Dead Man's Snitch is a monitoring tool for cron, Heroku Scheduler, or any periodic process. Dead Man's Snitch will notify you when your scheduled tasks don't run so you can investigate before it becomes a problem.
Have you ever had a backup fail or an email campaign not go out? Dead Man's Snitch will tell you right away when something doesn't happen so you can fix it. Still not convinced? Learn more in this blog post.
A Snitch looks like this:
$ curl https://nosnch.in/c2354d53d2.
It's a unique URL we create for you to add to jobs you want monitored. If
you want to add a Snitch to your backup cron job it would look something like
run_backups_or_something && curl https://nosnch.in/c2354d53d2
Receiving an email when cron is working can be helpful, but it's hard to tell when things don't run. The lack of an email in your inbox is hard to detect. Dead Man's Snitch solves this problem by sending you an email if your task hasn't checked in when it should. A second email notification will be sent once your task begins reporting again.
Any language that can fetch a URL.
Yes! We have Field Agent to make it super simple.
Anyone who signs up to our free plan gets one free Snitch and access to standard intervals (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly). You can upgrade to any of our paid plans for more Snitches, enhanced intervals and other premium features.
Dead Man's Snitch is a product of Collective Idea, a software development & consulting company based in Holland, Michigan.
We use Dead Man's Snitch for our own clients every day. We're building it to be a service that we want to use, and hope you will too!
If you have an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly task, great! Choose the same interval. If your task is delayed (or depending on how long it takes to complete) you may receive an alert that your process hasn't checked-in. As soon as your task finishes, you will be notified that it's working again.
If your task runs at a different interval than what we currently have available, no problem. Take how often your task runs and round UP to the next Dead Man's Snitch interval. For example, if you have a job that runs every six hours, choose daily.
Intervals are how we know how often to check to make sure your job checked in. At the end of the specified period of time, Dead Man's Snitch looks back to see if the job checked-in during that period. If it did, great. If it didn't, you'll be alerted.
The time we check up on your Snitch depends on the type of alert you select. There are two types currently available, Heartbeat and Smart. Heartbeat Alerts use fixed windows of time based on the interval you choose. You'll be alerted at the end of each interval if something went wrong and the Snitch did not check-in during the interval.
|Interval||Alert Time||Cron Schedule|
|1 Minute||0:00, 0:01, 0:02, 0:03, 0:04, 0:05, etc...||* * * * *|
|2 Minute||0:00, 0:02, 0:04, 0:06, 0:08, etc...||*/2 * * * *|
|3 Minute||0:00, 0:03, 0:06, 0:09, 0:012, etc...||*/3 * * * *|
|5 Minute||0:00, 0:05, 0:10, 0:15, 0:20, etc...||*/5 * * * *|
|10 Minute||0:00, 0:10, 0:20, 0:30, 0:40, 0:50||*/10 * * * *|
|15 Minute||0:00, 0:15, 0:30, 0:45||*/15 * * * *|
|20 Minute||0:00, 0:20, 0:40||*/20 * * * *|
|30 Minute||0:00, 0:30||*/30 * * * *|
|Hour||12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, etc...||0 * * * *|
|2 Hours||12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, etc...||0 */2 * * *|
|3 Hours||12:00, 15:00, 18:00, 21:00, etc...||0 */3 * * *|
|4 Hours||04:00, 08:00, 12:00, 16:00, etc...||0 */4 * * *|
|6 Hours||00:00, 06:00, 12:00, 18:00||0 */6 * * *|
|8 Hours||00:00, 08:00, 16:00||0 */8 * * *|
|12 Hours||00:00, 12:00||0 */12 * * *|
|Day||Midnight UTC||0 0 * * *|
|Week||Every Monday at Midnight UTC||0 0 * * MON|
|Month||Midnight on the 1st of each month||0 0 1 * *|
Smart Alerts learn from your Snitch's behavior. After a few consistent check-ins, we will start shifting the time we check up on your Snitch so you can be alerted as soon as possible if something goes wrong.
Smart Alerts for weekly and monthly Snitches are available on all paid plans. Intervals down to hourly require the Surveillance Van plan and up.
If you have your Snitch set up to use Smart Alerts, then you’re all good. We’ll pay attention to when your Snitch receives check-ins so you can be alerted as soon as possible. Smart Snitches work best when the job runs (and checks-in) once per interval.
Since Heartbeat Alerts use fixed windows you will be alerted faster the closer your job pings to the end of each interval.
Why yes! Error Notices, which are available on the Surveillance Van plan, will catch and then notify you of any errors that occur on your end even if your job checked in on time.
If your plan supports Error Notices, just tell us the exit status of your job after every run. (Note: If you're using Field Agent, the status code is automatically sent for you)
run_backups_or_something; curl https://nosnich.in/c2354d53d?s=$?
You'll receive a notice if your job reports an error (represented by an exit
status other than
0) or if your job goes missing and fails to
By default, emails will be sent to the email address you signed up with. You can set a per Snitch alert email when you create your Snitch. You can also set an account-wide alert email address by signing in to your account and clicking your email address at the top of your dashboard. If you choose not to have a per Snitch alert email address, we fall back to your account alert email address. If you don't have an account-wide alert email address, we default back to your account sign-up address.
Yes! You can send alerts to multiple emails by separating them with commas. Any email already affiliated with the account will autocomplete to prevent accidentally mistyping an address.
The badge next to your Snitch on your dashboard indicates its current status. If the Snitch URL hasn't been hit yet, the badge will be gray. The badge will turn green after a check-in by hitting the Snitch URL. If the Snitch has missed a checked-in the badge will turn blue. A Snitch that is paused will be yellow.
By default, the dashboard displays Snitches alphabetically. The best way to keep your dashboard organized is to tag each Snitch. This blog post explains how tags work.
After you create your Snitch and curl it after your task, simply hit the URL.
Snitches are automatically unpaused when they are pinged.
We want to make sure you have it installed and working correctly to kick off the process.
You should check back in a day or so to make sure it started. We will email you around three days after you create or pause a Snitch to make sure you know it hasn't started back up yet.
Just hit the URL manually and then wait. We suggest you do this with an hourly Snitch so you don't have to wait forever. To manually hit the URL, either curl it after your cron job and hit return, or copy and paste your Snitch into a new browser and hit return. Refresh your Dead Man's Snitch dashboard and you should see a green badge next to your Snitch indicating that it's working.
No! Any language's HTTP library will work. Just send a request to your
unique Snitch URL. If you send a message in the request body, be sure to set
Content-Type: application/x-www-url-formencoded in the request
Alternately, you can ignore the headers and put the message in the URL query parameters:
We keep two years of history for all Snitches.
We will also automatically pause any Snitch that has been missing for the entirety of the data windows defined above. How do I unpause a Snitch?
We tried making everything in the user's timezone, but then it led to second-guessing what was going on. Since our audience is made up of developers and sysadmins and we are always thinking in different timezones, we decided to use UTC.
Unless you check in super often, you shouldn't hit our rate limits. After the first 10 pings in an hour, Snitches are limited to one hit per minute.
No, it checks to make sure your process hit the URL at least once each period (UTC). Technically, it could hit the URL at the beginning of one period and the end of the next and show success. We do it this way because things that are set to run every hour will not always finish in the exact same time and so you may get a lot of false failures.
Send us a direct message by clicking on the ? (when logged in) in the bottom right-hand corner of any Dead Man's Snitch page. We're always ready to help! Questions, comments or feedback? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org