View Full Version : [SOLVED] tar task scheduled in cron not executing

December 1st, 2012, 07:11 PM
I am attempting to create a cron task to backup an ImapMail folder in Thunderbird without success.
This is my code:

tar -cvzf /home/daniel/Desktop/`date +%Y-%m-%d`.tgz /home/daniel/.thunderbird/p2bjx6va.default/ImapMail/At the terminal prompt, the command works as it should, the archive creating with the day's date. In the crontab, this is My syntax:

* * * * * tar -cvzf /home/daniel/Desktop/`date +%Y-%m-%d`.tgz /home/daniel/.thunderbird/p2bjx6va.default/ImapMail/
For now, it is set to execute that way simply to debug. Once I get it working, I will want to change it to run at 5 a.m. on the 1 and 15 every month. I will most likely change the path of where to save the archive as well.

Researching this, I have found that bash scripts are a pain to schedule in cron so I have kept it simple with the above code. Is there a PATH I need to set for tar or some other setting missing?

To edit the crontab, I am simply entering crontab -e at a terminal prompt. The system does not have /etc/cron.allow or /etc/cron.deny. As well, I set a cron task of

* * * * * touch /home/daniel/Desktop/test.txt
and that ran without a hitch at the top of the next minute. So I know it is not a permissions issue.

December 1st, 2012, 10:16 PM
The % symbol has special meaning in a crontab entry. It needs to be escaped. See here (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=12321688).

December 1st, 2012, 10:57 PM
Thanks! That is all I was missing.