Cron jobs and Daemons

Koha is supported by a number of background tasks. These tasks can either be periodically executed tasks (cron jobs) or continuously running task called daemons.

A cron job is a Linux command for scheduling a command or script on your server to complete repetitive tasks automatically. Scripts executed as a cron job are typically used to modify files or databases; however, they can perform other tasks that do not modify data on the server, like sending out email notifications.

A daemon is a Linux command that is typically started when the system is booted and runs in the background doing some function. The database used by Koha (either mysql or mariadb) is a daemon as is the webserver (typically Apache).

Koha has many cron jobs in place that you can enable (search engine indexing, overdue notice generation, data cleanup and more), and a few daemons. This chapter will explain those for you.

Crontab example

An example of a Koha crontab can be found in misc/cronjobs/crontab.example

The example includes sample boilerplate cronjob entries for the most commonly-used cronjobs.

Cron jobs

The locations below assume a dev install which puts the crons in misc/, if you have a standard install you may want to look in bin/ for these files if you cannot find them in misc/

Backup

Daily backup

Script path: misc/cronjobs/backup.sh

Does: creates a daily backup of the Koha database.

Frequency suggestion: daily

Circulation

Holds queue

Script path: misc/cronjobs/holds/build_holds_queue.pl

Does: updates holds queue report

Required by: Holds queue report

Frequency suggestion: every 1-4 hours

Description:

  • A script that should be run periodically if your library system allows borrowers to place on-shelf holds. This script decides which library should be responsible for fulfilling a given hold request.

    It’s behavior is controlled by the system preferences StaticHoldsQueueWeight and RandomizeHoldsQueueWeight.

    If you do not want all of your libraries to participate in the on-shelf holds fulfillment process, you should list the the libraries that *do* participate in the process here by inputting all the participating library’s branchcodes, separated by commas ( e.g. “MPL,CPL,SPL,BML” etc. ).

    By default, the holds queue will be generated such that the system will first attempt to hold fulfillment using items already at the pickup library if possible. If there are no items available at the pickup library to fill a hold, build_holds_queue.pl will then use the list of libraries defined in StaticHoldsQueueWeight. If RandomizeHoldsQueueWeight is disabled ( which it is by default ), the script will assign fulfillment requests in the order the branches are placed in the StaticHoldsQueueWeight system preference.

    For example, if your system has three libraries, of varying sizes ( small, medium and large ) and you want the burden of holds fulfillment to be on larger libraries before smaller libraries, you would want StaticHoldsQueueWeight to look something like “LRG,MED,SML”.

    If you want the burden of holds fulfillment to be spread out equally throughout your library system, simply enable RandomizeHoldsQueueWeight. When this system preference is enabled, the order in which libraries will be requested to fulfill an on-shelf hold will be randomized each time the list is regenerated.

    Leaving StaticHoldsQueueWeight empty is contraindicated at this time. Doing so will cause the build_holds_queue script to ignore RandomizeHoldsQueueWeight, causing the script to request hold fulfillment not randomly, but by alphabetical order.

Expired holds

Script path: misc/cronjobs/holds/cancel_expired_holds.pl

Does: cancels holds where the user has set an expiration date. If the library is using the ExpireReservesMaxPickUpDelay and ExpireReservesMaxPickUpDelayCharge preferences then this script will also cancel holds that have been sitting on the hold shelf for too long and will (if the library does) charge the patron for not picking up the hold.

Frequency suggestion: daily

Unsuspend holds

Script path: misc/cronjobs/holds/auto_unsuspend_holds.pl

Does: checks to find holds that should no longer be suspended and removes the suspension if the AutoResumeSuspendedHolds preference is set to ‘allow’. This puts the patron back in to the queue where they were when the hold was suspended.

Frequency suggestion: daily

Fines

Script path: misc/cronjobs/fines.pl

Does: calculates and posts fines to patron accounts.

Required by: finesMode system preference

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Static Fines

Script path: misc/cronjobs/staticfines.pl

Does: calculates and charges overdue fines to patron accounts

Note If the Koha system preference ‘finesMode’ is set to ‘production’, the fines are charged to the patron accounts. If set to ‘test’, the fines are calculated but not applied.

Note Fines won’t be applied on a holiday.

Long overdues

Script path: misc/cronjobs/longoverdue.pl

Does: allows one to specify delays for changing items to different lost statuses, and optionally charge for them using the replacement price listed on the item record.

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Note

Staff can control some of the parameters for the longoverdue cron job with the DefaultLongOverdueLostValue and DefaultLongOverdueChargeValue preferences.

Track total checkouts

Script path: misc/cronjobs/update_totalissues.pl

Does: updates the biblioitems.totalissues field in the database with the latest tally of checkouts based on historical issue statistics.

