Crontab error mails

Lowell Gilbert freebsd-questions-local at
Thu Aug 21 07:56:08 PDT 2003

please. top-post, Dont

"Johan Paul" <mailing-lists at> writes:

> > That is the format for the system crontab.  /etc/crontab
> >
> > root has its own crontab entry (under /root).
> >
> > user crontabs have a different format then the system crontab.
> >
> > Remove the root from that line, and it should work.
> I was just wondering because the default installation of crontab has the
> following comment line in /etc/crontab:
> #
> #minute hour    mday    month   wday    who     command
> #
> ...and the entries that I found there had 'root' under the 'who' column. I
> haven't edited the crontab-file before yesterday when I added my two
> lines.

You didn't add them to /etc/crontab.

> But having said this I removed 'root' under the 'who' column and now it
> seems to work nicely again. Why is there the 'who' column in the system
> default crontab or what crontab file did crontab read before I ran
> 'crontab /etc/crontab' since the format of that crontab file seems to be
> incorrect?

You edited your *user* crontab.  Maybe the user crontab for "root",
but not /etc/crontab.  User crontabs have exactly the same format as
/etc/crontab *except* for the user column (because they assume the
user, naturally enough).

For more information, you could see the FAQ entry on exactly this

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