atrun(8) for the rat race
13 days ago

cf65d17 Manual update by job 885000

13 days ago

#🐀 ratrun builds.sr.ht build statusLicence

atrun(8) for the rat race.

#Manual (PDF)

(mandoc really does a number on the HTML output, I recommend the PDF)


Three components of equal size.

ratrun (pp. 4-5) reads calendar-style events in a trivial format (or a subset of iCal) from ~/.ratrun, sends reminders when reminders expire, and when they all do, moves the events to ~/.ratrun/old.

rat (pp. 1-2) can be used as a conversational scheduler.

The iCalendar subset is expected to be compatible with commercial calendaring systems (Outlook, Teams, GCalendar, Evolution, &c.), but see errata in ratrun.ics(7) (p. 3).


The /etc/default/ratrun preset and requirements therefor will only change between numbered versions.

The actual event format is committed in perpetuity.


Needs GNU make, AWK, mandoc (linting and HTML manuals only, MANDOC=: to disable), and shellcheck (for shell wrappers, SHELLCHECK=: to disable), and gettext (only if you want localisation).

Set RATRUN_RUNNERDIR= (default of /usr/libexec/, used only by manuals) if you'll put ratrun in the PATH.

VOREUTILS_VERSION and VOREUTILS_DATE are derived from the git HEAD by default.



  • ${CMDDIR?-out/cmd}/ratrun somewhere compatible with RATRUN_RUNNERDIR,
  • ${CMDDIR?-out/cmd}/rat in the $PATH somewhere,
  • ratrun in /etc/default,
  • ${LOCDIR?-out/locale} in /usr/share (or $TEXTDOMAINDIR),
  • ${MANDIR?-out/man} in /usr/share (or wherever your $MANPATH reaches).

Adjust /etc/default/ratrun to suit your mail setup, and both it and your cron config to run ratrun -a to suit your (users') tastes.


  • MAWK or stronger (probably hard-POSIX AWK would suffice, but I haven't tried) – for iCal support
  • /usr/share/zoneinfo (tzdata) – for iCal support
  • setpriv(1) (util-linux) – for -a, it'd be easy to replace with an equivalent
  • flock(1) (util-linux) – for event locking to prevent funny moments; you could shim it out if you're brave
  • mail(1) (4.4BSD-compatible, default config is mailutils, see preset for s-nail; there's security (well, "users using ratrun as atrun") considerations about (~) escapes)
  • date(1) with useful -d and mktemp(1) (callable as -t pref.XXX, but that's all of them post-2001)
  • POSIX-compatible shell (bash in POSIX mode (default when run with argv[0]=sh) qualifies, god save you if you run it out of POSIX mode though)


  • gettext(1) (gettext-base) – shimmed out, but that removes localisation
  • getent(1) (libc-bin) – polyfilled to interrogate /etc/{passwd,group} instead

#From Debian repository

The following line in /etc/apt/sources.list or equivalent:

deb [signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/nabijaczleweli.asc] https://debian.nabijaczleweli.xyz sid main

With my PGP key (the two URLs are interchangeable):

sudo wget -O/etc/apt/keyrings/nabijaczleweli.asc https://debian.nabijaczleweli.xyz/nabijaczleweli.gpg.key
sudo wget -O/etc/apt/keyrings/nabijaczleweli.asc https://nabijaczleweli.xyz/pgp.txt

(you may need to create /etc/apt/keyrings on apt <2.4.0 (<=bullseye) manually).

Then the usual

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ratrun

will work.

See the repository README or the source package for more information.


Post to the tracker (~nabijaczleweli/ratrun@todo.sr.ht, preferable for bugs), the list (~nabijaczleweli/ratrun@lists.sr.ht, preferable for opinions and patches), or me directly (now with Platform integration!).

Not picky about patches — inline, attachment, and a git link and ref to pull are fine — just please include the repo name in the subject prefix.


All contents of this repository are subject to the 0-clause BSD licence.

#Special thanks

To Cicada for his Francophone insights.

To all who support further development on Patreon, in particular:

  • Embark Studios