View Full Version : [all variants] Delayed command?

April 21st, 2009, 01:50 AM
I'd like to (on my dreamhost shared debian server):

run a delayed command, I would like make a file available for download, but only for a short amount of time (say 48 hours) and then after that, remove the file. without having to manually removing the file? (as I have been doing through an FTP client.)

is there a way to do this?

I could put into my crontab "rm /home/USERNAME/SITE/file.ext" for the date and time that I would like to remove it from my server.

But how do I do this?

What would you do?

thanks for your help!

basically, what I'm trying to do is auto-prune these files.

based on time.

April 21st, 2009, 03:15 AM
You could put an entry like this in root's crontab:

0 0 * * * find /home/USERNAME/SITE -type f -mtime +2 -exec rm {} \;

That would run at midnight and remove any files under /home/USERNAME/SITE that are older than two days. Be careful that there are not files under /home/USERNAME/SITE that you want to keep around for longer than that, however, because the above command will not discriminate.

To add this command to root's crontab, just run "sudo crontab -e" and cut and paste the above line into the editor window that opens up.

April 21st, 2009, 03:34 AM
If you are only going to do this once, then take a look at the at command which is similar to cron, but useful for if you only need to run a delayed command once.

April 21st, 2009, 04:30 AM
thank you!

"at" is the command I was looking for exactly!

could you please help me find a good place to start to learn how to use it?

April 21st, 2009, 04:44 AM
It's pretty much similar to cron. Check out these links:


April 21st, 2009, 12:24 PM
man at
tells you pretty much all about it.