.\"/* Copyright 1988,1990,1993,1994 by Paul Vixie .\" * All rights reserved .\" * .\" * Distribute freely, except: don't remove my name from the source or .\" * documentation (don't take credit for my work), mark your changes (don't .\" * get me blamed for your possible bugs), don't alter or remove this .\" * notice. May be sold if buildable source is provided to buyer. No .\" * warrantee of any kind, express or implied, is included with this .\" * software; use at your own risk, responsibility for damages (if any) to .\" * anyone resulting from the use of this software rests entirely with the .\" * user. .\" * .\" * Send bug reports, bug fixes, enhancements, requests, flames, etc., and .\" * I'll try to keep a version up to date. I can be reached as follows: .\" * Paul Vixie <email@example.com> uunet!decwrl!vixie!paul .\" */ .\" .\" $FreeBSD: src/usr.sbin/cron/crontab/crontab.5,v 1.28 2005/07/31 13:41:23 brueffer Exp $ .\" .Dd July 31, 2005 .Dt CRONTAB 5 .Os .Sh NAME .Nm crontab .Nd tables for driving cron .Sh DESCRIPTION A .Nm file contains instructions to the .Xr cron 8 daemon of the general form: ``run this command at this time on this date''. Each user has their own crontab, and commands in any given crontab will be executed as the user who owns the crontab. Uucp and News will usually have their own crontabs, eliminating the need for explicitly running .Xr su 1 as part of a cron command. .Pp (Darwin note: Although .Xr cron 8 and .Xr crontab 5 are officially supported under Darwin, their functionality has been absorbed into .Xr launchd 8 , which provides a more flexible way of automatically executing commands. See .Xr launchd.plist 5 for more information.) .Pp Blank lines and leading spaces and tabs are ignored. Lines whose first non-space character is a pound-sign (#) are comments, and are ignored. Note that comments are not allowed on the same line as cron commands, since they will be taken to be part of the command. Similarly, comments are not allowed on the same line as environment variable settings. .Pp An active line in a crontab will be either an environment setting or a cron command. An environment setting is of the form, .Bd -literal name = value .Ed .Pp where the spaces around the equal-sign (=) are optional, and any subsequent non-leading spaces in .Em value will be part of the value assigned to .Em name . The .Em value string may be placed in quotes (single or double, but matching) to preserve leading or trailing blanks. The .Em name string may also be placed in quote (single or double, but matching) to preserve leading, trailing or inner blanks. .Pp Several environment variables are set up automatically by the .Xr cron 8 daemon. .Ev SHELL is set to .Pa /bin/sh , and .Ev LOGNAME and .Ev HOME are set from the .Pa /etc/passwd line of the crontab's owner. .Ev HOME and .Ev SHELL may be overridden by settings in the crontab; .Ev LOGNAME may not. .Pp (Another note: the .Ev LOGNAME variable is sometimes called .Ev USER on .Bx systems... On these systems, .Ev USER will be set also). .Pp In addition to .Ev LOGNAME , .Ev HOME , and .Ev SHELL , .Xr cron 8 will look at .Ev MAILTO if it has any reason to send mail as a result of running commands in ``this'' crontab. If .Ev MAILTO is defined (and non-empty), mail is sent to the user so named. If .Ev MAILTO is defined but empty (MAILTO=""), no mail will be sent. Otherwise mail is sent to the owner of the crontab. This option is useful if you decide on .Pa /bin/mail instead of .Pa /usr/lib/sendmail as your mailer when you install cron -- .Pa /bin/mail does not do aliasing, and UUCP usually does not read its mail. .Pp The format of a cron command is very much the V7 standard, with a number of upward-compatible extensions. Each line has five time and date fields, followed by a user name (with optional ``:<group>'' and ``/<login-class>'' suffixes) if this is the system crontab file, followed by a command. Commands are executed by .Xr cron 8 when the minute, hour, and month of year fields match the current time, .Em and when at least one of the two day fields (day of month, or day of week) matches the current time (see ``Note'' below). .Xr cron 8 examines cron entries once every minute. The time and date fields are: .Bd -literal -offset indent field allowed values ----- -------------- minute 0-59 hour 0-23 day of month 1-31 month 1-12 (or names, see below) day of week 0-7 (0 or 7 is Sun, or use names) .Ed .Pp A field may be an asterisk (*), which always stands for ``first\-last''. .Pp Ranges of numbers are allowed. Ranges are two