cron can't find root or operator

Bill Moran wmoran at
Sat May 22 12:39:23 PDT 2004

chip wrote:
> Thanks for all the help. I like the changes so far. What about 
> specifically mentioning in the Handbook chapter that when a user runs 
> the command
> crontab crontab
> the user should do this in their own home directory. My problem was I 
> ran it in the /etc directory, not knowing any better, probably becuase 
> that bit wasn't mentioned in the Handbook, or if I recall correctly, 
> even the FAQ. The Handbook text states
> "Let us take a look at the /etc/crontab file (the system crontab):"
> Followed by the section on the user crontab and the warning paragraph, 
> but no mention of doing this in the user directory, not /etc.

Please take another look at that chapter in the handbook.  It was just
updated today with changes provoked by this conversation.  I feel that
it's much better at explaining how things work now, but I'd be interested
to hear feedback from someone like yourself, who is having difficulty.

> So, now I am trying to run -
> crontab crontab
> in my non-root user directory, as the non-root user, and it fails with 
> this-
> "crontab: crontab: No such file or directory"

The second "crontab" in that command is the filename of a file to use as
input when creating the crontab.  It doesn't appear as if you've created
such a file.  If you want to create one from scratch, "crontab -e" might
work better for you.

> I tried -
> crontab -u chip crontab -e     (with and without the -e)
> also and it failed with the same message. So I then su'd and tried again 
> and got the same message again. The I tried -
> /etc/crontab -u chip crontab         (with and without the -e)
> and get permission denied, as root.
> I am running 5.1-Release, and a standard default install.
> Regards,
> Chip
> Bill Moran wrote:
>> David Fleck wrote:
>>> If you already have a file written in the proper format, you can load it
>>> as your crontab by specifying 'crontab {filename}'. (That's what section
>>> 6.6.1 in the handbook is trying to say.  Unfortunately, it is not at all
>>> clear on this.)
>> There was an outstanding PR on this ... I made a few additions, and I 
>> think
>> the handbook will explain this much better now.  Sounds like a 
>> committer is
>> going to get this into the tree within the next few days.
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Bill Moran
Potential Technologies

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