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Given a crontab expression like "0 0/15 11-15 ? * MON-FRI", how is that parsed?

I am correct in assuming the 11-15 does not mean "between 11 and 15" but "when the hour is 11-15, inclusive" - i.e. the expression will trigger every 15 minutes starting at 11:00 and ending at 15:45? Or will it end at 14:45? Or maybe 15:00?

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The expression is actually a version of a cron expression used by the Java Quartz Scheduler CronTrigger. See the comments for the accepted answer below, sorry if this is confusing. – PapaFreud Nov 8 '11 at 10:30
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You have too many fields in your example.

The available fields in a cron job are:

`min hour mday month wday command+args`

The command in your example line would run on:

  • The zero minute
  • every 15 hours, starting at midnight (so midnight and 3pm)
  • on the 11th/12th/13th/14th/15th of the month,
  • invalid month field of ?
  • every day of the week
  • Run the command MON-FRI

Unless, in your specific version of cron, ? is allowed as a non-greedy wildcard for the month field, in which case, it might match single-digit month numbers, or January -> September.

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Right you are. I'm not actually setting up a crontab but using a Java Quartz Scheduler CronTrigger but posted it here instead from at stackoverflow after seeing people be told to ask crontab-related questions here. Sorry. The CronTrigger has a fields for seconds too -- "seconds minutes hours dayOfMonth month DayOfWeek [year]". I'm posting this over at SO instead. – PapaFreud Nov 7 '11 at 14:57
ah. that extra field makes all the difference. your application would then run, every 15 minutes, on the zero second, from 11:00 to 15:45, every mon-friday. – Tim Kennedy Nov 7 '11 at 15:30
Yes, I've left it running and it did stop at 15:45. Thanks! – PapaFreud Nov 7 '11 at 16:03

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