I'm trying to set up a Raspberry Pi to check a repo on startup and then fire up a node script with forever.

I got the second part working, but I tried a dozen git commands with no success.

Here is my crontab that I access like so:

crontab -u pi -e

@reboot /bin/sh /home/pi/code/script.sh

Now my script has -rwxr-xr-x access rights and goes like so:

cd /home/pi/code
/usr/bin/sudo -u pi -H /usr/bin/git pull origin master

/usr/bin/sudo -u pi -H /home/pi/.nvm/v0.11.11/bin/forever start /home/pi/code/server.js

Forever starts the server.js on reboot, no problem, but the repo never gets updated. If I run the script using sh /home/pi/code/script.sh it triggers git pull correctly... I initially set up an alias for git pull to be git up like it is recommended, but figured it might be my problem and I went back to the simplest version I could. Still no success.

Any input is welcome.

EDIT: the output of the crontab indicates connectivity issue: Could not resolve host: bitbucket.org how can I wait for network to be setup before I run the script?

  • could you check the mails of root if there is some error, and what error? (xmail if you like UI of 70s, "less /var/spool/mail/root" a still better "interface") Mar 2, 2016 at 8:18
  • Why are you using sudo? Doesn't the crontab belong to the user pi? Unless it is being run by root, that will hang, waiting for a password. In any case, try adding 2>>/home/pi/cronlog at the end of the crontab command. Then, reboot and check the contents of /home/pi/cronlog. If anything is there, edit it into your question.
    – terdon
    Mar 2, 2016 at 8:23

2 Answers 2


After getting help to debug and trying out Phlogi's solution without success, I decided to go back to the original crontab and just add code to wait for the network interface to be ready. Here is what the script looks like now:


while ! ping -c 1 -W 1 bitbucket.org; do
    echo "Waiting for bitbucket - network interface might be down..."
    sleep 1

cd /home/pi/code && /usr/bin/sudo -u pi -H git checkout master && /usr/bin/sudo -u pi -H git up

/usr/bin/sudo -u pi -H /home/pi/.nvm/v0.11.11/bin/forever start    /home/pi/code/server.js

Instead of using crontab, you should create a simple service that depends on network:

# /etc/init.d/XY

# Provides:          XY
# Required-Start:    $syslog $network
# Required-Stop:     $syslog $network
# Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: Example initscript
# Description:       This service is used to start XY

case "$1" in 
        echo "Updating XY"
        cd /home/pi/code
        /usr/bin/sudo -u pi -H /usr/bin/git pull origin master
        echo "Starting server.js"
        /usr/bin/sudo -u pi -H /home/pi/.nvm/v0.11.11/bin/forever start /home/pi/code/server.js
        echo "Stopping XY"

        echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/XY start|stop"
        exit 1
exit 0

Put it into the service folder and make it executable:

sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/XY
  • The issue with that is that this script would be "written in stone", I'd like to keep the script itself under source control in case I want to add commands to it later. (The idea is that I won't have direct access to the Pi). But I guess I can just have the init.d fire up a shell script!
    – LukeS
    Mar 2, 2016 at 9:08
  • Yes, then just put your commands in a source controlled script and execute only that from the service.
    – Phlogi
    Mar 2, 2016 at 9:16
  • I'm trying this out right now
    – LukeS
    Mar 2, 2016 at 9:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .