I have a script being run automatically that I can't find in the crontab for the expected users, so I'd like to search all users' crontabs for it.

Essentially I want to run a crontab -l for all users.


Well depends on the script but easily you can find your crontab as root with

crontab -l -u <user>

Or you can find crontab from spool where is located file for all users

cat /var/spool/cron/crontabs/<user>

To show all users' crontabs with the username printed at the beginning of each line:

cd /var/spool/cron/crontabs/ && grep . *
  • 1
    Awesome, looking in /var/spool/cron/crontabs/ worked nicely, thanks! – Highly Irregular Mar 13 '14 at 22:04
  • 1
    crontab -e -u <user> to edit it works as well – vladkras Aug 4 '17 at 11:24
  • /var/spool/cron/<user> on my Centos 7 host. – Bob Stein Sep 3 at 18:49

One liner which lists all users and prints cron for every user:

for user in $(getent passwd | cut -f1 -d: ); do echo $user; crontab -u $user -l; done

This solution:

  • Doesn't require knowing a system specific crontab path (e.g. /var/spool/cron/crontabs/ vs /var/spool/cron/
  • Won't list "orphan" crons, i.e. crons for users that don't exist anymore (and thus are not executed effectively)
  • Note: this works for sh but not bash. – Tiw Jul 16 at 7:15

In RHEL/OEL you can list the cron jobs created by all users:

#cd /var/spool/cron/
#ls -1

To see root's cronjobs:

#cat root
  • The crontab(1) interface (command) should be used, as it protects against concurrent editing of the crontab database. – Dirk Jan 10 '18 at 0:07

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