What Is Cron Syntax?


Quick Answer

Cron syntax is a utility used in Solaris and Unix for running tasks at set times in the background. These tasks are usually based upon a pre-designated schedule. Cron syntax accepts the time, date and any commands to be run during that period.

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Full Answer

The basic Cron syntax has six fields to be defined. The syntax is set up like this: * * * * * command. The definition of each field is: (minute=0-59)(hour=0-23)(day of the month=1-31)(month of the year=1-12)(day of the week=1-7 starting with Monday)(command). Any field not filled does not factor in. An example command would be "30 18 * * 1,3,5 rm /home/user/tmp/*." The example purges tmp files from "/home/user/tmp" at 6:30pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The enhanced version of Cron called nnCron incorporates an additional time factor for the year.

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