On http://drupal.org/about/new-in-drupal-7, one of the main differences between Drupal 6 and 7 is said to be cron ("More secure implementation for scheduled tasks (cron.php)")

The main difference I can find so far, is that you actually got an interface in Drupal 7 to say how often cron should run. I assume that means you don't actually need to set a crontab anymore.

Based on the documentation I found, you actually do need to set a crontab, and with a key now (see here and here)

I'm guessing the settings in the interface're a core implementation of Poormanscron, in case a regular crontab doesn't work. Is this right, or am I getting too confused here?

Comments

Yes, there's a core implementation of poor man's cron. Its use is optional.

No, that's not all there is to it. The standard cron is still there, but it has been security-enhanced. It requires a unique key, generated by Drupal, so no one other than you can invoke it.

The unique cron key (in fact the full URL) is shown on the site status report page.

It just takes me to the home page and the status report & says cron hasn't run. This is also true If I paste it in as a url or use it in a cron job.