I have a script /home/projects/temperature_logger/analyze.py that does some work on a temp.log file, which is really a csv of a date and the current raspberry pi temperature. This python script also logs the results to a .log file. Calling it from the command line like sudo python3 analyze.py works as expected, but for some reason I cannot get it ot work with crontab.

I have run sudo chmod +x analyze.py as well as sudo chmod ugo+w analyze.py.

My whereis python3 says /usr/bin/python3. The shebang at the top of my analyze.py script is #!/usr/bin/python3.

My crontab script is * * * * * /usr/bin/python3 /home/projects/temperature_logger/analyze.py

For testing purposes all I have actually running right now is

if __name__ == '__main__':
    logging.info("running file!")

in my analyze.py but I do not see this getting populated to my log file unless I manually call sudo python3 analyze.py from within the directory.

What am I doing wrong here? The syslogs don't seem to indicate anything wrong but perhaps I don't understand them? Apologies for the picture I am unsure how to copy from the PuTTy terminal enter image description here

Update: I added all permissions for my user ubuntu with sudo chmod -R a+rwx /home/projects/temperature_logger. I then changed the crontab, cleared out my root cron and put the call to the python script under ubuntu's cron file. I do see this reflected under the syslog now enter image description here

It does not seem to indicate any error. However, the script which when I call it with python3 analyze.py it does write properly to my scripts.log file, but when it's called from the cron, which it says is running the syslog - I don't see anything logged.

Solved: So this was due to me misunderstanding waht the home directory for my user account was and what the current working directory of the script was. In my analyze.py script I had logging.basicConfig(filename='scripts.log', ...), which when I ran from the directory with sudo, wrote to /home/projects/temperature_logger/scripts.log, but when it was called from my user's cron file, it wrote to /home/ubuntu/scripts.log.

  • 1
    From PuTTy you can select and that goes into the clipboard. Then you just use Paste (Ctrl-V). Sep 28, 2020 at 15:49
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    What user's crontab are you using. If the script requires root permissions to run, then use root's crontab.
    – Kusalananda
    Sep 28, 2020 at 15:50
  • Does the script really require root (full system) privileges just to process a CSV file?
    – roaima
    Sep 28, 2020 at 16:23
  • Let me ask a different way, since I'm going to be flashing ubuntu 20.04 to my raspberry pis memory card shortly anyways and then pulling /home/projects/temperature_logger from my git repo. Where would I want my project file? I made up the directory /projects/ under home to start working on coding, but I don't know what the convention is and if thats affecting permissions at all. And then, from who's cron would I want to be calling the analyze.py?
    – bjk116
    Sep 28, 2020 at 16:30
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    Help yourself by having a look at any stderr output generated. Do this by redirecting stderr to stdout (2>&1), to a separate file; e.g. /usr/bin/python3 /home/projects/temperature_logger/analyze.py >> /home/myusernm/log.txt 2>&1
    – Seamus
    Sep 28, 2020 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


Not sure how you are writing scripts.log but for testing if you are using logging.info then make sure you have set the basis config correct for logging... like so...

if __name__ == '__main__':
    logging.info("running file!")

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