anacrontab - Linux


anacrontab is a command-line tool used to manage cron jobs that need to run even when the system is not logged in. It is particularly useful for running maintenance and administrative tasks on servers and other automated systems.


anacrontab [-dDvV] [-t OFFSET] [-f CONFFILE] [-s SCHEDULEFILE] [FILES...]


  • -d: Print the current anacrontab.
  • -D: Run in debug mode.
  • -f CONFFILE: Specify an alternate configuration file.
  • -s SCHEDULEFILE: Specify an alternate schedule file.
  • -t OFFSET: Specify an offset from the current time to use for calculating job run times.
  • -v: Print the version of anacrontab.
  • -V: Print the extended version of anacrontab.


Simple Usage

Run a single command every day at midnight:

anacrontab "0 0 * * * /path/to/command"

Complex Usage

Run a group of commands every week on Fridays at 3:00 AM:

anacrontab "0 3 * * 5 /path/to/command1 && /path/to/command2 -a"

Using an Offset

Run a job immediately and continue running it every hour:

anacrontab "-m +1 /path/to/command"

Common Issues

Job not running: Ensure that the job is correctly formatted and that the user running the job has the necessary permissions to execute it.

Job running too frequently: Check the schedule for correctness and consider using an offset to delay the job’s execution.

Job not running on time: Verify that the system clock is set correctly and that there are no system issues affecting the job’s execution.


anacrontab can be integrated with other commands for various tasks:

  • crontab: Schedule jobs when the system is logged in.
  • logrotate: Automate log rotation.
  • rsync: Backup files and directories.

Related Commands

  • cron
  • at
  • batch