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How to use Cron in Linux

Hi,
I have read quite some bit about Cron and crontab,am new to Linux and am just getting to know some of the utilities.
Can someone  please guide me through some practical Examples of how to use cron.
I need examples i can follow  step by step without having to wonder how or what next to do.I will also appreciate the output to be shown so that as i follow,am able to see how this utility works.
Examples can include but not limited to;
1.how to add a cron job to send a timestamp  to a file
2.how to add a cron job that displays a gui interface
and other examples where  this utility can be applied.

Am running Centos 5 Linux operating system.Your help will be highly appreciated.

Please make your examples clear enough for me to follow;
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protechzm
Asked:
protechzm
2 Solutions
 
FerrostiCommented:
Ubuntu Community has a great HowTo that should answer all your questions:
cron howto
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woolmilkporcCommented:
Hi,

I assume that you're already familiar with the crontab format, which is this famous

           field         allowed values
           -----         --------------
           minute        0-59
           hour          0-23
           day of month  1-31
           month         1-12 (or names, see below)
           day of week   0-7 (0 or 7 is Sun, or use names)

Open in new window


Further I assume that you're familiar with the crontab command, which must be used to edit your crontab (cronatb -e), to list it (crontab -l) etc.

So your first example could look like this:
Write date/time eyery dav, every hour at 5 min. past the hour in standard format to /tmp/timestamp, appending to that file.

5 * * * * date >> /tmp/timestamp

Your second example cannot be realized, because a cron job is never attached to a terminal, so where should the GUI be displayed? There are possibilities invoving X11 display redirection, but I think that's not what you're after.

Another example - run a backup job, send mail if it fails, nightly at 2:00 A.M. Monday through Friday:

0 2 * * 1-5 /path/to/backup.job >/tmp/backup.log 2>&1 || mail -s "Backup failed" protech@zm.org < /tmp/backup.log

Always use "crontab -e" to open your crontab in an editor (which one depends on the setting of the EDITOR variable), type the lines as shown and save the file using the appropriate editor command.

wmp

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sudhirgoogleCommented:
Here is an excellent detail step by step tutorial  on cron with screen shots,

http://www.computernetworkingnotes.com/rhce_certification/cron.htm
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protechzmAuthor Commented:
Thanks,this info has really helped
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