Ubuntu cronjobs won't run

October 19, 2016 1.8k views
Ubuntu DigitalOcean


I’m trying to create backup cronjobs. When I run the same command in the console, its working. But when the cronjobs will be executed in crontab nothing happens.

Manually line:

/bin/tar -czf /var/backup_websites/weekly/all_websites.tar.gz /var/www

Cronjob line:

14 11 * * * /bin/tar -czf /var/backup_websites/weekly/all_websites.tar.gz /var/www

I did already change the timezone, this can’t be the problem. I think it is a problem with my permissions, but I did set permissions on 777 for the backup folders (backup_websites and weekly).

Screenshot crontab

I hope someone can help me with this problem, thanks in advance.

1 Answer

Hi @dionjakobs,

I’ve tested command you provided and I can say it’s working flawless.
The only thing what I can’t see is what crontab are you executing.

Please note, if you have non-root user (e.g. if you followed Initial Server Setup) there is difference between

  • crontab -e


  • sudo crontab -e

The first one (crontab -e) is creating crontab for your current user.
The second one (sudo crontab -e) is creating crontab for root user. With root user, you should not have any problem as it have full permissions on every file/folder.
If you have only root user, it should be working as on root, both sudo crontab -e and crontab -e opens same file. But if user is not root, it is not the case.

My you should try some debugging by writing to files, but I for me &>> or any combination of that was not working so I’m not including it.
Just to note * * * * * will make your command execute every minute, so it is good for debugging.

Good luck with it mate :)

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