END OF MAIN SETTINGS   ###
and that should clear the errors.

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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by aznetcowboy » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:28 pm

saratogaWX wrote:It appears that your PHP/hoster does not set $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] environmental variable.

You can get around this by changing nws-alerts-config.php

Code: Select all

###  END OF MAIN SETTINGS   ###
to

Code: Select all

if(!isset($_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'])) {$_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] = 'www.elgheko.us';}
###  END OF MAIN SETTINGS   ###
and that should clear the errors.
I added the code as suggested. I am now getting emails saying "kill 5580: No such process" where the kill number is anwhere from a three digit to a five digit number. In the index.php source code (right after the <body> statement) I am getting
<!-- nws-alerts noCron=true .. running nws-alerts.php inline -->
nws-alerts: Checking more than four warning/county codes can delay the loading of your pages. You should use a cron job to get the data.
<!-- nws-alerts.php - 1.15 - 19-Aug-2013 - NWS Public Alerts -->
<!-- Cron job not used -->
<!-- Total script process time: 0.0002 seconds -->
Any suggestion as to what this kill statement is telling me? Boy, I never expected a cron job to be so complicated. :bash:
Tom Wills
Kingston Knolls Terrace, Tucson, AZ

El Gheko Neighborhood Weather Station: http://www.elgheko.us
El Gheko Neighborhood Association: http://na.elgheko.us

Image

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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by saratogaWX » Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:48 pm

The page says " noCron=true" and if you're running the cron, that should say " noCron=false".

Change nws-alerts-config.php line

Code: Select all

$noCron        = true;                     // true=not using cron, update data when cache file expires   false=use cron to update data
to

Code: Select all

$noCron        = false;                     // true=not using cron, update data when cache file expires   false=use cron to update data
to get the script to STOP trying to load when your page loads. Kinda contra-intuitive, but NOcron=false is equal (in logic) to cron=true :)

Getting the error message about 'kill' just means that there was no prior process running to kill. I do the kill to make sure that a 'hung' instance of the script won't stack up the PHP processes on the server and have your site return 500-Server Error when the number of PHP threads for your userid is exhausted.

In the cron job task itself, you can change

Code: Select all

# Clean out old copies if any
ps auxw | grep "nws-alerts.php" | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty kill >/dev/null &2>1
to

Code: Select all

# Clean out old copies if any
#ps auxw | grep "nws-alerts.php" | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty kill >/dev/null &2>1
to turn off that attempt to kill prior running processes.

Some Linux installations do not like the '--no-run-if-empty' argument on the xargs command also.

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aznetcowboy
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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by aznetcowboy » Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:57 pm

saratogaWX wrote:The page says " noCron=true" and if you're running the cron, that should say " noCron=false".

Change nws-alerts-config.php line

Code: Select all

$noCron        = true;                     // true=not using cron, update data when cache file expires   false=use cron to update data
to

Code: Select all

$noCron        = false;                     // true=not using cron, update data when cache file expires   false=use cron to update data
to get the script to STOP trying to load when your page loads. Kinda contra-intuitive, but NOcron=false is equal (in logic) to cron=true :)

Getting the error message about 'kill' just means that there was no prior process running to kill. I do the kill to make sure that a 'hung' instance of the script won't stack up the PHP processes on the server and have your site return 500-Server Error when the number of PHP threads for your userid is exhausted.

In the cron job task itself, you can change

Code: Select all

# Clean out old copies if any
ps auxw | grep "nws-alerts.php" | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty kill >/dev/null &2>1
to

Code: Select all

# Clean out old copies if any
#ps auxw | grep "nws-alerts.php" | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs --no-run-if-empty kill >/dev/null &2>1
to turn off that attempt to kill prior running processes.

Some Linux installations do not like the '--no-run-if-empty' argument on the xargs command also.
I had already done the "$noCron=false;" so that should be okay. I have just changed the line in the run-nws-alerts.txt as suggested.

BTW, I assume the emails I am getting that stating "/home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/run-nws-alerts.txt: line 6: 28651 Terminated /usr/local/bin/php -q nws-alerts.php > nws-alerts-status.tmp" are good meaning it has completed okay? Line 6 is "cp nws-alerts-status.tmp nws-alerts-status.txt".
Tom Wills
Kingston Knolls Terrace, Tucson, AZ

El Gheko Neighborhood Weather Station: http://www.elgheko.us
El Gheko Neighborhood Association: http://na.elgheko.us

Image

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saratogaWX
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Re: Running a cron job for advisories

Post by saratogaWX » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:22 pm

BTW, I assume the emails I am getting that stating "/home/elghek00/domains/elgheko.us/public_html/run-nws-alerts.txt: line 6: 28651 Terminated /usr/local/bin/php -q nws-alerts.php > nws-alerts-status.tmp" are good meaning it has completed okay? Line 6 is "cp nws-alerts-status.tmp nws-alerts-status.txt".
Ummm... no, that's not a good thing. That the line

/usr/local/bin/php -q nws-alerts.php > nws-alerts-status.tmp

was terminated probably means that /usr/local/bin/php wasn't found .. you may have to change it to the location of PHP on your hosting server (it varies on different hosters). It means your cron job is not quite running completely successfully.

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