cURL with cron job not working


I’ve tried to create a cron job with a curl to a specific page on my website. On that page, when loaded, it’s sending out an e-mail to some specific people. I’ve tested the script, and it’s working just as intended.

What I’ve done to enable my cron job is:

  • Log in to my server
  • Run: sudo crontab -e
  • Added: * 17 * * * curl to the file and saved

What I tried to here was to make a cron job calling the url once a day at 5pm. For some reason this is never happening - not even at another time of the day, it’s like it’s never run.

What am I doing wrong?

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If you’re looking for a simpler cron job solution, you might consider webcron services like which will load a specific URL at a given time.

This question was answered by @aha:

One more tip for debugging: to see the logged results of the cron task you set up to run every minute, use grep CRON /var/log/syslog to print out all the lines related to cron. You should see something like:

CRON[2179]: (root) CMD (/usr/bin/curl

However - you are right, there is a big difference between running curl and visiting in the browser:

When you visit in the browser, if it returns an HTML doctype, the browser will: A) Download the HTML, B) Download any Javascript, CSS, Images referenced in the HTML, C)Render the page, D)Execute all Javascript.

When you curl, it is just A) Downloading the HTML

So if the thing that causes the email send is executed via javascript on the page, curling it will not help.

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