Automatic actions


Provide a scheduler for background tasks used by GLPI and its plugins.

Implementation overview

The entry point of automatic actions is the file front/cron.php. On each execution, it executes a limited number of automatic actions.

There are two ways to wake up the scheduler :
  • when a user browses in GLPI (the internal mode)

  • when the operating system’s scheduler calls front/cron.php (the external mode)

When GLPI generates an HTML page for a browser, it adds an invisible image generated by front/cron.php. This way, the automatic action runs in a separate process and does not impact the user.

The automatic actions are defined by the CronTask class. GLPI defines a lot of them for its own needs. They are created in the installation or upgrade process.


Automatic actions could be related to an itemtype and the implementation is defined in its class or haven’t any itemtype relation and are implemented directly into CronTask class.

When GLPI shows a list of automatic actions, it shows a short description for each item. The description is gathered in the static method cronInfo() of the itemtype.


An itemtype may contain several automatic actions.

Example of implementation from the QueuedNotification:

class QueuedNotification extends CommonDBTM {

   // ...

    * Give cron information
    * @param $name : automatic action's name
    * @return array of information
   static function cronInfo($name) {

      switch ($name) {
         case 'queuednotification' :
            return array('description' => __('Send mails in queue'),
                         'parameter'   => __('Maximum emails to send at once'));
      return [];

    * Cron action on notification queue: send notifications in queue
    * @param CommonDBTM $task for log (default NULL)
    * @return integer either 0 or 1
   static function cronQueuedNotification($task=NULL) {
      global $DB, $CFG_GLPI;

      if (!$CFG_GLPI["notifications_mailing"]) {
         return 0;
      $cron_status = 0;

      // Send mail at least 1 minute after adding in queue to be sure that process on it is finished
      $send_time = date("Y-m-d H:i:s", strtotime("+1 minutes"));

      $mail = new self();
      $pendings = self::getPendings(

      foreach ($pendings as $mode => $data) {
         $eventclass = 'NotificationEvent' . ucfirst($mode);
         $conf = Notification_NotificationTemplate::getMode($mode);
         if ($conf['from'] != 'core') {
            $eventclass = 'Plugin' . ucfirst($conf['from']) . $eventclass;

         $result = $eventclass::send($data);
         if ($result !== false && count($result)) {
            $cron_status = 1;
            if (!is_null($task)) {

      return $cron_status;

   // ...


If the argument $task is a CronTask object, the method must increment the quantity of actions done. In this example, each notification type reports the quantity of notification processed and is added to the task’s volume.

Register an automatic actions

Automatic actions are defined in the empty schema located in install/mysql/. Use the existing sql queries creating rows in the table glpi_crontasks as template for a new automatic action.

To handle upgrade from a previous version, the new automatic actions must be added in the appropriate update file install/update_xx_to_yy.php.

// Register an automatic action
CronTask::register('QueuedNotification', 'QueuedNotification', MINUTE_TIMESTAMP,
      'comment'   => '',
      'mode'      => CronTask::MODE_EXTERNAL

The register method takes four arguments:

  • itemtype: a string containing an itemtype name containing the automatic action implementation

  • name: a string containing the name of the automatic action

  • frequency the period of time between two executions in seconds (see inc/define.php for convenient constants)

  • options an array of options


The name of an automatic action is actually the method’s name without the prefix cron. In the example, the method cronQueuedNotification implements the automatic action named QueuedNotification.

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