running interactive process on xp through cron not working

Mark Smith
Fri Aug 10 01:33:00 GMT 2012

so I am trying to run notepad through cron on my xp machine, but it
simply won't work.

running cron-config works fine:
$ cron-config 
Cron is already installed as a service under account LocalSystem.
Do you want to remove or reinstall it? (yes/no) yes
OK. The cron service was removed.

Do you want to install the cron daemon as a service? (yes/no) yes
Enter the value of CYGWIN for the daemon: [ ] ntsec

You must decide under what account the cron daemon will run.
If you are the only user on this machine, the daemon can run as
   This gives access to all network drives but only allows you as user.
Otherwise cron should run under the local system account.
  It will be capable of changing to other users without requiring a
  password, using one of the three methods detailed in
  [cut out to trick anti-spam-bot]
Do you want the cron daemon to run as yourself? (yes/no) no

Running cron_diagnose ...
... no problem found.

Do you want to start the cron daemon as a service now? (yes/no) yes
OK. The cron daemon is now running.

In case of problem, examine the log file for cron,
/var/log/cron.log, and the appropriate syslog file
for information about the problem cron is having.

Examine also any cron.log file in the HOME directory
(or the file specified in MAILTO) and cron related files in /tmp.

If you cannot fix the problem, then report it to [cut out to trick
Please run the script /usr/bin/cronbug and ATTACH its output
(the file cronbug.txt) to your e-mail.

WARNING: PATH may be set differently under cron than in interactive
         Names such as "find" and "date" may refer to Windows programs.
my crontab:
* * * * * touch /tmp/crontab.working
After doing this, my cron job seems to execute fine, the timestamp of
/tmp/crontab.working updates every minute.

However, when I set the cron service to allow to interact with the
desktop (start-run-services.msc-cron-Log On-Allow service to interact
with desktop), my crontab stops executing, even though cron continues to
be running. Even after restarting cron, my crontab does not execute, my
/tmp/crontab.working timestamp remains untouched.

running cronevents.exe to see the eventlog of cron, the touch command
seems to get executed, but there is no error, and the timestamp does not
update which leads me to believe that somehow windows prevents the
command to be executed, even though cron does seem to issue the

Any ideas on how to make cron work to allow me run programs
interactively like notepad?

Problem reports:
Unsubscribe info:

More information about the Cygwin mailing list