Have you ever done a thing repeatedly on your computer and wished that you could automate it and get it to run on its own?
In Linux, the easiest way to schedule and automate a task is to use the crontab. This is a command line based application that allows you to execute commands or scripts automatically at a specified time/date.
For those who dislike the terminal and command line interface, Gnome Schedule is the graphical equivalent of the crontab. It leverages the power of vixie-cron, dcron and at to manage your crontab file and provide an easy way to schedule tasks on your computer. Be it scheduling a recurrent task or task that happens only once, Gnome-schedule has no problem in handling it.
Gnome Schedule is found in the repository of most Linux distros, so installation is an easy affair. If you are using Ubuntu, you can easily install it by clicking this link, in Synaptic Package Manager or in your terminal, type the following command:
sudo apt-get install gnome-schedule
When you schedule a new task, you can choose whether it is a recurrent task or just a one-time thing.
For a one-time task, you will be prompted to enter the task description, the date and time of the code execution and the code to be executed. In case you don’t know, a one-time task doesn’t mean you can only schedule one thing to run. You can easily configure Gnome Schedule to run several commands and do different things all at the same time.
For example, you can get it to stop all the applications, clear the trash bin and shutdown the computer at 10pm sharp at night. You just need to ensure that you enter each command in a new line and in the sequence that you want it to run.
There is also a button for you to add the existing task as a template. With the template, you won’t have to enter the setting for the same task over and over again.
In the Recurrent mode, you can define the task to run every week, hour, minute, second, or at every reboot. If you want precise control, you can also turn on the Advanced mode to edit the schedule manually.
By default, Gnome Schedule is not able to run the command code that requires administrator permission. For scheduling tasks that involve the system setting, you need to first run Gnome Schedule in Super-user mode before you can add the task to the schedule. To do that, you have to run the Gnome Schedule application from the terminal.
In the Super-user mode, you can also edit other user’s scheduled tasks.
Gnome Schedule is a simple and easy to use application for you to schedule and automate tasks in your Linux machine. It doesn’t require you to remember or learn any command line instruction for creating a cron job, yet it allows you to schedule and automate your tasks easily. One thing though, you will have to learn the command line codes that execute your tasks or you won’t be able to create the task.
It would be great if the developer can include some pre-defined template for the standard tasks such as shutdown, clear the trash, close all windows etc.
What other software do you use to automate and schedule tasks in your Linux machine?
Image credit: Jean-Lou Dupont
Explore more about: GNOME Shell.