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Warning

If the time on your database server does not match the time on your Koha server you will need to take that into account, and probably use the –since argument instead of the –interval argument for incremental updating.

Note

This cronjob can be used if there is a performance concern. Otherwise, use the UpdateTotalIssuesOnCirc System Preference.

Generate patron file for offline circulation

Script path: misc/cronjobs/create_koc_db.pl

Does: generates the borrowers.db file for use with the Koha offline circulation tool

Frequency suggestion: weekly

Automatic renewal

Script path: misc/cronjobs/automatic_renewals.pl

Does: renews items if you’re allowing automatic renewal with your circulation and fine rules.

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Patrons

Batch delete patrons

Script path: misc/cronjobs/delete_patrons.pl

Does: deletes patron records in batch based on date not borrowed since, expired before, last seen, category code, or library branch.

Note

Dates should be in ISO format, e.g., 2013-07-19, and can be generated with date -d ‘-3 month’ “+%Y-%m-%d”.

Important

The options to select the patron records to delete are cumulative. For example, supplying both –expired_before and –library specifies that patron records must meet both conditions to be selected for deletion.

PARAMETERS

  • –not_borrowed_since Delete patrons who have not borrowed since this date.
  • –expired_before Delete patrons with an account expired before this date.
  • –last_seen Delete patrons who have not been connected since this date. The system preference TrackLastPatronActivity must be enabled to use this option.
  • –category_code Delete patrons who have this category code.
  • –library Delete patrons in this library.
  • -c|–confirm This flag must be provided in order for the script to actually delete patron records. If it is not supplied, the script will only report on the patron records it would have deleted.
  • -v|–verbose Verbose mode.

Unverified registrations

Script path: misc/cronjobs/delete_expired_opac_registrations.pl

Does: deletes patron registrations that were submitted via the OPAC but not reviewed by the library within the number of days entered in the PatronSelfRegistrationExpireTemporaryAccountsDelay preference.

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Unconfirmed registrations

Script path: misc/cronjobs/delete_unverified_opac_registrations.pl

Does: deletes patron self registrations that were submitted via the OPAC but not confirmed via email within 24 hours. This is only necessary if you are requiring patrons to confirm their registrations via email with the PatronSelfRegistrationVerifyByEmail preference.

Frequency suggestion: hourly

Anonymize patron data

Script path: misc/cronjobs/batch_anonymise.pl

Does: removes borrowernumbers from circulation history so that the stats are kept, but the patron information is removed for privacy reasons.

Update child to adult patron type

Script path: misc/cronjobs/j2a.pl

Does: converts juvenile/child patrons from juvenile patron category and category code to corresponding adult patron category and category code when they reach the upper age limit defined in the Patron Categories.

Frequency suggestion: nightly

DESCRIPTION

This script is designed to update patrons from juvenile to adult patron types, remove the guarantor, and update their category codes appropriately when they reach the upper age limit defined in the Patron Categories.

USAGE EXAMPLES

“juv2adult.pl”

“juv2adult.pl” -b=<branchcode> -f=<categorycode> -t=<categorycode> (Processes a single branch, and updates the patron categories from category to category)

“juv2adult.pl” -f=<categorycode> -t=<categorycode> -v -n (Processes all branches, shows all messages, and reports the patrons who would be affected. Takes no action on the database)

Notices

Message queue

Script path: misc/cronjobs/process_message_queue.pl

Does: processes the message queue to send the check out, check in and hold filled emails and SMS message to users and sends outgoing emails to patrons. requires EnhancedMessagingPreferences to be on

Frequency suggestion: 1-4 hours

Important

Item due and Advanced due notices are controlled by the advance_notices cron.

Advanced notice

Script path: misc/cronjobs/advance_notices.pl

Does: prepares “pre-due” notices and “item due” notices for patrons who request them prepares notices for patrons for items just due or coming due soon. requires EnhancedMessagingPreferences to be on

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Note

This script does not actually send the notices. It queues them in the message queue for later

Overdue notice

Script path: misc/cronjobs/overdue_notices.pl

Does: prepares messages to alert patrons of overdue messages (both via email and print)

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Note

This script does not actually send the notices. It queues them in the message queue for later or generates the HTML for later printing

See also

The misc/cronjobs/advance_notices.pl program allows you to send messages to patrons in advance of their items becoming due, or to alert them of items that have just become due.

Talking Tech

To learn more about setting up this third party product view the Talking Tech chapter.

Sending notices file

Script path: misc/cronjobs/thirdparty/TalkingTech_itiva_outbound.pl

Does: generates Spec C outbound notifications file for Talking Tech i-tiva phone notification system.

Required by: TalkingTechItivaPhoneNotification

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Receiving notices file

Script path: misc/cronjobs/thirdparty/TalkingTech_itiva_inbound.pl

Does: processes received results files for Talking Tech i-tiva phone notification system.

