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 . *
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  • 1
    Awesome, looking in /var/spool/cron/crontabs/ worked nicely, thanks! – Highly Irregular Mar 13 '14 at 22:04
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    crontab -e -u <user> to edit it works as well – vladkras Aug 4 '17 at 11:24
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    /var/spool/cron/<user> on my Centos 7 host. – Bob Stein Sep 3 '19 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)
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  • Note: this works for sh but not bash. – Tiw Jul 16 '19 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
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  • 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

Using the following command, we findall Cron jobs, on the specified system.

find /etc/cron* -type f -perm -o+w -exec ls -l {} \;
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for USER in `cat /etc/passwd | awk -F ":" '{print $1}'`
  echo "this crontab for user : $USER"
  crontab -u $USER -l 2>&1
done >> list_all_cron

Strange need to escape chars on this web site. I think copy paste won't work

Well you got the point : loop all users from /etc/passwd + awk and ask for crontab with crontab -u -l

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  • Welcome to the site, and thank you for your contribution. Indeed the backtick is used for in-line comment formatting, making it difficult to use. Still, please note that the backtick format is deprecated anyway for command substitutions, and the $( ... ) format should be used instead. Also, you don't really need to cat a file into awk, just give the file to be read as parameter after the command. – AdminBee Jun 4 at 11:24

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