Fix :- Bash:crontab: Command not found on Unix/Linux or Ubuntu/Debian

Crontab is a program and need to install on system it is also used to drive the cron daemon. Each user uses their own crontab and command. As a system admin always we need to execute some commands every-time. So it’s very difficult to run these commands manually. Cron is used to execute desired command in background at scheduled time.

In this tutorial I am going to explain how we can install crontab on CentOS/Redhat/Fedora or Ubuntu/Debian.

Follow this tutorial to know more about crontab example : Top 20 Crontab Example to Schedule Task 

You will get below error if you try to execute crontab -l command on your system means there is no crontab is installed  on your system.

#crontab -l

-bash: crontab: command not found

To install crontab command you will need to install cronie packages on CentOS/Redhat/Fedora system. You can install it from yum command. Using yum command it will install required dependencies.

Install or Setup Cron on CentOS/Redhat/Fedora

Run this below command to install cronie on your RHEL System

#yum install cronie

You will get some output like below.

Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
epel/metalink | 4.0 kB 00:00
* base: mirror.tadu.vn
* epel: mirror.lzu.edu.cn
* extras: mirror.dhakacom.com
* updates: mirror.dhakacom.com
base | 3.7 kB 00:00
epel | 4.3 kB 00:00
epel/primary_db | 5.0 MB 00:14
extras | 3.3 kB 00:00
mysql-connectors-community | 2.5 kB 00:00
mysql-tools-community | 2.5 kB 00:00
mysql56-community | 2.5 kB 00:00
mysql56-community/primary_db | 126 kB 00:00
updates | 3.4 kB 00:00
updates/primary_db | 4.1 MB 00:08
vz-base | 951 B 00:00
vz-updates | 951 B 00:00
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package cronie.i686 0:1.4.4-16.el6_8.2 will be installed
--> Processing Dependency: dailyjobs for package: cronie-1.4.4-16.el6_8.2.i686
--> Processing Dependency: /usr/sbin/sendmail for package: cronie-1.4.4-16.el6_8.2.i686
--> Running transaction check
---> Package cronie-anacron.i686 0:1.4.4-16.el6_8.2 will be installed
--> Processing Dependency: crontabs for package: cronie-anacron-1.4.4-16.el6_8.2.i686
---> Package exim.i686 0:4.84.2-3.el6 will be installed
--> Running transaction check
---> Package crontabs.noarch 0:1.10-33.el6 will be installed
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

Package Arch Version Repository Size
cronie i686 1.4.4-16.el6_8.2 updates 74 k
Installing for dependencies:
cronie-anacron i686 1.4.4-16.el6_8.2 updates 31 k
crontabs noarch 1.10-33.el6 base 10 k
exim i686 4.84.2-3.el6 epel 1.3 M

Transaction Summary
Install 4 Package(s)

Total download size: 1.4 M
Installed size: 4.2 M
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
(1/4): cronie-1.4.4-16.el6_8.2.i686.rpm | 74 kB 00:01
(2/4): cronie-anacron-1.4.4-16.el6_8.2.i686.rpm | 31 kB 00:00
(3/4): crontabs-1.10-33.el6.noarch.rpm | 10 kB 00:00
(4/4): exim-4.84.2-3.el6.i686.rpm | 1.3 MB 00:10
Total 78 kB/s | 1.4 MB 00:18
Running rpm_check_debug
Running Transaction Test
Transaction Test Succeeded
Running Transaction
Installing : exim-4.84.2-3.el6.i686 1/4
Installing : cronie-anacron-1.4.4-16.el6_8.2.i686 2/4
Installing : cronie-1.4.4-16.el6_8.2.i686 3/4
Installing : crontabs-1.10-33.el6.noarch 4/4
Verifying : cronie-1.4.4-16.el6_8.2.i686 1/4
Verifying : cronie-anacron-1.4.4-16.el6_8.2.i686 2/4
Verifying : crontabs-1.10-33.el6.noarch 3/4
Verifying : exim-4.84.2-3.el6.i686 4/4

cronie.i686 0:1.4.4-16.el6_8.2

Dependency Installed:
cronie-anacron.i686 0:1.4.4-16.el6_8.2 crontabs.noarch 0:1.10-33.el6 exim.i686 0:4.84.2-3.el6


Adding a New Cron Job in Crontab

You can add new job using crontab -e command. It will open in default editor you will need to edit it. Crons are saved in /var/spool/cront/username file. Follow this below command to add new cron job.

# crontab -e

0 3 * * * zip -r cron-all-backup.zip /var/spool/cron/crontabs/

In above example we scheduled crontabs backup everyday at 3 ‘O’ clock.

Listing all Crontab Entry or Jobs

With -l options we can list all scheduled jobs. Follow the below command to list all scheduled jobs for current logged in user.

#crontab -l

0 3 * * * zip -r cron-all-backup.zip /var/spool/cron/crontabs/
5 1 * * * /roob/scripts/daily-backup.sh

Listing Specific User’s Crontab Entry or Jobs

Follow this below command to list specific user crontab entry or jobs.

#crontab -u ram(username) -l

0 3 * * * zip -r cron-all-backup.zip /var/spool/cron/crontabs/

Install or Setup Cron on Ubuntu/Debian System

To install or setup Cron on your Ubuntu/Debian system you will need to install cron packages on Ubuntu/Debian system.

Follow these steps to setup or install cron job on Ubuntu/Debian system.

Let’s first update your system package to latest version. Follow this below command to update your current installed packages.

# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade

Check if Cron Package Installed

Run this below command to check cron package is installed or not:

# dpkg -l cron

if cron is not installed, run this below command to install it.

# apt-get install cron

Verify Cron Service is Running or not

# service cron status

Follow these below command to stop start cron service:

To Stop

# service cron stop

To Start

# service cron start

Configure Cron Job on Ubuntu/Debian

To configure cron job you need to modify /etc/crontab file using nano editor to modify this file you need sudo permission.

# nano /etc/crontab

0 3 * * * zip -r cron-all-backup.zip /var/spool/cron/crontabs/

I hope this article will be helpful to install crontab on Redhat.x and CentOs.x system.


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Santosh Prasad

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