I have searched the Internet for hours for a solution to my issue, and I can't seem to find an answer or solve what I'm doing wrong. I am trying to set up a cron to run a perl script on a regular basis. I am using Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS as a virtual machine on Oracle VM Virtualbox 5.2.26, running on a Windows 10 host.

I have not been successful running the perl script, so I have tried execute a number of other commands to test what I'm doing wrong. I'm having issues running a number of commands found in the /usr/bin/ path. I have been able to execute 'echo' and 'printf', but that's about it. Below is my code and the error messages I am receiving from each line (note the 'echo "$PATH"' line seems to work correctly):

[email protected]
2 * * * * /usr/bin/env
2 * * * * env
2 * * * * echo "$PATH"
2 * * * * perl atk_queries.pl
2 * * * * /usr/bin/perl /home/myname/Alpha/ATK_queries/atk_queries.pl
2 * * * * perl /home/myname/Alpha/ATK_queries/atk_queries.pl

Output/Errors In Order of Commands:

(1) /bin/bash: /usr/bin/env: No such file or directory

(2) /bin/bash: $'env\r': command not found

(3) /usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/snap/bin:/home/myname/Alpha/ATK_queries

(4) Can't open perl script "atk_queries.pl": No such file or directory

(5) Can't open perl script "/home/derek/Alpha/ATK_queries/atk_queries.pl": No such file or directory

(6) Can't open perl script "/home/derek/Alpha/ATK_queries/atk_queries.pl": No such file or directory

Any guidance is greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    Going by the env\r output, can you check if you have a problem with your line endings? See here and here for details.
    – Haxiel
    Dec 2, 2019 at 17:04
  • running $ file crontab returns: ASCII text, with CRLF line terminators
    – cckcckcc
    Dec 2, 2019 at 17:22
  • 1
    ^ That's wrong. You're on a UNIX/Linux-based system not a Windows one. Dec 2, 2019 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


Apparently the issue had something to do with modifying my crontab file in Notepad++, which is natively a Windows program. As per Haxiel's comment, there was some wonkiness with \r carriage returns being executed within the commands themselves.

Modifying the file via crontab -e, deleting the crontab contents, replacing them with the exact same text, and saving the file as a non-DOS file led to the successful execution of all commands as well as the Perl script.

  • 1
    Great to see that you have identified and resolved the problem. The line endings are different between the Windows & Unix platforms. Windows uses CR LF (\r\n) while Unix uses LF (\n). See this SO question for more details: stackoverflow.com/q/1552749/6216002
    – Haxiel
    Dec 2, 2019 at 17:37

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