Cron Job Management ?

Hi ,

I have been getting Over-Load Average Reports every day and as I could not
find a solution, I asked my server supplier.

This was their reply:

“I went over your last few load average reports and identified the commands from your cron schedule that were using the most CPU. I changed these commands to have a lower priority when they run.”

I have just looked in WebMin at the Edit Cron Job page and I do not see any place to change the priority.

How can I see what they have done and how can I make such changes ?

Is that sonething that I can not do in WebMin/VirtualMin ?

Obviously I want to see what priorities my cron jobs have been set to, and make changes in the future
so I can keep the work load balanced.



You can make a command run with a lower priority by adding a “nice” command before it.

So if this is the CPU intensive command you’re running:


You can “nice” it by doing this:

nice -n 19 ./my_cpu_intensive_command


I can see that when I am running my auto responder to send out
member newsletters , the awstats also runs and “takes over” the processor

This is what shows on the “Running Processes Module” in WebMin:

17094 40.5 % 04:40 /usr/bin/perl /usr/share/awstats/wwwroot/cgi-bin/ -config=expert-world …
11192 14.8 % 04:28 php -q /home/guru54gt5/public_html/im/auto_send_news_mem.php

So can I make awstats less processor greedy ?


Yup, you can use the “nice” command I described above for that. Just edit the cron job, and put the nice command in front of the awstats line.


Thanks for your reply.

I looked in the cron job list and noticed that the awstats cron jobs look like this: /etc/webmin/virtualmin-awstats/

which is differen from the process that was running at the time.

It happened again so I looked the “Running Processes” in WebMin and I get this list.

19712 23.6 % 04:48 /usr/bin/perl /usr/share/awstats/wwwroot/cgi-bin/ -config=new-arbitrag …

20062 23.0 % 04:49 /usr/libexec/webmin/proc/index_user.cgi

1192 15.8 % 04:28 php -q /home/guru54gt5/public_html/im/auto_send_news_mem.php

All the other processes are 0 or under 2%

So is the and the index_user.cgi that are running here being triggered by my
newsletter script ( auto_send_news_mem.php ) or was it a coincidence
that they are running together ?

My newsletters often refer to a post in my forum, so the last thing
I want is the forum being down when my newsletter goes out.

If the awstats is not a cron job in this case, how can I give it a lower priority ?

What does /usr/libexec/webmin/proc/index_user.cgi do anyway ?

Thanks for your help.

This program here:


That’s what runs every time you view the running processes in Webmin. It’s what determines what processes are running and shows them to you.

So that’s only running because you’re trying to view running processes :slight_smile:

To avoid that, you could use something like “top” from the command line, or “ps auxw”, in order to see what’s running.

The “” program you’re seeing appears to be because someone (or something) is trying to view the awstats info for one of your websites.



Thanks again :slight_smile:

I put the nice in front of my newsletter sender script cron job with the intention of making it “nice” ( rather than greedy )and letting the forum to function.

Like this: nice php -q /home/guru54gt5/public_html/im/auto_send_news_mem.php

I hope that is correct ?

May be it should be :
php nice -q /home/guru54gt5/public_html/im/auto_send_news_mem.php

But you did say put it “in front”, so I did. If its wrong please advise.

Anyway, I also have a break in the script: it rests every 100 emails for 2 minutes, but that was there before.

Good news is, it seems to be ok now :slight_smile:

BTW what does this do:

7907 54.9 % 00:00 /usr/bin/perl /usr/libexec/webmin/virtual-server/

It is taking up a big chunk of the processor


Well, check out the example I offered above… the “nice” program takes an argument :slight_smile:

The parameter you’d pass in tells it how nice (or un-nice) to be.

In your case, you’d probably want something like this:

nice -n 19 php -q /home/guru54gt5/public_html/im/auto_send_news_mem.php

You can get more details on what “nice” does by running “man nice” from the command line, or by checking this online man page here: