I have a newly setup Ubuntu VPS that has logcheck installed.

Every hour I am getting a email with the following entries:

Feb 15 19:09:01 zeus CRON[4626]: (CRON) error (grandchild #4627 failed with exit status 1)
Feb 15 19:39:01 zeus CRON[4805]: (CRON) error (grandchild #4806 failed with exit status 1)

I am not sure how to identify which cron job is failing or even being run. I have checked that all the scripts in my cron folders (daily, hourly, monthly) execute without errors if I run them manually and there is nothing in the crontab page besides the default cron jobs.

How can I figure out which script is running or why I am getting these errors?


The output for /etc/aliases is

postmaster: root
logcheck: root

and the directory at /var/spool/mail does not contain anything.


The timestamp is probably your best clue here. The @hourly jobs run on the hour so it won't be any job with that shorthand or any job in the /etc/cron.hourly/ directory.

The job that is failing runs at 9 minutes past and at 39 minutes past each hour. If I remember correctly, that's when /etc/cron.d/php5 runs.

Most failing cron jobs will also output an error message that would normally be mailed to you. If you are not getting the output from cron jobs mailed to you then check /etc/aliases and /var/spool/mail/root.

  • Hi, sorry for the late reply. You were right that the php5 script is running at 09 and 39 minutes. How would I check what is wrong with the script. I tried running it (just typing php5), but that just seems to hang (could that be the problem). – Peter Anderson Feb 17 '12 at 5:17
  • You will normally need a full path to this script as it won't be in your $PATH. The script is barely more than a find command. You can run the various parts of it individually to see which bits work and which bits hang or throw errors. You will probably need to be root or the Apache user or you will get permissions errors. – Ladadadada Feb 17 '12 at 5:37

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