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CRONTAB(5)		  FreeBSD File Formats Manual		    CRONTAB(5)

     crontab --	tables for driving cron

     A crontab file contains instructions to the cron(8) daemon	of the general
     form: ``run this command at this time on this date''.  Each user has
     their own crontab,	and commands in	any given crontab will be executed as
     the user who owns the crontab.  Uucp and News will	usually	have their own
     crontabs, eliminating the need for	explicitly running su(1) as part of a
     cron command.

     Blank lines and leading spaces and	tabs are ignored.  Lines whose first
     non-space character is a pound-sign (#) are comments, and are ignored.
     Note that comments	are not	allowed	on the same line as cron commands,
     since they	will be	taken to be part of the	command.  Similarly, comments
     are not allowed on	the same line as environment variable settings.

     An	active line in a crontab will be either	an environment setting or a
     cron command.  An environment setting is of the form,

	 name =	value

     where the spaces around the equal-sign (=)	are optional, and any subse-
     quent non-leading spaces in value will be part of the value assigned to
     name.  The	value string may be placed in quotes (single or	double,	but
     matching) to preserve leading or trailing blanks.	The name string	may
     also be placed in quote (single or	double,	but matching) to preserve
     leading, trailing or inner	blanks.

     Several environment variables are set up automatically by the cron(8)
     daemon.  SHELL is set to /bin/sh, and LOGNAME and HOME are	set from the
     /etc/passwd line of the crontab's owner.  In addition, the	environment
     variables of the user's login class will be set from /etc/login.conf.db
     and ~/.login_conf.	 (A setting of HOME in the login class will override
     the value from /etc/passwd, but will not change the current directory
     when the command is invoked, which	can only be overridden with an ex-
     plicit setting of HOME within the crontab file itself.)  If PATH is not
     set by any	other means, it	is defaulted to
     /sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin.  HOME, PATH
     and SHELL,	and any	variables set from the login class, may	be overridden
     by	settings in the	crontab; LOGNAME may not.

     (Another note: the	LOGNAME	variable is sometimes called USER on BSD sys-
     tems...  On these systems,	USER will be set also).

     If	cron(8)	has any	reason to send mail as a result	of running commands in
     ``this'' crontab, it will respect the following settings which may	be de-
     fined in the crontab (but which are not taken from	the login class).  If
     MAILTO is defined (and non-empty),	mail is	sent to	the user so named.  If
     MAILFROM is defined (and non-empty), its value will be used as the	from
     address.  MAILTO may also be used to direct mail to multiple recipients
     by	separating recipient users with	a comma.  If MAILTO is defined but
     empty (MAILTO=""),	no mail	will be	sent.  Otherwise mail is sent to the
     owner of the crontab.  This option	is useful if you decide	on /bin/mail
     instead of	/usr/lib/sendmail as your mailer when you install cron --
     /bin/mail does not	do aliasing, and UUCP usually does not read its	mail.

     The format	of a cron command is very much the V7 standard,	with a number
     of	upward-compatible extensions.  Each line has five time and date
     fields, followed by a user	name (with optional ``:<group>'' and ``/<lo-
     gin-class>'' suffixes) if this is the system crontab file,	followed by a
     command.  Commands	are executed by	cron(8)	when the minute, hour, and
     month of year fields match	the current time, and when at least one	of the
     two day fields (day of month, or day of week) matches the current time
     (see ``Note'' below).  cron(8) examines cron entries once every minute.
     The time and date fields are:

	   field	 allowed values
	   -----	 --------------
	   minute	 0-59
	   hour		 0-23
	   day of month	 1-31
	   month	 1-12 (or names, see below)
	   day of week	 0-7 (0	or 7 is	Sun, or	use names)

     A field may be an asterisk	(*), which always stands for ``first-last''.

     Ranges of numbers are allowed.  Ranges are	two numbers separated with a
     hyphen.  The specified range is inclusive.	 For example, 8-11 for an
     ``hours'' entry specifies execution at hours 8, 9,	10 and 11.

     Lists are allowed.	 A list	is a set of numbers (or	ranges)	separated by
     commas.  Examples:	``1,2,5,9'', ``0-4,8-12''.

     Step values can be	used in	conjunction with ranges.  Following a range
     with ``/<number>''	specifies skips	of the number's	value through the
     range.  For example, ``0-23/2'' can be used in the	hours field to specify
     command execution every other hour	(the alternative in the	V7 standard is
     ``0,2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20,22'').  Steps are also permitted after an
     asterisk, so if you want to say ``every two hours'', just use ``*/2''.

     Names can also be used for	the ``month'' and ``day	of week'' fields.  Use
     the first three letters of	the particular day or month (case does not
     matter).  Ranges or lists of names	are not	allowed.

