in my crontab there is a script starting at 2:40 AM, executing some routines both from sh commands and php scripts starting from sh files.

the line in crontab looks like this:


40 2 * * * root run-parts /etc/cron.twoam

inside the folder cron.twoam there is one script, let's call it script1: inside script 1 some other scripts get called, and they are executed fine. Then it comes time of this script let's call it script2, called from script1. i leave traces both on txt files and system logs to check what happens.

echo "exec script2" >> /mypath/txtlog
/mypath/script2 > /mypath/txtlog2
echo "end of script2" >> /mypath/txtlog
logger -p local1.info "09@ script2 executed"
echo "end of crontwoam" >> /mypath/txtlog
date >> /mypath/txtlog

.... other script that runs fine

now let's see what is inside script2:

some scripts....
other scripts...

now let's check script3:

various php commands
cd /phppath/
php /phppath/myscript.php >> /mypath/myphplog
php /phppath/otherscript.php >> /mypath/myphplog

other commands

and finally comes the php script. the php script has various included script. every one of them execute normally except one. whenever i put it from line 2 to line 90 the execution will silently stop there.

so it comes the part where i do


and things after does not get executed.

phpscripts2.php runs fine if executed by command line with php phpscripts2.php by my user or by root.

inside phpscripts2 there is ( i include meaningfull parts):

echo "started phpscripts2" exec("mysqldump ......"); ftp_connect(); file_get_contents("https://someotherscriptsondifferentserver"); echo "ended phpscripts2"

now what i find in logs: in /mypath/txtlog i found both

exec script2


end of script 2

in myphplog i found

started phpscript2

and row after

started otherphpscript

i' m missing end of phpscript2 that end prematurly. run time of phpscript2 is about 2 minutes.

i can't find traces in any log of some error. where could i look?


i forgot to add that if make a sh file that calls just this script, and i make a custom crontab line to call it just for test, everything runs.

  • You should instrument your phpscript2 some more and attempt to find out how far it gets. You should also probably capture the file output of the script etc. – user9517 Dec 5 '15 at 9:09
  • what is fill output? if the script output anything like a warning it gets logged in txtfile. – AndreaBogazzi Dec 5 '15 at 9:12
  • You're not capturing stderr in the script so that should be sent by email to the cron file's owner. To capture stderr use 2>&1 to send to the same file as stdout or 2> /some/other/file – Paul Haldane Dec 5 '15 at 22:53
  • php is like csh in one way: very finicky about its environment, control tty, and so on. i never got either kind of script to run inside cron, so i do what you're describing-- call the csh or php script from a sh script, and exec that sh script from your crontab. in other words this is a known bug in cron, and always has been, and your workaround (gateway through a sh script) is what everybody does. – Paul Vixie Jan 13 '16 at 21:18

You're not capturing stderr in the script so that should be sent by email to the cron file's owner. To capture stderr use 2>&1 to send to the same file as stdout or 2> /some/other/file

This was the comment that lead me to the problem.

i redirected the stdErr in a text file and i could finally see it. I had a duplicate function that was coming out just in crontab. This because the full script had a series of require_once plus a lonely require. This was of no harm untill i added a small function in a common required file and i did not notice that there was still a require in place of require_once. The error was mailed of course from crontab but i did not setup the sendmail yet so nothing was coming out.

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