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I can run a process in background by

$ someprog > logfile &

but if I do

$ at now < jobsfile

then nothing happens except printing

job 1 at Wed Sep 29 19:12:40 2010
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

atrun is disabled by default in Mac OS X 10.6 (see its man page, and the "IMPLEMENTATION NOTES" section of the at man page). To enable it, run:

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

P.s. you might want to check and/or clear out the queue of jobs first; otherwise it'll fire off all the test jobs you submitted at once... atq and atrm are the relevant commands (and they work fine before enabling atrun).

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What does jobsfile do? If it sends output to stdout or stdin, that will be mailed to you.

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jobsfile contains someprog > logfile. It is a very long calculation run via PVM (22 processes). I don't see any activity in the second case, and the logfile is not created. – Andrei Sep 29 '10 at 20:27
@Andrei: You don't see any activity where? at runs the job without a tty. Does this work?: echo 'date > /tmp/at.$$.out' | at now It should create a file called /tmp/at.PID.out (where "PID" is some number) which contains a date/time. Also, does at now -f jobsfile (instead of redirection) work? – Dennis Williamson Sep 29 '10 at 20:43
No result in both cases. The first printed job 2 at Wed Sep 29 22:49:40 2010, the second printed at: garbled time. This happens in OS X 10.6.4. – Andrei Sep 29 '10 at 20:55

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