I have a file in /etc/cron.d with 606 permissions to be run by root.

The intention is to provide read & write access to 'others' via 606 to allow a script to modify the file.

Cron does not want to run it and provides a "(root) BAD FILE MODE" message.

I have discovered that Cron is picky with file permissions and that using 640 or 644 permissions would be more acceptable, but then a script wouldn't be able to edit it.

Is there any way that cron can be configured to accept 606? Alternatively, is there any way a script could modify a cron file without root privileges?

Thank you

  • non-root users (or their scripts) should never be able to modify scripts that are run by root. crond is protecting you from yourself.
    – cas
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 4:51

1 Answer 1


Each user has its own crontab. By allowing the non-root users to write a root's crontab you make a security breach in your system, this is why crond rejects a file with such permissions.

If you need to allow non-root accounts to perform some actions that require root privileges then consider to use sudo

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