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I entered crontab -r instead of crontab -e and all my cron jobs have been removed.

What is the best way (or is there one) to recover those jobs?

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Is it just me or wouldn't it make more sense for crontab -r to ask yes/no by default?? –  user1446688 Feb 16 at 22:54
I think having a yes/no prompt would be a great idea. especially since e & r are right next to each other.. and crontab -e is a really common cron command. –  JustinP May 11 at 15:52

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

crontab -r removes the only file containing the cron jobs.

So if you did not make a backup, your only recovery options are:

  • On RedHat/CentOS, if your jobs have been triggered before, you can find the cron log in /var/log/cron. The file will help you rewrite the jobs again.
  • Another option is to recover the file using a file recovery tool. This is less likely to be successful though, since the system partition is usually a busy one and corresponding sectors probably have already been overwritten.
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I could not voted you up but this answer was some how useful for me. thankx –  RajaRassani Jun 10 '14 at 8:24
@RajaRassani You can mark the answer is a correct one with a tick mark, though. Thanks for feed back! –  SkyDan Jun 10 '14 at 8:31
this just happened to me :) total bummer.. I do use virtual servers and backup them up regularly..so I'm going to spin up a backup.. and get the deleted crontabs –  JustinP May 11 at 15:49

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