cron job running fine when logged in as root, but not as other user (Ubuntu 20.04 droplet)

Posted May 7, 2021 321 views
System ToolsUbuntu 18.04Ubuntu 20.04


I wrote a node.js application as a root user, setup cron to launch bash scripts and everything is running perfectly fine. I used crontab -e to edit my crontab.

I decided to clone this app on an identical Ubuntu droplet, but this time logged in as a standard user, and placed my app in its own folder. I can manually run all the bash scripts and the app is running fine, except cron won’t launch them at regular intervals.

As “root”, my crontab looked like this, and worked fine:

*/5 * * * * /bin/bash /root/

As “lorenzo”, I tried the following:

*/5 * * * * /home/lorenzo/
*/5 * * * * /bin/bash /home/lorenzo/
*/5 * * * * /usr/bin/bash /home/lorenzo/

Cron is running, /var/log/syslog shows the entries without errors, but the scripts are not executed. I chmod +x my scripts and they are executable.

Any idea ? I could really use a hand, thank you.


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1 answer

Hi @lsandiniLobster,

It seems to be your user does not have enough permissions to run the files. This can be due to permissions or ownership.

Make sure the script /home/lorenzo/ does have both the permissions and the correct ownership to execute this file.


  • After a couple of hours of looking for answers on the internet, trial and error, I found the answer. Here are the lines that work.

    */5 * * * * cd /home/lorenzo && /bin/bash

    Don’t ask how or why, I have no clue :)

    Thanks for your quick answer anyway, I hope this will help others too.

    Lorenzo (and thank you D.O. for adding a Lobster suffix)

    • Hi @lsandiniLobster,

      Interesting! Anyway, I’m glad to hear you managed to resolve the issue and it’s working as expected.

      Please feel free to use the community for such issues in the future as well!