I created the following cron job under /etc/cron.daily/backup-vivashost


DATE=`date +%Y%m%d`

mkdir /var/lib/html-backup/www-$DATE/
cp -R /var/www/html/* /var/lib/backups/html-backup/www-$DATE/
find /var/lib/bakcups/html-backup/* -type f -mtime +5 -delete

One day after i created this there is no copy of /var/www/html/ to /var/lib/backups/html-backup/

Is it because the shell is not runing under sudo su root permissions or ?

Can you please tell me a reason why it is not working ?


  • It should be cron.daily, not daily.cron. – Jos Nov 6 '15 at 14:54
  • It's typo. The correct one is like you mentioned. – Venelin Vasilev Nov 6 '15 at 14:58
  • Did the www-$DATE directory get created? – Jos Nov 6 '15 at 15:03
  • And you're sure, that the modification time is changed with your cp command? Run the job again without the deletion and check it. – A.B. Nov 6 '15 at 15:08
  • 1
    To preserve the timestamps use cp -pR – A.B. Nov 6 '15 at 15:14

First, correct the path names in the script file /etc/cron.daily/backupvivashost and apply A.B's suggestions:


DATE=$(date +%Y%m%d)
mkdir /var/lib/backups/html-backup/www-$DATE/
cp -pR /var/www/html/* /var/lib/backups/html-backup/www-$DATE/ 
find /var/lib/backups/html-backup -mtime +5 -delete

Then, make the file executable:

sudo chmod +x /etc/cron.daily/backupvivashost

Then execute the file to see if it works:

sudo /etc/cron.daily/backupvivashost

If it works, see if it will also run when called by crontab. The script needs sudo privileges so it should be called by the root crontab.

sudo crontab -e

will do that. If that doesn't work, there is something wrong with the default editor, or with the file /var/spool/cron/crontabs/root. To specify nano as your editor, do

export EDITOR=/usr/bin/nano

When you manage to open the crontab with the editor, enter dates and times to have your script executed. If you want to run it at 17:00, enter:

0 17 * * * /etc/cron.daily/backupvivashost > /home/user/logfile 2>&1

This way, you will get to see what goes wrong in the file /home/user/logfile. When that works as well, remove the line from the crontab, as the script will now be run daily anyway.

  • When i do sudo crontab -e i get output on the next row 602 and that's all. I have to close the terminal and open it again to start typing any kind of commands. It is so weird... – Venelin Vasilev Nov 6 '15 at 16:33
  • Move the file /var/spool/cron/crontabs/root out of the way, or delete it if you are sure it doesn't contain any useful information. Then try sudo crontab -e again. – Jos Nov 6 '15 at 16:39
  • It contains the following information: pastebin.com/JmYywPRU . It is important to be there. Can i add another line so i can make this cron job executable in a specific hour every day ? – Venelin Vasilev Nov 6 '15 at 16:49
  • No, you can't simply edit that file. What crontab does is: it lets you edit the file, then after you save it, it processes its contents. There is no other way to do the latter part. Anyway as it is a valid crontab file, the error must be that your default editor is not called. – Jos Nov 6 '15 at 16:52
  • About the not-functioning of your crontab -e command and the "602" line that results, may I ask you to post a separate question on this site? When that is solved, this answer here should be more or less complete. I have a couple of things you could try. – Jos Nov 6 '15 at 16:58

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