Don't forget to add your cron key in Drupal 7

I'm fairly comfortable with installing Drupal having done so many times with D6. When the D7 release candidates came around I wanted to get my feet wet so I threw up some test sites and eventually moved this blog to D7.  Everything had gone fairly smooth and I've been monitoring the logs to catch redirects, etc. that I needed to setup.  One log entry that I noticed was there was an issue with my cron running.  Ok, no problem.  I headed to my host and checked on my cron job.  Everything appeared ok but just to be sure I deleted it and re-created it, even copying an old D6 cron job and changing the URL.  Should be good to go.

The next day I checked the logs and still was seeing an issue with cron running.  What gives?  I had no idea what was going on.  I checked my D6 sites and none of them were having this issue.  I was about to submit a ticket to my host provider to have a look then thought maybe I should read the install.txt that comes with drupal.  Wham!  There is a new step to installing D7 that wasn't there before.  The cron.php now requires a cron_key that is auto-generated during the Drupal install.

The URL of the cron.php page requires a "cron key" to protect against unauthorized access. Your site's cron key is automatically generated during installation and is specific to your site. The full URL of the page, with the cron key, is available in the "Cron maintenance tasks" section of the Status report page at Administration > Reports > Status report.

0 * * * * wget -O - -q -t 1 http://example.com/cron.php?cron_key=YOURKEY

So I headed over to my status report and found my new cron_key.  I updated my cron job and waited with aniticipation.  Cron works!  

This just goes to show that no matter how comfortable someone is with Drupal it is always beneficial to RTFM!