I want to do a complete server backup.

I already have my backup script copying all of the html/php files for the web app, and the mysql databases, placing them into a .tar.gz file.

How can I add the crontab files to that backup?

Whenever I save the crontab, it goes to /tmp folder.. and when I check that folder immediately afterwards, it is empty.


4 Answers 4


You could just backup the entire /var/spool/cron directory. It contains all crontabs for all users.


You can periodically run crontab -l > my_crontab.backup to backup the crontab into file.


just backup the file /var/spool/cron/USER_NAME

  • 2
    For Ubuntu 14.04 at least, the relevant files are in the directory /var/spool/cron/crontabs. Jan 22, 2015 at 1:31
  • @KennyEvitt and you must be the root to access it sudo -i Apr 23, 2016 at 9:43

I made my backup into a cron job.

0 9 * * * crontab -l | gzip > /backups/'crontab-'$(date +"\%Y\%m\%d-\%H\%M\%S")'.gz'

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