I have a cron job that is scheduled to run everyday, other than changing the schedule, is there any other way to do a test run of the command right now to see if it works as intended?

  • I don't understand your question? Why not simply run the command? – favadi Jul 10 '12 at 10:45
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    I know the command works when enter it in shell (my shell), but I want to know if it works when cron runs it, it could be affected by ENV or shell specific stuff (~ expansion) or ownership and permission stuff or ... – Ali Jul 10 '12 at 10:48
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    So why not create new cron job run every minute with same command? – favadi Jul 10 '12 at 11:12
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    This is exactly what I ended up doing, but I wondered if there is a way to tell cron you want a test run on job no 7 ! Surely others have had this problem/request/wish before! – Ali Jul 10 '12 at 13:55
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    Very late to the scene here through google but there was everything wrong about favadi's reply. It was clear he wanted to test it from cron and without editing the crontab specifically to do that. LIttle worse than someone telling you what you want is wrong when they have'nt tried to understand the use case. – HörmannHH Sep 13 '18 at 9:12

As far as i know there is no way to directly do that as cron has a special purpose - running schedules commands at a specific time. So the best thing is to either to manually create a crontab entry or write a script which removes and resets the environment.


You can force the crontab to run with following command:

run-parts /etc/cron.daily
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    ...on the assumption that the OP's cron job (asked 3 years ago) is in cron.daily as opposed to an individual crontab. – Jeff Schaller Nov 24 '15 at 3:49
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    This does not fully simulate the cron user's environment however, so it is highly likely that you'll still have bugs because once you run your script as an actual cron job your PATH and other envvars may be different than the user you did run-parts /etc/cron.daily as. I am battling this bug right now, as my script will run fine with run-parts but fails when actually run under the cron user. – ArtHare Jun 14 '17 at 15:41

You can simulate the cron user environment as explained in "Running a cron job manually and immediately". This will allow you to test the job works when it would be run as the cron user.

Excerpt from link:

Step 1: I put this line temporarily in the user's crontab:

* * * * *   /usr/bin/env > /home/username/tmp/cron-env

then took it out once the file was written.

Step 2: Made myself a little run-as-cron bash script containing:

/usr/bin/env -i $(cat /home/username/tmp/cron-env) "$@"

So then, as the user in question, I was able to

run-as-cron /the/problematic/script --with arguments --and parameters
  • Useful trick. Of course, that won't help if you have a percent sign in your command. – basic6 Jul 11 '18 at 7:09

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