I have a crontab job running daily as a non-root user job. Unfortunately it did stop working with the following message (in /var/log/syslog):

CRON[29256]: Authentication token is no longer valid; new one required

I have not change a password for the user running this job, neither is password expired. What is causing this issue and how to fix it? - preferable without a need to change user's password every x days.

Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

  • serverfault.com/questions/351754/…
    – user9517
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 18:26
  • Search is your friend.
    – user9517
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 18:26
  • @Iain - I'm googling it for 2 days now, the problem is I am not sure what to google. Found couple of solutions which are not helpful for my problem. I'll have a look at the link above, thanks. (BTW, the second link you provided is one of the solutions i've seen. As noted in the question, I have not removed my password and dont think removing it manually from passwd will help or do any good)
    – BroiSatse
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 18:32
  • SOLUTION?: my /etc/shadow file was missing (though there was an /etc/shadow-) so all i did was run "sudo pwconv" and it fixed this issue by recreating my /etc/shadow file
    – JxAxMxIxN
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 11:42

2 Answers 2


I have found a few articles about this, all of them relate to password changes.

You have said that you have not changed the password, and that the password is not expired. My Recommendation is to change the password anyway.

Whether or not you want to have to change the password every X day's, this will likely solve your problem. Once you confirm that this DID solve your problem, you can then start troubleshooting a means of making it not an issue in the future.


This issue occurs when the password is already expired/aged. You can check the users password expiry info using the following command

chage -l <username>

If the output says "password must be changed" you need change the password. After changing password you should be able to run cron jobs with that user account.

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