I've switched from cron to systemd-cron with my Debian unstable system, but now the daily "cron job" often fails, because it runs mixmaster which fetches its database from the Internet and if the cron-daily.timer gets triggered before the network is up, after wake-up from suspend to RAM, mixmaster can't reach the server.

Apr 24 11:02:23 run-parts[13608]: /usr/bin/mixmaster-update: Get failed for http://www.noreply.org/echolot/pgp-all.asc (500 Can't connect to www.noreply.org:80)
Apr 24 11:02:23 run-parts[13608]: Downloading of mlist and/or mixring failed (do you need a proxy?). Aborting.
Apr 24 11:02:23 su[13809]: pam_unix(su:session): session closed for user mixmaster
Apr 24 11:02:23 run-parts[13608]: run-parts: /etc/cron.daily/mixmaster exited with return code 22

Is it possible to delay the timer until the network is up and running?

  • So the situation is you open your laptop lid, and then the timer triggered service immediately runs "quickly before the network has come up yet"?
    – rogerdpack
    Jul 9, 2019 at 16:48
  • @rogerdpack: Yes, it runs before the network (WLAN) is ready. Sometimes the WLAN connect takes a few minutes.
    – jo-so
    Jul 10, 2019 at 19:53

3 Answers 3


Use systemd timers instead of cron.

Then in your systemd-unit, you can specify After=network-online.target and Wants=network-online.target.

  • 2
    This doesn't help, because the target becomes active after boot, but remains untouched when the network goes down due to suspend to RAM e.g.
    – jo-so
    Apr 25, 2017 at 17:39
  • If all else fails, you can add a "sleep" statement to the script you run, to have it wait for a period before attempting to connect, like ExecStartPre=/bin/sleep 60 Apr 25, 2017 at 18:25

It might be worth using systemd's timers rather than cron. You should then be able to specify in the unit what it depends on.



In my setup the cron job is run every minute, but quits if there is no internet connection, by a connectivity test such as

nc -zw3 github.com 22 || exit 0

When there finally is an internet connection, then, once a day, the anacron jobs are run.

You must log in to answer this question.

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