Periodic Taskgraphs

The cron functionality allows in-tree scheduling of task graphs that run periodically, instead of on a push.


In the root of the Gecko directory, you will find .cron.yml. This defines the periodic tasks (“cron jobs”) run for Gecko. Each specifies a name, what to do, and some parameters to determine when the cron job should occur.

See the schema for details on the format and meaning of this file.

How It Works

The TaskCluster Hooks Service has a hook configured for each repository supporting periodic task graphs. The hook runs every 15 minutes, and the resulting task is referred to as a “cron task”. That cron task runs the build-decision image in a checkout of the Gecko source tree.

The task reads .cron.yml, then consults the current time (actually the time the cron task was created, rounded down to the nearest 15 minutes) and creates tasks for any cron jobs scheduled at that time.

Each cron job in .cron.yml specifies a job.type, corresponding to a function responsible for creating TaskCluster tasks when the job runs.

Describing Time

This cron implementation understands the following directives when describing when to run:

  • minute: The minute in which to run, must be in 15 minute increments (see above)

  • hour: The hour of the day in which to run, in 24 hour time.

  • day: The day of the month as an integer, such as 1, 16. Be cautious above 28, remember February.

  • weekday: The day of the week, Monday, Tuesday, etc. Full length ISO compliant words.

Setting both ‘day’ and ‘weekday’ will result in a cron job that won’t run very often, and so is undesirable.


# Never
when: []

# 4 AM and 4 PM, on the hour, every day.
    - {hour: 16, minute: 0}
    - {hour: 4, minute: 0}

# The same as above, on a single line
when: [{hour: 16, minute: 0}, {hour: 4, minute: 0}]

# 4 AM on the second day of every month.
    - {day: 2, hour: 4, minute: 0}

# Mondays and Thursdays at 10 AM
    - {weekday: 'Monday', hour: 10, minute: 0}
    - {weekday: 'Thursday', hour: 10, minute: 0}


Times are expressed in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)

Decision Tasks

For job.type “decision-task”, tasks are created based on .taskcluster.yml just like the decision tasks that result from a push to a repository. They run with a distinct taskGroupId, and are free to create additional tasks comprising a task graph.


The cron task runs with the sum of all cron job scopes for the given repo. For example, for the “sequoia” project, the scope would be*. Each cron job creates tasks with scopes for that particular job, by name. For example, the check-frob cron job on that repo would run with


The individual cron scopes are a useful check to ensure that a job is not accidentally doing something it should not, but cannot actually prevent a job from using any of the scopes afforded to the cron task itself (the ..cron:* scope). This is simply because the cron task runs arbitrary code from the repo, and that code can be easily modified to create tasks with any scopes that it possesses.