Required by: TalkingTechItivaPhoneNotification

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Notify patrons of expiration

Script path: misc/cronjobs/membership_expiry.pl

Does: sends messages to warn patrons of their card expiration to the message queue cron.

Requires: MembershipExpiryDaysNotice

Frequency: nightly

In processing/book cart

Script path: misc/cronjobs/cart_to_shelf.pl

Does: updates all items with a location of CART to the item’s permanent location.

Required by: NewItemsDefaultLocation, InProcessingToShelvingCart, & ReturnToShelvingCart system preferences

Frequency suggestion: hourly

Catalog

Import webservice batch

Script path: misc/cronjobs/import_webservice_batch.pl

Does: processes import bach queues of type ‘webservice’. Batches can also be processed through the UI.

Note

This script is used for OCLC Connexion

Connexion import daemon

Script path: misc/bin/connexion_import_daemon.pl

Does: listens for OCLC Connexion requests and is compliant with OCLC Gateway specification. It takes requests with MARC XML and import batch parameters from a configuration file and forwards it to svc/import_bib

Note

This script is used for OCLC Connexion

Batch item deletion

Script path: misc/cronjobs/delete_items.pl

Does: generates a query against the items database and deletes the items matching the criteria specified in the command line arguments.

PARAMETERS

  • –verbose Send the “WHERE” clause generated by the collected C<–where> arguments, as well as items affected to Standard Out.
  • –where The C<–where> option may called multiple times. The following argument must be a syntactically valid SQL statement which is part of the C<WHERE> clause querying the items table. These are joined by C<AND>.
  • –commit No items will be deleted unless the C<–commit> flag is present.

EXAMPLES

The following are examples of this script:

delete_items.pl –where “items.withdrawn ! 0” –where “items.withdrawn_on < $(date –date=”13 month ago” –rfc-3339=date)” –commit

delete_items.pl –where “itemlost >= ‘1’” –where “itemlost <=‘4’” –where “itemlost_on < ‘2014-04-28’” –commit

Check URL quick

Script path: misc/cronjobs/check-url-quick.pl

Does: checks URLs from biblio records; scans all URLs found by default in 856$u of bibliographic records and displays if resources are available or not.

Note

This script replaces the check-url.pl script

PARAMETERS

  • –host=http://default.tld Server host used when URL doesn’t have one, ie doesn’t begin with ‘http:’. For example, if –host=mylib.com, then when 856$u contains ‘img/image.jpg’, the url checked is: http://www.mylib.com/image.jpg.

  • –tags Tags containing URLs in $u subfields. If not provided, 856 tag is checked. Multiple tags can be specified, for example:

    check-url-quick.pl –tags 310 410 856

  • –verbose|v Outputs both successful and failed URLs.

  • –html Formats output in HTML. The result can be redirected to a file accessible by http. This way, it’s possible to link directly to the bibliographic record in edit mode. With this parameter –host-intranet is required.

  • –host-intranet=http://koha-pro.tld Server host used to link to bibliographic record editing page in Koha intranet interface.

  • –timeout=10 Timeout for fetching URLs. By default 10 seconds.

  • –maxconn=1000 Number of simulaneous HTTP requests. By default 200 connexions.

Check URLs

Script path: misc/cronjobs/check-url.pl

Does: checks URLs in 856$u field. Script output can now be formatted in CSV or HTML. The HTML version links directly to MARC biblio record editor.

Frequency suggestion: monthly

Learn more: http://wiki.koha-community.org/wiki/Check-url_enhancements

Delete records via leader

Script path: misc/cronjobs/delete_records_via_leader.pl

Does: attempts to delete any MARC records where the leader character 5 equals ‘d’.

PARAMETERS

  • -c|–confirm Script will do nothing without this parameter
  • -v|–verbose Verbose mode
  • -t|–test Test mode, does not delete records. Test mode cannot determine if a record/item will be deleted successfully, it will only tell you what records and items the script will attempt to delete.
  • -i|–delete-items Try deleting items before deleting record. Records with items cannot be deleted.

Update authorities

Script path: misc/cronjobs/merge_authorities.pl

Does: updates biblio data with changes to authorities records

Note

The name of this script is misleading. This script does not merge authorities together it instead merges authority data with linked bib records. Edits to authority records will be applied to bibliographic records that use that authority when this script is run.

Required by: AuthorityMergeLimit system preference

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Serials update

Script path: misc/cronjobs/serialsUpdate.pl

Does: checks if there is a “late” issue on active subscriptions, and if there is, the script will set it as late, and add the next one as expected.

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Automatic item update

Script path: misc/cronjobs/automatic_item_modification_by_age.pl

Does: updates items based on the list of rules set forth in the Automatic item modifications by age tool

Required by: Automatic item modifications by age

Frequency suggestions: nightly

OPAC

RSS feeds

Script path: misc/cronjobs/rss/rss.pl

Does: produces an RSS XML document for any SQL query (not used for search results RSS feed). Learn more.

