Problem statement

I have 5 solaris boxes, some have Solaris 10 and some have Solaris 9.
All of them have many cronjobs in their crontabs.

I would like to know number of active cronjobs available, so I manually count the cronjobs.

Now I am looking for a command [bash shell I am using] to count the number of active cronjobs.

I have tried crontab -l|wc -l, but my crontab contains many comments lines which are also counted with my command. crontab

What I have tried

crontab -l|wc -l

What I am expecting

A bash shell command to count the number of active cronjobs (excluding comments lines).

  • Which cron implementation are you using? Some of them allow directives like @daily or @hourly, which also define jobs. – manatwork Feb 9 '12 at 9:01
  • @ manatwork Im a newbee,I dont understand ur statement,I did not use @daily like commands. – Balaswamy vaddeman Feb 9 '12 at 9:39
  • This days most of the crons are actually improved rewrites of cron, like anacron, dcron, fcron, mcron. They are all compatible with the original one, but usually they add something new too, by introducing directives with proprietary syntax. Anyway, if you use no directives, you can safely ignore my question. – manatwork Feb 9 '12 at 9:58

You need to delete everything that does not start with a digit (the minute). But to get that, remove any leading whitespace first. This will get rid of comments, blank lines, variable assignments, etc.

crontab -l | sed 's/^ *//;/^[*@0-9]/!d' | wc -l
| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    What about entries starting with a * or @? – forcefsck Feb 9 '12 at 10:10
  • Correct, I missed the "*". Thanks. – Arcege Feb 9 '12 at 12:29
crontab -l | grep -v '^#'


The number?

crontab -l | grep -v '^#' | wc -l


crontab -l | grep -c -v '^#'

(last one inspired by an answer here).

This will give you the (number of) scheduled cron jobs, not the active cron jobs, which could mean the jobs that are currently running.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    This counts empty lines, lines with an indented comment, and lines containing environment variable definitions. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Feb 9 '12 at 23:03

Why remove characters? Try the following:

$ crontab -l | grep -c "^[0-9*]"
| improve this answer | |
  • says illegal option -p on my solaris box – Balaswamy vaddeman Feb 9 '12 at 8:47
  • This would be my preferred way, but the minute can be “*” or “*/5” too, which would be missed by your expression. – manatwork Feb 9 '12 at 8:56
  • @Balaswamyvaddeman note it's a big P , can you try again ? – daisy Feb 9 '12 at 9:08
  • @manatwork , thanks , i've updated my answer – daisy Feb 9 '12 at 9:10
  • 1
    @AaronLewis, either ^[\d*] or ^(\d|\*). As you wrote you allow the literal “|” character in the character class. But ^[0-9*] would be better, to get rid of the -P dependency. – manatwork Feb 9 '12 at 9:39

after multiple attempts I have got below command.

crontab -l |sed -e '/#/d'|wc -l

more on sed

more on wc

| improve this answer | |
  • I believe that '/#/d' would remove valid lines that happen to have a comment at the end. – Arcege Feb 9 '12 at 6:28
  • though my solution works for my requirement,urs is more solid – Balaswamy vaddeman Feb 9 '12 at 7:04

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