numbers separated with a hyphen. The specified range is inclusive. For example, 8-11 for an ``hours'' entry specifies execution at hours 8, 9, 10 and 11. .Pp Lists are allowed. A list is a set of numbers (or ranges) separated by commas. Examples: ``1,2,5,9'', ``0-4,8-12''. .Pp Step values can be used in conjunction with ranges. Following a range with ``/<number>'' specifies skips of the number's value through the range. For example, ``0-23/2'' can be used in the hours field to specify command execution every other hour (the alternative in the V7 standard is ``0,2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20,22''). Steps are also permitted after an asterisk, so if you want to say ``every two hours'', just use ``*/2''. .Pp Names can also be used for the ``month'' and ``day of week'' fields. Use the first three letters of the particular day or month (case does not matter). Ranges or lists of names are not allowed. .Pp The ``sixth'' field (the rest of the line) specifies the command to be run. The entire command portion of the line, up to a newline or % character, will be executed by .Pa /bin/sh or by the shell specified in the .Ev SHELL variable of the cronfile. Percent-signs (%) in the command, unless escaped with backslash (\\), will be changed into newline characters, and all data after the first % will be sent to the command as standard input. The command can optionally be prefixed by ``@AppleNotOnBattery '' to tell cron not to run the command when functioning on battery power. For example, the ``sixth'' field when using this option would appear something like ``@AppleNotOnBattery /usr/bin/touch /tmp/foo'' .Pp Note: The day of a command's execution can be specified by two fields \(em day of month, and day of week. If both fields are restricted (ie, are not *), the command will be run when .Em either field matches the current time. For example, ``30 4 1,15 * 5'' would cause a command to be run at 4:30 am on the 1st and 15th of each month, plus every Friday. .Pp Instead of the first five fields, one of eight special strings may appear: .Bd -literal -offset indent string meaning ------ ------- @reboot Run once, at startup. @yearly Run once a year, "0 0 1 1 *". @annually (same as @yearly) @monthly Run once a month, "0 0 1 * *". @weekly Run once a week, "0 0 * * 0". @daily Run once a day, "0 0 * * *". @midnight (same as @daily) @hourly Run once an hour, "0 * * * *". .Ed .Sh EXAMPLE CRON FILE .Bd -literal # use /bin/sh to run commands, overriding the default set by cron SHELL=/bin/sh # mail any output to `paul', no matter whose crontab this is MAILTO=paul # # run five minutes after midnight, every day 5 0 * * * $HOME/bin/daily.job >> $HOME/tmp/out 2>&1 # run at 2:15pm on the first of every month -- output mailed to paul 15 14 1 * * $HOME/bin/monthly # run at 10 pm on weekdays, annoy Joe 0 22 * * 1-5 mail -s "It's 10pm" joe%Joe,%%Where are your kids?% 23 0-23/2 * * * echo "run 23 minutes after midn, 2am, 4am ..., everyday" 5 4 * * sun echo "run at 5 after 4 every sunday" .Ed .Sh SEE ALSO .Xr crontab 1 , .Xr cron 8 , .Xr launchd.plist 5 , .Xr launchctl 1 , .Xr launchd 8 .Sh EXTENSIONS When specifying day of week, both day 0 and day 7 will be considered Sunday. .Bx and .Tn ATT seem to disagree about this. .Pp Lists and ranges are allowed to co-exist in the same field. "1-3,7-9" would be rejected by .Tn ATT or .Bx cron -- they want to see "1-3" or "7,8,9" ONLY. .Pp Ranges can include "steps", so "1-9/2" is the same as "1,3,5,7,9". .Pp Names of months or days of the week can be specified by name. .Pp Environment variables can be set in the crontab. In .Bx or .Tn ATT , the environment handed to child processes is basically the one from .Pa /etc/rc . .Pp Command output is mailed to the crontab owner .No ( Bx cannot do this), can be mailed to a person other than the crontab owner (SysV cannot do this), or the feature can be turned off and no mail will be sent at all (SysV cannot do this either). .Pp All of the .Sq @ commands that can appear in place of the first five fields are extensions. .Sh AUTHORS .An Paul Vixie Aq firstname.lastname@example.org .Sh BUGS If you are in one of the 70-odd countries that observe Daylight Savings Time, jobs scheduled during the rollback or advance will be affected. In general, it is not a good idea to schedule jobs during this period. .Pp For US timezones (except parts of IN, AZ, and HI) the time shift occurs at 2AM local time. For others, the output of the .Xr zdump 8 program's verbose .Fl ( v ) option can be used to determine the moment of time shift.