Frequency suggestion: hourly

Authorities browser

Script path: misc/cronjobs/build_browser_and_cloud.pl

Does: generates content for authorities browse in OPAC

Required by: OpacBrowser system preference

Important

This preference and cron job should only be used on French systems.

Subject/author clouds

Script path: misc/cronjobs/cloud-kw.pl

Does: generates HTML keywords clouds from Koha Zebra indexes. misc/cronjobs/cloud-sample.conf has a sample of how this script operates.

Frequency: This is the type of script you can run once a month or so, the content generated isn’t going to change very much over time.

System administration

Services throttle

Script path: misc/cronjobs/services_throttle.pl

Does: resets the xISBN services throttle

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Clean up database

Script path: misc/cronjobs/cleanup_database.pl

Does: truncates the sessions table, cleans out old zebraqueue entries, action logs and staged MARC files.

Share usage stats

Script path: misc/cronjobs/share_usage_with_koha_community.pl

Does: sends your info to the Hea website if you’re sharing information via the UsageStats feature

Frequency: monthly

Acquisitions

Clean up old suggestions

Script path: misc/cronjobs/purge_suggestions.pl

Does: removes old (defined by you) suggestions from the suggestion management area.

Note

The system preference PurgeSuggestionsOlderThan defines the number of days used in the script

Email suggestions to process

Script path: misc/cronjobs/notice_unprocessed_suggestions.pl

Does: generates a notice to the fund owner that there are suggestions in need of processing

EDI message processing

Script path: misc/cronjobs/edi_cron.pl

Does: sends and received EDI messages

Frequency: Every 15 minutes

Remove temporary EDI files

Script path: misc/cronjobs/remove_temporary_edifiles.pl

Does: removes temporary EDI files that are older than 5 days

Reports

Run report

Script path: misc/cronjobs/runreport.pl

Does: runs pre-existing saved reports

PARAMETERS

  • -v|–verbose Verbose output
  • –format=s Selects format. Choice of text, html, csv or tsv
  • -e|–email Whether or not to use e-mail (implied by –to or –from)
  • -a|–attachment Attach the report as a file. Cannot be used with html format
  • –username Username to pass to the SMTP server for authentication
  • –password Password to pass to the SMTP server for authentication
  • –method The type of authentication. Ie. LOGIN, DIGEST-MD5, etc.
  • –to=s E-mail address to send report to
  • –from=s E-mail address to send report from
  • –subject=s Subject for the e-mail
  • –store-results Store the result of the report
  • –csv-header Add column names as first line of csv output

ARGUMENTS

  • reportID Report ID Number from saved_sql.id, multiple ID’s may be specified

Norwegian patron database

NL sync to Koha

Script path: misc/cronjobs/nl-sync-to-koha.pl

Does: syncs patrons from the Norwegian national patron database (NL) to Koha

Note Relies on NorwegianPatronDBUsername and NorwegianPatronDBPassword system preferences

NL sync from Koha

Script path: misc/cronjobs/nl-sync-from-koha.pl

Does: syncs patrons from Koha to the Norwegian national patron database (NL)

Note Relies on NorwegianPatronDBUsername and NorwegianPatronDBPassword system preferences

Social data

Get report social data

Script path: misc/cronjobs/social_data/get_report_social_data.pl

Does: downloads data from Babelthèque to add to OPAC records

Frequency suggestion: nightly

Update social data

Script path: misc/cronjobs/social_data/update_social_data.pl

Does: updates OPAC records with Babelthèque social data

Daemons

Daemons are continuously running tasks that help support Koha operation. Your database and webserver are run as daemons. Newer versions of Koha start two different daemons for most koha instances:

  • zebra - this is the index server
  • koha-indexer - this daemon updates the index server with new and modified data (biblios and authorities)

These daemons are started by the script /etc/init.d/koha-common.

Zebra indexer daemon

Script path: /usr/sbin/koha-indexer (invoked from /etc/init.d/koha-common)

The koha-indexer script invokes rebuild_zebra.pl in daemon mode. In this mode, the script will run continuously and check the database for new or modified data every 30 seconds. New or modified records are then sent to Zebra for indexing, which only takes a second or so. The advantage of this approach is a search system which is much more responsive to changes, compared to the :ref:’cron job approach <_rebuild-index-label>’.

Deprecated scripts

These should not be run without modification:

Script path: misc/cronjobs/update_items.pl

Script path:misc/cronjobs/smsoverdues.pl

Script path:misc/cronjobs/notifyMailsOp.pl

Script path:misc/cronjobs/reservefix.pl

Script path:misc/cronjobs/zebraqueue_start.pl