Media Temple backup time

11 years to backup server!?

I must say this caught me initially, whilst setting up the cron on my server I noticed this on media temple’s default cron setup (by the way I love media temple’s service & support it’s the greatest). It’s seems that a backup script is set to run every… wait for it, 11 years 😐

Well it must be lack of sleep or the fact that I find setting up crons a chore but I was actually believing that it was 11 years until I found this, Using Cron which explains that crons can contain lists. So the number 6,21,36,51 in minutes is actually a list, and it means that the script should run in intervals every 6 minutes, then 21 minutes, 36 minutes and 51 minutes. Yup, I need some sleep.

Update: noonespecial via hacker news helped fill me in on some more info regarding cron,

A better way to say it is: “Four times per hour, every hour on the 6th minute, the 21st minute, the 36th minute and 51st minute.” If I’m not mistaken, media temple just wants to back up 4 times per hour and to keep from getting slammed at the quarters, they randomize a bit the defaults they hand out.

Thanks noonespecial