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Is there a way to indicate to cron how/where to find (paths to) tools such as python, nmap, php and so on?

I ask this because when I schedule a job using crontab -e, I always need to specify the full path of python, nmap and whatever other tool I want to use.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is from man 5 crontab:

   Several environment variables are set up automatically by  the  cron(8)
   daemon.  SHELL is set to /bin/sh, and LOGNAME and HOME are set from the
   /etc/passwd  line  of   the   crontab's   owner.   PATH   is   set   to
   "/usr/bin:/bin".   HOME,  SHELL, and PATH may be overridden by settings
   in the crontab; LOGNAME is the user that the job is running  from,  and
   may not be changed.

So, PATH is set by cron to "/usr/bin:/bin". Now, to add more paths to the PATH to be used by cron, just edit the crontab file (using crontab -e command) and add, for example the following line somewhere at the beginning:

PATH="/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin"

See also this Q&A from StackOverflow: crontab PATH and USER.

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