Cron: crond will not read/honor new entries in crontab file. (CentOS, Redhat, Fedora)

I ran in to something really odd. I have been using crontab for LONG time and never seen this issue before. Basically I added new entry into my crontab by type crontab -e and as always saved/exited. For some reason that command never ran at the time I specified. I tested few more times and no luck. So I started looking on google to find out why crond will not ready my new entries from crontab. And then while I was looking, I decided to restart crond by issuing: service crond restart and to my surprise, my new schedule started working.

While I was looking around for solution for this problem on Google, I came upon few pages where they talked about if you have empty line before command, that command will not work. For example:

#this is a cron file

* * * * * /do/something

In this example, /do/something will not run since there is a blank line before it. You can fix this by moving that command up or put another comment above it. This is a very odd thing and I have never experienced it myself but I figured if you stumble upon this post looking for help, blank line before command in crontab might be your issue. Please comment if you had to delete a blank line to fix your crontab file. Also mention which OS you are using. To learn more about crond, see man crond and man crontab.

One thought on “Cron: crond will not read/honor new entries in crontab file. (CentOS, Redhat, Fedora)

  1. Tim Bird

    I saw this same behaviour on an old Fedora Core 3 install. It was very annoying to find. I have no idea if it’s been fixed in later distros, but IMHO crontab should detect changes from ‘crontab -e’, or the service restart (or reload) should be performed automatically on the file save. This seems way broken.

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