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I have a Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS cloud server online 24/7. There are many cronjob running on this server. There is a news website that I want to save a timestamped version of the cover page of every 20 minutes. I have created a WGET statement that runs perfectly from the command line.

wget --convert-links --output-document=/home/username/News-Headlines-$(date +%Y-%m-%d_%H:%M:%S).html news.tld

*/20 * * * * /usr/bin/wget --convert-links --output-document=/home/username/News-Headlines-$(date +%Y-%m-%d_%H:%M:%S).html news.tld

When this statement is run from the root cronjob, the file is not created and no error is produced in the /var/log/syslog

How can this WGET root cronjob statement be made to work?

Followup:

An error began being mailed by cron: /bin/sh: 1: Syntax error: end of file unexpected (expecting ")")

The root crontab file does have a blank line at the end. To what is this error referring ?

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    My advice, make a script, then schedule the cronjob to execute the script on desired time interval. – fugitive Apr 8 '17 at 19:30
  • fugitive: Have you attempted to run wget in the past from root crontab ? – ml48603 Apr 8 '17 at 20:11
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PROBLEM DISCOVERED The % signs were not escaped.

The following advice was found in this post: https://serverfault.com/questions/449651/why-is-my-crontab-not-working-and-how-can-i-troubleshoot-it

"Be VERY careful when using the percent (%) sign in your command. Unless they are escaped \% they are converted into newlines and everything after the first non-escaped % is passed to your command on stdin."

Once the % in the date statement were escaped \% the time stamped file was created as expected.

*/20 * * * * /usr/bin/wget --convert-links --output-document=/home/username/News-Headlines-$(date +\%Y-\%m-\%d_\%H:\%M:\%S).html news.tld

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