The Moodle Cron process is a PHP script that must be run regularly in the background as it runs various tasks at differently scheduled intervals.
Cron is vital to the operation of a Moodle site and triggers many things including, but not limited to:
- Forum posts digests
- Email processing
- Notifications – including the all important Assignment submissions
- Course Backups
- Emptying the Recycle Bin
- Processing enrolments and unenrolments
- Synchronising users (e.g. from external sources)
- … and MANY other things !
An administrator can see and schedule cron tasks very precisely from:
Administration > Site administration > Server > Scheduled tasks
(see Scheduled tasks)
If you are a Moodle administrator you should definitely read the main Moodle Docs:
If you are not from a linux background, it’s really worth doing a little background reading about Cron too.
If you are hosting on Ubuntu/Debian then the distribution guides are pretty good:
A quick search on the net will also turn up plenty of generic guides such as this tutorial: