Monday, October 01, 2007

Bad ; sign errors in crontab file, can't install

Editing crontab with PICO editor might display the error:

"bad ; sign errors in crontab file, can't install"

The ; character is used to combine and run multiple commands in one statement. Your cron job might look like:

# Command One; Command Two
*/3 * * * * cd /usr/home/; php -q whatever.php

The above statement consists of two commands.
The second command would be executed even if the first were to fail.

The solution is to get rid of the ; character. Use the && character instead.

The && character will _not_ execute command two if command one were to fail.

To get rid of the error, edit your cronjob like this:

*/3 * * * * cd /usr/home/ && php -q whatever.php

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