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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

Technical documentation

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proto — prototype job file for at





When a job is submitted to at or batch, the job is constructed as a POSIX shell script (see at(1)). The job file is created in /var/spool/cron/atjobs as follows:

  • at creates a header describing the job as an at job or a batch job. at jobs submitted to all queues other than queue a are listed as batch jobs. The header is:

    : at job

    for an at job, or

    : batch job

    for a batch job.

  • A set of POSIX shell commands is added to make the environment (see environ(5)) for the at job the same as the current environment.

  • at then copies text from the prototype file to the job file, except for special variables that are replaced by other text:


    Replaced by the current working directory.


    Replaced by the current file size limit (see ulimit(2)).


    Replaced by the current umask (see umask(2)).


    Replaced by the time at which the job should be run, expressed as seconds since January 1, 1970, 00:00 Coordinated Universal Time, preceded by a colon.


    Replaced by text read by at from the standard input (that is, the commands provided to at to be run in the job).

  • When a job is submitted to queue queue, at uses the file /var/adm/cron/.proto.queue as the prototype file if it exists. Otherwise, it uses the file /var/adm/cron/.proto.


The following .proto file creates commands to change the current directory, file size limit, and umask in the job to their respective values as they existed when at was originally run. These commands are inserted before the commands in the job:

cd $d ulimit $l umask $m $<


proto: SVID2, SVID3

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