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CronTab Quick Reference

What is Cron Tab?

cron is a unix utility that allows tasks to be automatically run in the background at regular intervals by the cron daemon often termed as cron jobs.
Crontab (CRON TABle) is a file which contains the schedule of cron entries to be run and at specified times.


You can execute crontab if your name appears in the file
/usr/lib/cron/cron.allow. If that file does not exist, you can use
crontab if your name does not appear in the file
If only cron.deny exists and is empty, all users can use crontab. If neither file exists, only the root user can use crontab. The allow/deny files consist of one user name per line.


crontab -e Edit your crontab file, or create one if it doesn’t already exist.
crontab -l Display your crontab file.
crontab -r Remove your crontab file.
crontab -v Display the last time you edited your crontab file. (This option is only available on a few systems.)

Crontab File

A crontab file has five fields for specifying day , date and time followed by the command to be run at that interval.
* * * * * command to be executed
| | | | |
| | | | +----- day of week (1 - 7) (monday = 1)
| | | +------- month (1 - 12)
| | +--------- day of month (1 - 31)
| +----------- hour (0 - 23)
+------------- min (0 - 59)


cron invokes the command from the user’s HOME directory with the shell, (/usr/bin/sh).
cron supplies a default environment for every shell, defining:

Disable Email after execution of cron script

By default cron jobs sends a email to the user account executing the cronjob. If this is not needed put the following command At the end of the cron job line .

>/dev/null 2>&1

Generate Log File

To collect the cron execution execution log in a file :

30 18 * * * rm /home/someuser/tmp/* > /home/someuser/cronlogs/clean_tmp_dir.log


Cron set For Database BackUp

5 21 * * * mysqldump -u root -pclarion --opt specto | gzip > /backup1/amodd/spec
to_`date +%Y%m%d%H%M`.gz

Cron Set for run PHP File ..
* 0,6,12,18 * * * /usr/bin/php -q /nas/content/live/cuelogic/vikrant/goskype/expertblog/blogsadmin/runcron.php >/dev/null

Cron Tab