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I'm trying to send cron output to an email address and am struggling... I'm running the following command:

13 15 * * 1-5 root /path/to/mysql-backup.sh 2>&1 | mail -s "Daily Database Backup Report" my.email@emailhost.com

That shows this error within /var/mail/root

/usr/bin/mail: line 1: syntax error near unexpected token `('
/usr/bin/mail: line 1: `Config file not found (-s)'

Is this trying to validate/execute the output of the cron?

Do you do this on your server? If so, how?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 6 '12 at 14:50

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3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted

In my experience, /usr/bin/mail is a binary executable, but on your system the shell seems to be loading and interpreting it. syntax error near unexpected token is a bash diagnostic.

This can happen if you have overwritten an executable. Is there any conceivable chance that you have overwritten /usr/bin/mail with the text "Config file not found (-s)", causing said text to be fed to the shell when you try to execute it?

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Have you tried mailx if it works? or check if you can do the mail within the bash script itself.

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This is working fine for me.

0 3 * * * /opt/appsomething/scripts/mysqlbkp_localserver.sh 2>&1 mail -s "Backup routine from server" root
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Not sure how this helps the OP. For one they've already marked an accepted A, and for another you're showing essentially the same thing that wasn't working for them. Perhaps if you expanded your A a bit that might help shed light on what's different with your working example vs. their not working example. –  slm Jul 3 at 20:26
@slm As you can see my cron line doesn't have the pipe | so this is not essentially the same thing. I've made a test with pipe and can't reproduce the error reported by webnet. –  André Duarte 2 days ago
You should add that then to your A so that it's obvious to others why you posted this. –  slm 2 days ago

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