Linux Basics: 20 Useful Crontab Examples in Linux


Cron (aka Crontab) is a task scheduler in Linux that helps to execute a task on a scheduled time, and it is very similar to Windows Task Schedulers.

With crontab, we can schedule repetitive tasks as well as one-time tasks using @ utility.

Crontab is mostly used for executing backup scripts for taking the system backups and also sometimes to start and stop applications.


Install Crontab

The package name of crontab in CentOS / RHEL is cronie and cron in Ubuntu / Debian. You can install crontab using the below command.

### CentOS / RHEL ###

yum -y install cronie

### Debian / Ubuntu ###

apt-get install cron

Start Crontab

If the crontab is not running, then start it using the following command.

service crond start

Edit crontab

To add or edit crontab jobs of a current logged in user, use the below command. The command will open a file editor where you can update the jobs.

crontab -e

To edit other users crontab jobs, use the below command.

crontab -e -u raj

Crontab path

System wide crontab entries are found in /etc/cron{tab,.d,.daily,.hourly,.monthly,.weekly} and individual users crontab jobs are found in /var/spool/cron/ directory.

Crontab logs

Crontab logs can be found in /var/log/cron

Crontab format / Crontab time format

Below illustration shows you the crontab time format.

Crontab Examples in Linux - Crontab Time Format
Crontab Examples in Linux – Crontab Time Format

20 Useful Crontab Examples

Let us start with very basic crontab example.

1. Schedule a crontab at particular time (at 1 am)

This cron will be useful for you to do some cleanup activities on servers when there is a less usage.

0 1 * * * /path/to/

This job runs every day 1 AM.

2. Schedule a cron to run twice a day

Do you have a script that is required to be run twice a day? Use the below cron job example.

0 10,22 * * * /path/to/

Above cron runs twice a day at 10 AM and 10 PM.

3. Schedule a cron to run every Sunday 1 AM

You may need to schedule a cron to do weekend activities like taking full backup or configuration backup.

0 1 * * sun /path/to/


0 1 * * 0 /path/to/


0 1 * * 7 /path/to/

0 or 7 means Sunday.

4. Schedule a crontab every minute

This one may be funny; sometimes you may require run cron for every minute.

* * * * * /path/to/

5. Schedule a crontab every 5 minutes

Sometimes you may need to run a program like pinging servers for their availability.

*/5 * * * * /path/to/

6. Schedule a crontab every hour (hourly cron)

Below schedule runs every hour and is used for the hourly task.

0 * * * * /path/to/


@hourly /path/to/

7. Schedule a crontab every 2 hours

You can use the below cron job example that set to run a script every two hours.

0 */2 * * * /path/to/

8. Schedule a crontab daily (daily cron)

Below cron job example will be suitable if you want the script to be executed on a daily basis, exactly at @ 12 AM.

0 0 * * * /path/to/


@daily /path/to/

9. Schedule a crontab every alternate day

Use the below cron example to run a job at every alternate day.

0 0 */2 * * /path/to/

10. Schedule a crontab on select days

To schedule a cron job on select days, i.e., to run cron on Tuesday and Thursday at 1 PM.

0 13 * * tue,thu /path/to/

11. Schedule a crontab every week (weekly cron)

You can quickly schedule a weekly cron job using below example.

@weekly /path/to/

This cron runs every week Sunday at 12 AM.

12. Schedule a cron on the 15th day of every month

You can use the below settings if you want a cron job to be executed on 15th of every month.

0 11 15 * * /path/to/

13. Schedule a cron every month (monthly cron)

You may want to create a cron job that runs on the first day of the month. This cron runs on 1st of every month at 12 AM.

@monthly /path/to/

14. Schedule a cron on select month

Below cron example runs every day at 12 AM in January, April, and June.

0 0 * jan,apr,jun * /path/to/

15. Schedule crontab after every reboot

Want to run script or command after every reboot then below job could be useful for you.

@reboot /path/to/

16. Send email in crontab

You can use the below cron settings for sending results of the scheduled task.

1 1 * * * /path/to/

17. Change shell in cron

Want to execute the cron on different shell rather than the default, /bin/bash.

1 1 * * * /path/to/

18. Environmental variables in cron

Sometimes you may need to use environmental variables for successful execution of script then below setting could be useful for you.

1 1 * * * /path/to/

19. Set Home for cron

Do you want to set the home directory to use when executing scripts? Then use this.

1 1 * * * /path/to/

20. Cron jobs Every Second

Cron cannot be used to schedule a job in seconds interval.

That’s All. You can also read cron manual for more information.

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