     The ``sixth'' field (the rest of the line)	specifies the command to be
     run.  One or more command options may precede the command to modify pro-
     cessing behavior.	The entire command portion of the line,	up to a	new-
     line or % character, will be executed by /bin/sh or by the	shell speci-
     fied in the SHELL variable	of the cronfile.  Percent-signs	(%) in the
     command, unless escaped with backslash (\), will be changed into newline
     characters, and all data after the	first %	will be	sent to	the command as
     standard input.

     The following command options can be supplied:

     -n	     No	mail is	sent after a successful	run.  The execution output
	     will only be mailed if the	command	exits with a non-zero exit
	     code.  The	-n option is an	attempt	to cure	potentially copious
	     volumes of	mail coming from cron(8).

     -q	     Execution will not	be logged.

     Duplicate options are not allowed.

     Note: The day of a	command's execution can	be specified by	two fields --
     day of month, and day of week.  If	both fields are	restricted (ie,	are
     not *), the command will be run when either field matches the current
     time.  For	example, ``30 4	1,15 * 5'' would cause a command to be run at
     4:30 am on	the 1st	and 15th of each month,	plus every Friday.

     Instead of	the first five fields, a line may start	with `@' symbol	fol-
     lowed either by one of eight special strings or by	a numeric value.  The
     recognized	special	strings	are:

	   string	   meaning
	   ------	   -------
	   @reboot	   Run once, at	startup	of cron.
	   @yearly	   Run once a year, "0 0 1 1 *".
	   @annually	   (same as @yearly)
	   @monthly	   Run once a month, "0	0 1 * *".
	   @weekly	   Run once a week, "0 0 * * 0".
	   @daily	   Run once a day, "0 0	* * *".
	   @midnight	   (same as @daily)
	   @hourly	   Run once an hour, "0	* * * *".
	   @every_minute   Run once a minute, "*/1 * * * *".
	   @every_second   Run once a second.

     The `@' symbol followed by	a numeric value	has a special notion of	run-
     ning a job	that many seconds after	completion of the previous invocation
     of	the job.  Unlike regular syntax, it guarantees not to overlap two or
     more invocations of the same job during normal cron execution.  Note,
     however, that overlap may occur if	the job	is running when	the file con-
     taining the job is	modified and subsequently reloaded.  The first run is
     scheduled for the specified number	of seconds after cron is started or
     the crontab entry is reloaded.

     # use /bin/sh to run commands, overriding the default set by cron
     # mail any	output to `paul', no matter whose crontab this is
     # run five	minutes	after midnight,	every day
     5 0 * * *	     $HOME/bin/daily.job >> $HOME/tmp/out 2>&1
     # run at 2:15pm on	the first of every month -- output mailed to paul
     15	14 1 * *     $HOME/bin/monthly
     # run at 10 pm on weekdays, annoy Joe
     0 22 * * 1-5    mail -s "It's 10pm" joe%Joe,%%Where are your kids?%
     23	0-23/2 * * * echo "run 23 minutes after	midn, 2am, 4am ..., everyday"
     5 4 * * sun     echo "run at 5 after 4 every sunday"
     # run at 5	minutes	intervals, no matter how long it takes
     @300	     svnlite up	/usr/src
     # run every minute, suppress logging
     * * * * *	     -q	date
     # run every minute, only send mail	if ping	fails
     * * * * *	     -n	ping -c	1

     crontab(1), cron(8)

     When specifying day of week, both day 0 and day 7 will be considered Sun-
     day.  BSD and ATT seem to disagree	about this.

     Lists and ranges are allowed to co-exist in the same field.  "1-3,7-9"
     would be rejected by ATT or BSD cron -- they want to see "1-3" or "7,8,9"

     Ranges can	include	"steps", so "1-9/2" is the same	as "1,3,5,7,9".

     Names of months or	days of	the week can be	specified by name.

     Environment variables can be set in the crontab.  In BSD or ATT, the en-
     vironment handed to child processes is basically the one from /etc/rc.

     Command output is mailed to the crontab owner (BSD	cannot do this), can
     be	mailed to a person other than the crontab owner	(SysV cannot do	this),
     or	the feature can	be turned off and no mail will be sent at all (SysV
     cannot do this either).

     All of the	`@' directives that can	appear in place	of the first five
     fields are	extensions.

     Command processing	can be modified	using command options.	The `-q' op-
     tion suppresses logging.  The `-n'	option does not	mail on	successful

     Paul Vixie	<>

     If	you are	in one of the 70-odd countries that observe Daylight Savings
     Time, jobs	scheduled during the rollback or advance may be	affected if
     cron(8) is	not started with the -s	flag.  In general, it is not a good
     idea to schedule jobs during this period if cron(8) is not	started	with
     the -s flag, which	is enabled by default.	See cron(8) for	more details.

     For US timezones (except parts of AZ and HI) the time shift occurs	at 2AM
     local time.  For others, the output of the	zdump(8) program's verbose
     (-v) option can be	used to	determine the moment of	time shift.

FreeBSD	13.0			March 29, 2020			  FreeBSD 13.0


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