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A Cron Job creates Jobs on a time-based schedule.

One CronJob object is like one line of a crontab (cron table) file. It runs a job periodically on a given schedule, written in Cron format.

For instructions on creating and working with cron jobs, and for an example of a spec file for a cron job, see Running automated tasks with cron jobs.

Cron Job Limitations

A cron job creates a job object about once per execution time of its schedule. We say “about” because there are certain circumstances where two jobs might be created, or no job might be created. We attempt to make these rare, but do not completely prevent them. Therefore, jobs should be idempotent.

If startingDeadlineSeconds is set to a large value or left unset (the default) and if concurrencyPolicy is set to Allow, the jobs will always run at least once.

For every CronJob, the CronJob controller checks how many schedules it missed in the duration from its last scheduled time until now. If there are more than 100 missed schedules, then it does not start the job and logs the error

Cannot determine if job needs to be started. Too many missed start time (> 100). Set or decrease .spec.startingDeadlineSeconds or check clock skew.

It is important to note that if the startingDeadlineSeconds field is set (not nil), the controller counts how many missed jobs occurred from the value of startingDeadlineSeconds until now rather than from the last scheduled time until now. For example, if startingDeadlineSeconds is 200, the controller counts how many missed jobs occurred in the last 200 seconds.

A CronJob is counted as missed if it has failed to be created at its scheduled time. For example, If concurrencyPolicy is set to Forbid and a CronJob was attempted to be scheduled when there was a previous schedule still running, then it would count as missed.

For example, suppose a cron job is set to start at exactly 08:30:00 and its startingDeadlineSeconds is set to 10, if the CronJob controller happens to be down from 08:29:00 to 08:42:00, the job will not start. Set a longer startingDeadlineSeconds if starting later is better than not starting at all.

The Cronjob is only responsible for creating Jobs that match its schedule, and the Job in turn is responsible for the management of the Pods it represents.