I am wanting to create backups of a Minecraft server I administrate. I wrote a bash script that performs a ftp wget backup of the server files to a new folder.

Here is that script:

TIMESTAMP=$(/bin/date +%Y-%m-%d_%H:%M)

/bin/mkdir /disks/Media/MC\ Server\ Backups/backup/$TIMESTAMP -p
cd /disks/Media/MC\ Server\ Backups/backup/$TIMESTAMP
/usr/bin/wget -r ftp://$FTP_USER:$FTP_PASS@$FTP_ADDR// -l 0 -nH

The variables are the ftp server connection details, and are omitted for obvious reasons. When I run the script on it's own,it works flawlessly. My issue is getting it to work as a cron job, so backups are automatic. From a terminal running on /, I type crontab -e.

I use gedit to add the cron job:

1 4 * * * /disks/Media/MC\ Server\ Backups/ftp-backup.sh

So it should run at 4:01 AM every day, but it does not. Is the issue that the script is kept on a mounted external NTFS drive? I've looked to see if the cron job created the backup folder somewhere else, but I do not see another one.

I have added #!/bin/sh to the beginning of the script. I have also run chmod-x on the script itself. I have also tried two different formats for running my script:

15 25 * * * /disks/Media/MC\ Server\ Backups/ftp-backup.sh &>/tmp/cronout.log


15 25 * * * /bin/sh /disks/Media/MC\ Server\ Backups/ftp-backup.sh &>/tmp/cronout.log

The last part is supposed to log any issues, yet these files are never created at all.

I have been testing cron by setting the jobs to be a few minutes into the future.

When seeing if cron is running with this command: systemctl status cron, I get the following output:

● cron.service - Regular background program processing daemon
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/cron.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: failed (Result: signal) since Sun 2019-12-22 12:20:27 EST; 2 weeks 3 days ago
     Docs: man:cron(8)
  Process: 1081 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/cron -f $EXTRA_OPTS (code=killed, signal=KILL)
 Main PID: 1081 (code=killed, signal=KILL)

Dec 22 11:24:38 jlcarveth-MS-7A72 cron[1081]: (CRON) INFO (Running @reboot jobs)
Dec 22 11:30:01 jlcarveth-MS-7A72 CRON[3975]: pam_unix(cron:session): session opened for user jlcarveth by (ui
Dec 22 11:30:01 jlcarveth-MS-7A72 CRON[3976]: (jlcarveth) CMD (/bin/bash /disks/Media/MC\ Server\ Backups/ftp-
Dec 22 12:11:44 jlcarveth-MS-7A72 CRON[3975]: (CRON) info (No MTA installed, discarding output)
Dec 22 12:11:44 jlcarveth-MS-7A72 CRON[3975]: pam_unix(cron:session): session closed for user jlcarveth
Dec 22 12:17:01 jlcarveth-MS-7A72 CRON[11533]: pam_unix(cron:session): session opened for user root by (uid=0)
Dec 22 12:17:01 jlcarveth-MS-7A72 CRON[11534]: (root) CMD (   cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.hourly)
Dec 22 12:17:01 jlcarveth-MS-7A72 CRON[11533]: pam_unix(cron:session): session closed for user root
Dec 22 12:20:27 jlcarveth-MS-7A72 systemd[1]: cron.service: Main process exited, code=killed, status=9/KILL
Dec 22 12:20:27 jlcarveth-MS-7A72 systemd[1]: cron.service: Failed with result 'signal'.

From what I can tell, cron isn't running correctly, but IDK how to rectify that.

Not sure what I changed, but the following seems to run: 50 16 * * * /disks/Media/MC\ Server\ Backups/ftp-backup.sh

  • 3
    Your script lacks a shebang. Which version of Ubuntu do you run? Did you make the file executable? Did you try running it with 1 4 * * * /bin/bash /path/to/file?
    – dessert
    Jan 6, 2020 at 19:11
  • I added the shebang, #!/bin/bash. Running Ubuntu 18.04. Do not know exactly what you mean, the script runs if I just type it's path in the terminal. 3rd Question: yes I tested that too, and never say any backup files made
    – ABCDEF
    Jan 6, 2020 at 22:45
  • Perhaps the problem is that CRON by default uses /bin/sh. Try in your crontab add the SHELL=/bin/bash line at the beginning to see if works. Jan 7, 2020 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


A few things.

  1. &>/tmp/cronout.log will only log stdout, not stderr. The ampersand is likely breaking this too. You want 2>&1 >/tmp/cronout.log to redirect stderr into stdout, and stdout to file.

  2. Your script has no shebang. First line should read #!/bin/bash

  3. Is the file executable? chmod +x /disks/Media/MC\ Server\ Backups/ftp-backup.sh

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.