I am getting a Bad Hour error for the following crontab entry:

*/05 17-05 * * * wget -q -O /dev/null "http://abcd/cron/abcd"

Is there any issue with this? I want the cron to run from evening 5 PM to morning 5 AM


As you are not specifying which system you are using, I am hoping your system use a "Vixie" or "Vixie"-related crontab utility.


  • 17-05: is not considered a proper range (the lower limit being greater than the higher limit of the range).

You could instead write: "17-23,00-05"

From man 5 crontab:

 Ranges of numbers are allowed.  Ranges are two numbers separated with a
hyphen.  The specified range is inclusive.   For example, 8-11 for an
``hours'' entry specifies execution at hours 8, 9,  10 and 11.

So, sure nothing really forbiding you to write an interval the way you did.

The Extensions part of man 5 crontab is also interesting regarding how other crontab utilities would allow you specify more than a simple range (your system might be one of these):

 Lists and ranges are allowed to co-exist in the same field.
 "1-3,7-9" would be rejected by ATT or BSD cron -- they want to
see "1-3" or "7,8,9" ONLY.

So, as you can see, it really depends on your system crontab ability to understand what you mean by "17-05".

For more information:

  • but cron wont work for 1 hour between 11PM and 12AM right? – Hacker Apr 7 '14 at 7:32
  • @Hacker it will work for those times as expected. – cpugeniusmv Apr 7 '14 at 10:48
  • @Hacker: 11PM=23 and 12AM=0 ... so it will go up to 11:55PM and then go for 0:00, that is no stop – Ouki Apr 7 '14 at 12:46

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