I have the following bash script:

mysqldump -u ******** -p********  --all-databases | gzip > /home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/database_$(date +\%Y-\%m-\%d).sql.gz

which is located in /home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/ as backup.sh with the following permissions

-rwxr--r-- 1 root       root           134 feb 27 12:48 backup.sh

I've set up a cronjob on sudo crontab -e to run it every day, at night

#Automatic MySQL backup
30 3 * * * sh /home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/backup.sh

But I get emailed the following error:

sh: 0: Can't open /home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/backup.sh

I've been trying different setups, but can't figure out what is wrong. I can run the script manually and everything goes perfectly, so I guess there is something wrong with my cronjob entry, but can't really understand what. Could you please help me figure it out? Thanks!

  • Can you try it using sudo: sudo sh /home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/backup.sh
    – Guru
    Mar 6, 2013 at 8:24
  • Do you tried to change owner? If you run this script as normal user, chown user:user /home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/backup.sh (replace user:user with your username and name of your user group). With that you can normaly run script as regular user. Also, if owner is root, do what @Guru saw, run script with sudo.
    – user45853
    Mar 6, 2013 at 8:25
  • So, now I changed my script owner to srvlinux01 (main user) and moved the cronjob to crontab -e instead of sudo crontab -e. Still no luck though, wierdly enough it still can't find the file. If I just copy the command and paste it into the terminal it runs normally and makes the backup! Mar 6, 2013 at 8:35
  • Could it be that you need to give your cron a PATH? For instance: SHELL=/bin/sh PATH=/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin In your case, try putting: SHELL=/bin/sh PATH=/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:/home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/ before your command.
    – don.joey
    Mar 6, 2013 at 8:47
  • Or could you try changing the shebang to #!/bin/sh?
    – don.joey
    Mar 6, 2013 at 8:48

4 Answers 4


You need to give your cron a PATH. For instance:

SHELL=/bin/sh PATH=/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin 

In your case, try putting this before your command. Check the community wiki in this question for more information on why the PATH variable is needed. Here is an excerpt; essentially the idea is that cron does not read /etc/environment:

A common "gotcha" is the PATH environment variable being different. Maybe your cron script uses the command somecommand found in /opt/someApp/bin, which you've added to PATH in /etc/environment? cron does not read that file, so running somecommand from your script will fail when run with cron, but work when run in a terminal. To get around that, just set your own PATH variable at the top of the script.

  • 1
    I am getting this error "sh: 0: Can't open /root/scritps/cron_job.sh", when trying to execute sh file from cronjob like "*/1 * * * * sh /root/scritps/cron_job.sh >> /tmp/cron.output 2>&1".FYI: cron_job.sh doing echo only. any idea what is the issue here ? Jun 23, 2014 at 16:25
  • scritps vs scripts?
    – GrayedFox
    Mar 15, 2018 at 17:29
  • See this too - askubuntu.com/questions/264607/… Nov 13, 2019 at 19:57
chmod +x /home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/backup.sh             

try to run your script with full path on commandline:


if it is not running - there is something wrong (path error)

Make sure this is your crontab

crontab -e 

no sudo :

sudo crontab -e

is root crontab - and root is not able to find your script ;)

remove "sh" in crontab just write:

30 3 * * * /home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/backup.sh
  • Not "sudo crontab -e", but it is "crontab -e" is solution for my issue. Thank you Nov 13, 2019 at 19:56

I can see one mistake in your crontab file configuration. In the below config you are trying to call backup.sh as same as in your shell prompt with sh prefix which may not work in cron.

#Automatic MySQL backup
30 3 * * * sh /home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/backup.sh
  1. change the owner as said in comment, if needed.
  2. Make it as executable.
    chmod a+x <filename>
  3. Update your crontab to reflect this. (calling the file directly, shell is used as per shebang line inside the file)

    #Automatic MySQL backup
    30 3 * * * /home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/backup.sh

I hope this would help.

  • 1
    chmod +x!! I forget to permit my script execution permissions. thanks for posting, @Naha
    – fusion27
    Nov 1, 2014 at 18:03

You forgot the dot '.' before the execution path.

30 3 * * * sh ./home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/backup.sh             
  • Hi, didn't change much, the error is the same unfortunately. sh: 0: Can't open ./home/srvlinux01/MySQLBackups/backup.sh Mar 6, 2013 at 8:23
  • 3
    ./ makes a path relative to the current directory, which is not desirable here and will even prevent the script from running unless cron's CWD happens to be /. Also, the purpose of ./ before a script or other executable name is when it's in the current directory (instead of searching PATH). It's primarily used when running the executable as the command being executed (e.g., ./script), sometimes necessary (and often recommended) when "sourcing" (e.g., . ./script), but never useful when passing it as an argument to the shell (i.e., sh script always works as well as sh ./script). Aug 9, 2014 at 11:37

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