Bzfscron is one of the first plugins, and still arguably the most powerful, bzfscron allows one to run arbitrary /slash commands on a schedule. It supports a very complete crontab parser that closely approximates those found on most modern *nix systems.
This plugin creates a server side player as an observer and grants it full administrator rights, so it can run commands restricted to administrators.
Loading the plugin
The plugin requires that the filename to the crontab file is provided. For how to create a crontab file, check the configuration section that follows.
The plugin requires a crontab file be created. If you are familiar with crontab on unix-like systems it uses an identical file format, like:
Minute Hour Day Month Weekday Command
Allowed values are:
- Minute: 0-59
- Hour: 0-23
- Day: 1-31
- Month: 1-12 (numbers only)
- Weekday: 0-7 (0 or 7 is Sun, numbers only)
For any value, you can also use an asterisk (*). An asterisk means every valid value for that field.
- Example Crontabs:**
So for instance, to run "/flag reset unused" at quarter-after, every hour you could do
15 * * * * /flag reset unused
Or to restart your server every day at 2 am you could do
0 2 * * * /shutdownserver
Multiple values (lists) can be specified, so if you wanted to restart your server only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you could do
0 2 * * 1,3,5 /shutdownserver
Likewise ranges can be used... to welcome your players every 15 minutes in different languages depending on where they were likely from, you could do something like:
0,15,30,45 0-6 * * * /say "Heissen Sie Willkommen zu meinem Diener!" 0,15,30,45 7-23 * * * /say "Welcome to my server!"
This can also be used in concert with other plugins, for example if you were running RPG's RaceTo7 plugin you could restart the match every 15 minutes with a five-minute wait period like this:
0,20,40 * * * * * /match end 0,20,40 * * * * * /say "Next match starts in five minutes!" 1,21,41 * * * * * /say "Next match starts in four minutes!" 2,22,42 * * * * * /say "Next match starts in three minutes!" 3,23,43 * * * * * /say "Next match starts in two minutes!" 4,24,44 * * * * * /say "Next match starts in one minute!" 5,25,45 * * * * * /match start
- Simultaneous Events:**
Events which should occur "simultaneously" according to the crontab are executed in the order they're written, so to restart the match immediately every 20 minutes you could do:
0,20,40 * * * * * /match end 0,20,40 * * * * * /match start
which is *different* from
0,20,40 * * * * * /match start 0,20,40 * * * * * /match end
which would give you a zero-time match!
- Multiple Restrictions:**
Since there are two fields to restrict a command's execution, the behavior when both are restricted is undefined by standard. bzfscron chooses to execute it only when BOTH fields are matched (e.g. if you say run on fridays only, and run on the 13th only, it will only run on friday the 13th). This is contrary to the way that most modern system crons deal with this situation. You have been warned.
- Format Extensions (advanced):**
The bzfscron plugin also supports "step values" like several modern crons, so
*/10 * * * * * /flag reset unused
can be used to reset the unused flags every 10 minutes.
The bzfscron plugin also supports range/list unions, so
0-10,30-40 * * * * * /say "I'm being annoying!"
will work just fine.
Note that those two extensions CAN be combined in the same field, so
0-10,30-59/5 * * * * * /say "Hey, this works!"
Will run every five minutes EXCEPT for minutes FIFTEEN, TWENTY, and TWENTY-FIVE.
However, the step value is applied to the entire field, including singly specified numbers. Thus
1,6-10/2 * * * * * /say "Hey there"
will run on the SIXTH, EIGHTH and TENTH minutes, but NOT on the FIRST minute. Contrarily,
2,6-10/2 * * * * * /say "Hey there"
will run on the SECOND, SIXTH, EIGTH and TENTH minutes, since 2 hits the step value. Zero always matches the step value, no matter what the step value is.
The plugin exposes a /cron command that requires the BZFSCRON permission. It has both a 'list' and a 'reload' subcommand.
List the current bzfscron jobs:
Reload the crontab file after modifications have been made:
- Original bzfscron announcement: http://my.bzflag.org/bb/viewtopic.php?t=5018
- Bzfscron rewrite information: http://my.bzflag.org/bb/viewtopic.php?t=10095
- Bzfscron on GitHub: https://github.com/BZFlag-Dev/bzflag/tree/2.4/plugins/bzfscron