Is there a way to schedule a task using crontab by root user but should not be visible using crontab command i.e, crontab -l either for root user or normal users?

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    Please edit your question and tell us what user should the cron job be run as and what user shouldn't be able to see it. – terdon Feb 18 '16 at 13:04

If you want to schedule a task using cron, an alternative to crontab in many distributions is to add a file to /etc/cron.d, in the traditional system crontab format (the variant which specifies the user). Tasks defined in this way do not show up in crontab -l's output.

For example, on Debian, amavisd-new's Spamassassin maintenance is scheduled by /etc/cron.d/amavisd-new, which contains

#  SpamAssassin maintenance for amavisd-new
# m h dom mon dow user  command
18 */3  * * *   amavis  test -e /usr/sbin/amavisd-new-cronjob && /usr/sbin/amavisd-new-cronjob sa-sync
24 1  * * *   amavis  test -e /usr/sbin/amavisd-new-cronjob && /usr/sbin/amavisd-new-cronjob sa-clean
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  • For Example: I have created file with the name hidcron in the location "/etc/cron.d/" with following line added to that file: * * * * * /sbin/ifconfig >> /root/file1. But the given task is not working – Karthik Vee Feb 22 '16 at 13:56
  • @KarthikVee as mentioned in the answer, you need to specify the user in the task definition, so you'd end up with * * * * * root /sbin/ifconfig >> /root/file1. – Stephen Kitt Feb 22 '16 at 13:59

If your cron job is setup for root user, other users won't be able to see it with crontab -l unless they connect as root.

Maybe you can tell us more about what you want to achieve by doing this?

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