FreeBSD: Taming Periodic

When I started using FreeBSD, it didn't take long for mails with subject daily run output started to fill my inbox.

While I like the idea of a system maintenance / status report, I think it doesn't make sense to flood an admin with long emails indicating that everything is just fine.

The admin will first skim and later auto-delete the mail and hence not recognize when things actually go wrong (Alarm fatigue).

I use the following settings in /etc/periodic.conf to mute success-only periodic reports:

daily_show_empty_output='NO'
daily_show_success='NO'
daily_show_info='NO'

weekly_show_empty_output='NO'
weekly_show_success='NO'
weekly_show_info='NO'

monthly_show_info_show_empty_output='NO'
monthly_show_success='NO'
monthly_show_info='NO'

# Tame security reports
security_status_passwdless_enable='NO'
daily_status_security_inline='NO'
weekly_status_security_inline='NO'
monthly_status_security_inline='NO'
security_show_success='NO'

A word about about security_status_passwdless_enable: While this may be a useful check, this script doesn't report the diffs but the current list of passwordless accounts – I couldn't calm it down. Depending on your security requirements, you might want to keep this report enabled.

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