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One of our servers has around 20-25 different cron jobs scheduled on it. Usually, we periodically check-in the cron jobs to a file in the repo using crontab -l >

While bringing up a new server, which is a replica of the previous server (in terms of OS and deployed code base), is it possible to source the cron jobs for the new server from a file containing valid cron jobs?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You should specify a user name with system crontab files placed in /etc/cron.d, e.g.


The command crontab -l dumps current user's crontab without user name. If you want to re-use it you can import it under any user on a new system

crontab -u USER1 -l | ssh USER2@NEW_SYSTEM "crontab -u USER2 -"

Or copy the dump to this system

crontab -u USER1 -l >
crontab -u USER2
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Just drop the file into /etc/cron.d.

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Thanks! Your answer works, but doing crontab < was what I was looking for. – mu 無 Aug 28 '13 at 6:27
ansh0l, you should probably write that up as an answer and post it yourself; in a couple of days, the system will allow you to accept that one. If that's really the answer you were looking for, then doing this is entirely within the spirit of SF, and correctly marks your answer as the one that most satisfied you for those who read this question in the future. – MadHatter Aug 28 '13 at 6:33
@MadHatter Thanks for the hat-tip. For now, I have marked another answer by dsumsky as the accepted answer. – mu 無 Aug 28 '13 at 14:53

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