Newbie question: Why aren't my cron jobs running?

Dan Lists lists.dan at
Tue Jun 12 17:21:33 UTC 2012

On Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 12:06 PM, Polytropon <freebsd at> wrote:
> On Tue, 12 Jun 2012 08:29:02 -0500, Mark Felder wrote:
>> On Tue, 12 Jun 2012 00:06:21 -0500, Robert Bonomi
>> <bonomi at> wrote:
>> > Comment: using a leading zero on the numeric fields is a BAD IDEA(tm) --
>> > you
>> > are *strongly* encocuraged to remove them.  Yes, that means numbers will
>> > not
>> > be column aligned, but it is a small price to pay to avoid the
>> > hair-tearing
>> > that =will= ensue when using it bites you.
>> Any other info on this? I've never heard of this before and I've never
>> seen an issue using leading zeroes on the minutes value.
> There are some "specific interpretations" that _may_ be
> interpreted according to the C rules, e. g. prefix 0x-
> for hexadecimal or 08- for octal notation. For example,
> 083 != 83, just as 0x83 != 83. As it has been mentioned,
> spaces also have a significant meaning in crontabs, so
> they cannot be used everywhere to align data columns.

The syntax of his crontab file is correct.  Vixie cron does care about
leading spaces, tabs, extra spaces, or leading zeros.  Earlier
versions of cron are much pickier about the crontab file.   The cron
logs show that it is starting his jobs at the correct times.

It is far more likely that there is a problem with the scripts.  A
very common cause of problems with scripts run from cron is that they
do not inherit your environment.   Do the scripts run from the command
line?  If the do, then the problem is most likely something in your
environment that the scripts need.

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