James James - 3 months ago 25
Linux Question

Where can I set environment variables that crontab will use?

I have a crontab running every hour. The user running it has environment variabless in the

that work when the user runs the job from the terminal, however, obviously these don't get picked up by crontab when it runs.

I've tried setting them in
but they still don't seem to get picked up. Does anyone know where I can put environment vars that crontab can pick up?


Have 'cron' run a shell script that sets the environment before running the command.


#   @(#)$Id: crontab,v 4.2 2007/09/17 02:41:00 jleffler Exp $
#   Crontab file for Home Directory for Jonathan Leffler (JL)
#Min     Hour    Day     Month   Weekday Command
0        *       *       *       *       /usr/bin/ksh /work1/jleffler/bin/Cron/hourly
1        1       *       *       *       /usr/bin/ksh /work1/jleffler/bin/Cron/daily
23       1       *       *       1-5     /usr/bin/ksh /work1/jleffler/bin/Cron/weekday
2        3       *       *       0       /usr/bin/ksh /work1/jleffler/bin/Cron/weekly
21       3       1       *       *       /usr/bin/ksh /work1/jleffler/bin/Cron/monthly

The scripts in ~/bin/Cron are all links to a single script, 'runcron', which looks like:

:       "$Id: runcron.sh,v 2.1 2001/02/27 00:53:22 jleffler Exp $"
#       Commands to be performed by Cron (no debugging options)

#       Set environment -- not done by cron (usually switches HOME)
. $HOME/.cronfile

base=`basename $0`

if [ ! -x $cmd ]
then cmd=${HOME}/bin/$base

exec $cmd ${@:+"$@"}

(Written using an older coding standard - nowadays, I'd use a shebang '#!' at the start.)

The '~/.cronfile' is a variation on my profile for use by cron - rigorously non-interactive and no echoing for the sake of being noisy. You could arrange to execute the .profile and so on instead. (The REAL_HOME stuff is an artefact of my environment - you can pretend it is the same as $HOME.)

So, this code reads the appropriate environment and then executes the non-Cron version of the command from my home directory. So, for example, my 'weekday' command looks like:

:       "@(#)$Id: weekday.sh,v 1.10 2007/09/17 02:42:03 jleffler Exp $"
#       Commands to be done each weekday

# Update ICSCOPE

The 'daily' command is simpler:

:       "@(#)$Id: daily.sh,v 1.5 1997/06/02 22:04:21 johnl Exp $"
#       Commands to be done daily

# Nothing -- most things are done on weekdays only

exit 0