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cron process by cdlvj
Posted: 19 Oct 04 (Edited 19 Oct 04)

The cron command is the clock daemon that executes commands at specified dates and times.

Question: I developed my script and it runs flawlessly, but when I insert it into the crontab, it fails.

Answer: The cron is executing with the root user id, and your environment is not set up correctly.

Fix: Investigate the use of the user cron feature or use the su command to execute your script. See man su. Essentially cron runs your script under the environment of a user.

Applications and user developed scripts should never be run under root, as they should have their own user environment.

If the script is very complex, you can set up a special user, and code the script in the user profile, then simply log into that user to execute. cron entry simply would be su - <user>.  If you look at some of the UNIX special users, you will notice that the OS does it this way.

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