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I would like to use crontab in Bash on a Raspberry Pi to open a mp4 video at certain times. I am very much a newby can anybody give me any advice or direct me where to dig further.

I had previously posted this message on the Rpi forum but was advised to post it here.

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  1. Running under user account, use crontab -e to edit your user's crontab

    crontab -e

  2. Create a new entry in the crontab file:


| | | | | | 
| | | | | +-- Year              (range: 1900-3000)
| | | | +---- Day of the Week   (range: 1-7, 1 standing for Monday)
| | | +------ Month of the Year (range: 1-12)
| | +-------- Day of the Month  (range: 1-31)
| +---------- Hour              (range: 0-23)
+------------ Minute            (range: 0-59)
  1. The template above represents the fields you can enter into the crontab file. Think of each field as an entry followed by a space to separate fields.

For instance,

00 1 * * 1 * echo "hello!" >> ~/hello

would execute the command 'echo "hello!" >> ~/hello' every Monday at 1:00AM.

An asterisk represents an unused field, equivalent to N/A.

Make sure whatever command you're using has permission to modify the files/folders you want to modify.

  1. Save the crontab file after you're done editing and it will run at the next instance.
  • While this information is correct it won't help the user "open a mp4 video at certain times". – roaima Jan 26 '17 at 21:12
  • That would be entirely dependent on what command the user is using. Since they didn't specify, I gave them the tools to add that command in. – Patrick Jan 27 '17 at 17:17
  • No, the point is that no matter what command they add, it won't work from crontab without the user jumping through hoops. Take a look at my "possibly relevant" links on the OP's question itself. – roaima Jan 27 '17 at 17:43
  • The ease of use of the tool is entirely opinion-based. While there might be an easier way to do this, using at or some other method, the user specifically mentioned using a crontab, so I gave them the instructions to do so. I understand your point, but your initial comment that it "won't help" is subjective. – Patrick Jan 27 '17 at 22:43
  • I guess that my question was too broad. But before I got down into the details my first question was "Will crontab be functional with Bash". I understand that Bash is a subset of Unix but does it include the required features to be able to use the command on a Raspberry Pi computer. – Harold Jan 30 '17 at 11:36
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You could use omxplayer for that, run crontab -e, (choose an editor if you haven't already), go to the bottom of the file and add:

32 15 * * * omxplayer -o hdmi /path/to/video.mp4

Where 32 = minute and 15 = hour. Note that you may need to export DISPLAY=:0 before.

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