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According to this site I set up cron to execute a script for me, first just trying to get it to work with cat before doing the actual work I need to do (actual work will need root priviliges so I did everything as root to make my life easier later):

me> sudo su
root> crontab -e

Edited the file as follows, leaving a blank line at the end:

SHELL=/bin/bash
#which cat outputs /bin/cat
PATH="/bin"

# execute this every minute, if it works, change cat to my script
1 * * * * cat /home/me/source.txt 1> /home/me/destination.txt

According to this SO question, restarted the cron service to be sure it loads changes after saving the file and exiting the editor:

root> service cron restart

And then waited for a few minutes. Nothing happened. Then restarted the computer. Again, nothing. Where did I do it wrong?

  • 1
    Did you wait till the 1st minute of the hour? – Romeo Ninov Nov 20 '18 at 19:38
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Your crontab is running at 1st minute of every hour. To run every minute you have to configure like this.

* * * * * cat /home/me/source.txt 1> /home/me/destination.txt
  • Thanks, didn't think that through very well. My actual task won't need to run every minute, every 15 minute is enough. Is there a shorthand for that, or do I have to copy the same command 4 times with 0 * * * *, 15 * * * *, etc.? – sisisisi Nov 20 '18 at 20:16
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    */15 * * * * cat /home/me/source.txt 1> /home/me/destination.txt. – Dinesh Mandepudi Nov 20 '18 at 20:21

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