System Administration Guide: Advanced Administration

Removing crontab Files

By default, crontab file protections are set up so that you cannot inadvertently delete a crontab file by using the rm command. Instead, use the crontab -r command to remove crontab files.

By default, the crontab -r command removes your own crontab file.

You do not have to change the directory to /var/spool/cron/crontabs (where crontab files are located) to use this command.

ProcedureHow to Remove a crontab File

Before You Begin

Become superuser or assume an equivalent role to remove a crontab file that belongs to root or another user. Roles contain authorizations and privileged commands.

You do not need to become superuser or assume an equivalent role to remove your own crontab file.

  1. Remove the crontab file.

    $ crontab -r [username]

    where username specifies the name of the user's account for which you want to remove a crontab file. Removing crontab files for another user requires superuser privileges.

    Caution – Caution –

    If you accidentally type the crontab command with no option, press the interrupt character for your editor. This character allows you to quit without saving changes. If you instead saved changes and exited the file, the existing crontab file would be overwritten with an empty file.

  2. Verify that the crontab file has been removed.

    # ls /var/spool/cron/crontabs

Example 8–5 Removing a crontab File

The following example shows how user smith uses the crontab -r command to remove his crontab file.

$ ls /var/spool/cron/crontabs
adm     jones     lp     root    smith    sys     uucp
$ crontab -r
$ ls /var/spool/cron/crontabs
adm     jones     lp     root    sys    uucp