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Been trying to run a cron but keep getting permission died error in my /var/spool/mail/root

"/bin/sh: /disk1/archives/ Permission denied"

This is my ls -hal for the directory my cron jobs are in

drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4.0K Feb  6 04:22 .
drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 4.0K Feb  5 08:14 ..
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  105 Feb  6 04:22 backup
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  102 Feb  5 08:34 backup.database.cron
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   75 Feb  5 08:33
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4.0K Feb  5 08:35 databases

I have backup set to chmod +x

The backup file looks like this

* * * * *  root /disk1/archives/
30 * * * * root /disk1/archives/backup.database.cron

I ran the cron with

crontab /disk/1/archives/backup

I can see that my cron jobs are set up to run because when I do crontab -l I get

[root@web archives]# crontab -l
* * * * * /disk1/archives/
30 * * * * /disk1/archives/backup.database.cron looks like

tar -zcvf /disk1/archives/websites/`date +%Y-%m-%d_%I:%M:%S%p`.tar.gz /web

while looks like

mysqldump --opt --all-databases | gzip > /disk1/archives/databases/`date +%Y-%m-%d_%I:%M:%S%p`.sql.gz

am i missing a permission change somewhere?

am i running the correct scripts thru the crontab?

share|improve this question
is there /web ? and also please replace commands with full path since cron runs in limited PATH –  kaji Feb 6 '12 at 10:47

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted
chmod +x /disk1/archives/backup.*.cron

The file that you feed to crontab command doesn't need to be executable, since it isn't a shell script. Any commands that you invoke as cron jobs do need to be executable.

There's another oddity here. There are two slightly different syntaxes for crontab. One has 5 fields that specify when the command is to be executed, followed by the command itself; this is the format that the crontab command expects. The other adds a username between the 5 time fields and the command. This is the format used by /etc/crontab, and by files under the /etc/cron.* directories. (That's on Ubuntu 11.04; the organization might differ slightly on other systems.)

You said you installed your backup file with crontab /disk/1/archives/backup, but the backup file you showed us specifies the root user on each line. But your crontab -l output doesn't show the root user name.

The error message you're getting is consistent with the crontab -l output (if the file you gave to crontab had the root username, it would attempt to execute root as a command). I presume the actual file you fed to crontab doesn't have the root fields.

man 5 crontab for information about the difference between normal and system cron files.

share|improve this answer
sorry for the late reply, your right. i got 2 clipboards confused when i pasted. The crontab doesn't have the root issued. So you are are saying that I need to chmod +x the backup.*.cron rather than the backup file that has the cron job rules. –  s2xi Feb 6 '12 at 12:01

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