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Under /admin/config/system/cron I can choose how often the cron runs. However do I still need to set up my server to ping the cron key (that I see in my reports page after I manually run the cron)?

How do these 2 work together? Is the server still required to run the cron, but then the cron wont run more often than is specified in Drupal's UI here: /admin/config/system/cron ?

2 Answers 2

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The value you set on the configuration panel determines how often Drupal will automatically trigger a cron during a page request, if it hasn't been run by some other means. This is what was provided by the module poormanscron in previous versions of Drupal, and it ensures that cron will get run even if you do not configure a job to do it on the server.

You should still provide a job to do it because it's not good for the unlucky visitor who happened to make that request to wait while cron runs. You need to set the job to run more often than the value configured on the panel so the poormanscron function never gets triggered.

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Drupal has a built in "poor man's cron" which is invoked on a schedule when regular users visit pages.

Setting up a proper crontab entry (and turning off poor man's cron, i.e. set it to "Never") is usually the best thing to do.

If you set both, the poor man's (in-built) cron and also add a crontab entry to ping the cron URL, then yes the cron will run twice.

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