My sysadmin has set up a bunch of cron jobs on my machine. I'd like to know exactly what is scheduled for what time. How can I get that list?

  • 3
    This isn't the answer to the question, but just a note on best practices. One can configure these as per-user cron jobs for root or apache or whatever, but one should use /etc/crontab or (better, in most distros) /etc/cron.d and /etc/cron.[timeframe].
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 15:45
  • 1
    stackoverflow.com/questions/134906/… Commented May 22, 2014 at 15:34
  • I have posted a script which automates this to a useful degree at: - stackoverflow.com/questions/134906/… It's not perfect but probably covers 90% of the needs. It is a good example of what not to write in bash. Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 15:09

4 Answers 4


With most Crons (e.g. Vixie-Cron - Debian/Ubuntu default, Cronie - Fedora default, Solaris Cron ...) you get the list of scheduled cron jobs for the current user via:

$ crontab -l

or for another user via

# crontab -l -u juser

To get the crontabs for all users you can loop over all users and call this command.

Alternatively, you can look up the spool files. Usually, they are are saved under /var/spool/cron, e.g. for vcron following directory


contains all the configured crontabs of all users - except the root user who is also able to configure jobs via the system-wide crontab, which is located at


With cronie (default on Fedora/CentOS), there is a .d style config directory for system cron jobs, as well:


(As always, the .d directory simplifies maintaining configuration entries that are part of different packages.)

For convenience, most distributions also provide a directories where linked/stored scripts are periodically executed, e.g.:


The timely execution of those scripts is usually managed via run-parts entries in the system crontab or via anacron.

With Systemd (e.g. on Fedora, CentOS 7, ...) periodic job execution can additionally be configured via timer units. The enabled system timers can be displayed via:

$ systemctl list-timers

Note that users beside root may have user systemd instances running where timers are configured, as well. For example, on Fedora, by default, a user systemd instance is started for each user that is currently logged in. They can be recognized via:

$ ps aux | grep 'systemd[ ]--user'

Those user timers can be listed via:

$ systemctl --user list-timers

An alternative to issuing the list-timers command is to search for timer unit files (pattern: *.timer) and symbolic links to them in the usual system and user systemd config directories:

$ find /usr/lib/systemd/ /etc/systemd -name '*.timer'
$ find /home '(' -path '/home/*/.local/share/systemd/user/*' \
              -o -path '/home/*/.config/systemd/*' ')' \
      -name '*.timer'  2> /dev/null

(As with normal service units, a timer unit is enabled via creating a symbolic link in the right systemd config directory.)

See also:

  • 4
    Then you have to call it with enough privileges - i.e. as root user. Commented Feb 7, 2011 at 21:02
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    Still not complete — some versions of cron run jobs from /etc/cron.d and /etc/cron.{daily,hourly,monthly,weekly} without a helper program called from /etc/crontab.
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 15:43
  • 1
    @mattdm, sure - thus the first sentence 'Probably depends on the crond you are using' - but looking at /etc/crontab you usually see references of /etc/cron.d, /etc/cron.daily etc. Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 17:03
  • 3
    @maxschlepzig - but not always. And the question is "how can I get a list of all cron jobs"; an reply which is "well, here's some of them" isn't the answer.
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 17:20
  • 1
    @maxschlepzig — cronie, as shipped in Fedora and RHEL6, do not refer to those in /etc/crontab, but instead use /etc/anacrontab. I may be mistaken about any actual implementations that don't refer to these in any config file. (But then, I didn't downvote either.... I'm just sayin'.)
    – mattdm
    Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 20:28

Depending on how your linux system is set up, you can look in:

  • /var/spool/cron/* (user crontabs)
  • /etc/crontab (system-wide crontab)

also, many distros have:

  • /etc/cron.d/* These configurations have the same syntax as /etc/crontab

  • /etc/cron.hourly, /etc/cron.daily, /etc/cron.weekly, /etc/cron.monthly

These are simply directories that contain executables that are executed hourly, daily, weekly or monthly, per their directory name.

On top of that, you can have at jobs (check /var/spool/at/*), anacron (/etc/anacrontab and /var/spool/anacron/*) and probably others I'm forgetting.

  • 5
    Thanks, I found them in /etc/cron.daily. How does that daily file work? What time will the daily jobs run? On my machine they seem to run around noon, but it'd like to tell my sysadmin how to change that to midnight instead.
    – Frank
    Commented Feb 7, 2011 at 21:21
  • 7
    cron.daily is called from /etc/crontab, e.g. on my Ubuntu system it's: 25 6 * * * root test -x /usr/sbin/anacron || ( cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.daily ) which means 6:25 am.
    – Kowh
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 1:20
  • cron.daily is called from /etc/crontab on my RHEL5 system too, if you'd like more data points.
    – jsbillings
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 13:34
  • On newer Fedora (and probably RHEL6 -- haven't looked yet), the cronie daemon takes care of those using the configuration in /etc/anacrontab.
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 15:48
  • Sometimes it's in /var/cron too. Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 2:57

To list all crons for the given user.

crontab -u username -l;

To list all crons for all users

Run it as a super user

#List all cron jobs for all users
for user in `cat /etc/passwd | cut -d":" -f1`;
crontab -l -u $user;
  • 1
    OP is asking for a list of all cron jobs.
    – Drav Sloan
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 11:59
  • 1
    For some reason that doesn't show /etc/cron.d/ jobs.
    – jamshid
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 23:28
  • It's not working. "no crontab for www-data". but username www-data is exists.
    – Michail M.
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 7:19

You can list all cron jobs with (I'm using more to list the location in the output):

sudo sh -c 'more /etc/crontab /etc/cron.d/* /var/spool/cron/crontabs/* 2>/dev/null' | less

Or without comments:

sudo sh -c 'more /etc/crontab /etc/cron.d/* /var/spool/cron/crontabs/* 2>/dev/null' \
   | grep "^\s*[^#]"

crontab has entries to run the scripts in cron.hourly, daily, weekly and monthly - you can list those with:

ls /etc/cron.hourly /etc/cron.daily /etc/cron.weekly /etc/cron.monthly
  • Nice. In CentOS 7, had to use /var/spool/cron/*, plus anacron jobs, e.g. cron.daily e.g. combined together becomes sudo sh -c 'more /etc/crontab /etc/cron.d/* /var/spool/cron/* /etc/cron.*/* 2>/dev/null' | less ` Commented May 30, 2021 at 9:56

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