System Administration Guide: Advanced Administration

Syntax of crontab File Entries

A crontab file consists of commands, one command per line, that execute automatically at the time specified by the first five fields of each command line. These five fields, described in the following table, are separated by spaces.

Table 8–3 Acceptable Values for crontab Time Fields

Time Field 






Day of month 




Day of week 

0-6 (0 = Sunday) 

Follow these guidelines for using special characters in crontab time fields:

For example, the following crontab command entry displays a reminder in the user's console window at 4 p.m. on the first and fifteenth days of every month.

0 16 1,15 * * echo Timesheets Due > /dev/console

Each command within a crontab file must consist of one line, even if that line is very long. The crontab file does not recognize extra carriage returns. For more detailed information about crontab entries and command options, refer to the crontab(1) man page.