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I have a crontab like this on a LAMP setup:

0 0 * * * /some/path/to/a/file.php > $HOME/cron.log 2>&1

This writes the output of the file to cron.log. However, when it runs again, it overwrites whatever was previously in the file.

How can I get cron to output to a file with a timestamp in its filename?

An example filename would be something like this: 2010-02-26-000000-cron.log

I don't really care about the format, as long as it has a timestamp of some kind.

Thanks in advance.

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if you don't want $HOME/cron.log to be overwritten, use >> not > – Dave Cheney Feb 27 '10 at 8:01

4 Answers 4

up vote 14 down vote accepted


0 0 * * * /some/path/to/a/file.php > $HOME/`date +\%Y\%m\%d\%H\%M\%S`-cron.log 2>&1

Play around with the date format, if you like; just be sure to escape any % like \%, as above.

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This is how I've done it in the past, works great. – ongle Feb 27 '10 at 1:42
And let me generally suggest an approach to file names like 0 0 * * * /some/path/to/a/file.php > $HOME/scriptname-date +\%Y\%m\%d\%H\%M\%S.log – Kristian Oct 17 at 11:14

i would highly recommend that you save everything into the same file, using timestamp, as explained here.



and run it thru the timestamping script before saving it to log file (as explained in above link).

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The link is dead mate. Change it to – Cleankod Nov 21 at 12:11
tks 4 the headsup! – tony gil Nov 22 at 1:23

You can also append your output to the log file by doing it like this:

0 0 * * * /some/path/to/a/file.php >> $HOME/cron.log 2>&1
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I solved this problem; just add the date path (/bin/date) before the date command.

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