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I checked on internet , this might be a common problem, but I dont know how to solve it, all things that they said are not my case...

The cron is running, I checked, still, I have no log files (at least not in var/log) , I am using Debian 6, my .sh works great, I try it manually but in the cron does not work...

here is my cron code (I use crontab -e and later I restart cron service,even if I think its not necessary..)

14 12  * * * /root/ > /root/MySQLdump.log

the time its just a test I did some minutes ago... when I try it manually the works great, but not at the cron... any other idea?

by the way, what does the 2>&1 do??

Thanks in advance


I enable cron log, and now I checked my log file, it is something like this

Feb 11 13:05:01 myserver /USR/SBIN/CRON[5652]: (root) CMD ("/home/dump/")

but just that, nothing more...

share|improve this question
What does the log file show? Do you receive any email output from cron? (add this to your question) – James O'Gorman Feb 11 '13 at 18:27
What user is the crontab setup for? What log files are you looking for? What's the OS? – mgorven Feb 11 '13 at 18:27
Hi, @JamesO'Gorman there are no log files, its weird, I dont know where else find log files for the cron. – user156355 Feb 11 '13 at 18:57
@mgorven I am using Debian 6, I set the cron logged as root. I dont need the log files to be honest, only log file sof the cron to know if was done or not – user156355 Feb 11 '13 at 18:58
What are "all things that they said are not [your] case", rather than trying to make us guess? :D – nickgrim Feb 11 '13 at 18:59
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The usual reason for scripts working as a particular user but failing under cron is because cron runs with a restricted environment, specifically a minimal PATH.

Your script - as well as your crontab entry - needs to refer to other executables/scripts with the full path e.g. use /usr/bin/mysqldump rather than just mysqldump.

EDIT: Based on your comments, you should change your script to something like the following i.e. ensure you use full paths to mysqldump, gzip and date:

DATE=`/bin/date +"db-%d-%m-%Y"`
/usr/bin/mysqldump -u user -ppassword mydb | /bin/gzip > /home/dump/$DATE.sql.gz
share|improve this answer
Thanks, I am using /root/, its the full path.. works good, If i move to other folder like /var/www and I try execute it from there I can execute it. – user156355 Feb 11 '13 at 19:12
What about the contents of /root/ (Also, your log says /home/dump/ – nickgrim Feb 11 '13 at 19:13
Its empty... but I have other cron to copy files and it does work when I execute it, but again, as cron does not work... – user156355 Feb 11 '13 at 19:15
I'm confused. You're getting cron to run an empty script, and you're expecting it to do something? – nickgrim Feb 11 '13 at 19:17
sorry, I was editing, the log file is empty... the .sh has something like this mysqldump -u user-ppassword mydb| gzip > /home/dump/date +"db-%d-%m-%Y".sql.gz ... and works great... – user156355 Feb 11 '13 at 19:22

I think its the quoting that is throwing things off try the following

14 12  * * * "/root/ > /root/MySQLdump.log"

the 2>&1 redirects the std error to std out

share|improve this answer
Thanks, I tried with "" but same result... – user156355 Feb 11 '13 at 19:07
Try the following ... create a script with the command that runs. Then call the script from cron without parameters. i.e. /root/ is executable and contains /root/ > /root/MySQLdump.log then just call /root/ from your crontab – trent Feb 11 '13 at 21:09

The cron daemon logs to syslog like most services, so you'll find the logs in /var/log/syslog. The log messages for job runs look something like this:

Feb 11 11:09:01 mamma CRON[30555]: (mgorven) CMD (cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/info > /tmp/BAT0-info)
share|improve this answer
Thank you, I checked my logs, my cron log now shows this : Feb 11 13:05:01 myserver /USR/SBIN/CRON[5652]: (root) CMD ("/home/dump/") – user156355 Feb 11 '13 at 19:12

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