I'm trying to use the functions defined in /home/my_username/.bashrc in a shell script that gets executed by crontab.

#crontab -l

# m h  dom mon dow   command
  * *  * * * /bin/sh /home/my_username/CronTab_shell_script.sh >> /home/my_username/Desktop/file.log  

Let's say I have the mounted() function saved in


function mounted(){

    if mount|grep $1; then
    echo "mounted"
    echo "not mounted"


How can I call and use the mounted() function from the

  • 1
    The easiest way is to put this function into the body of CronTab_shell_script.sh :) – pa4080 Sep 13 '17 at 12:09

1. Run the correct shell

* *  * * * /bin/sh .....

You are not running bash, you are running sh, so you should not expect .bashrc to be loaded!

Try this instead:

* *  * * * /bin/bash .....

2. Work around Ubuntu's default .bashrc

Another problem might be that Ubuntu's default .bashrc script starts with this guard:

# If not running interactively, don't do anything
case $- in
    *i*) ;;
      *) return;;

Any lines you add below this will not be loaded by your cron script because cronjobs do not run in an interactive environment.

The solution: Put functions for scripts above this guard. Keep setup for the user below this guard.

3. Load the complete user login environment

On some systems I find its easiest to use --login to ensure the shell has the same things loaded that I have at the command line.

* *  * * * bash --login /path/to/script.sh

* *  * * * bash --login -c "your command here"

Cron runs with a limited shell and won't have access to your regular environment.

You could put source /home/my_username/.bashrc at the beginning of /home/my_username/CronTab_shell_script.sh to make the function available.

You could also source your .bashrc in your crontab:

#crontab -l

# m h  dom mon dow   command
  * *  * * * . /home/my_username/.bashrc; /bin/sh /home/my_username/CronTab_shell_script.sh >> home/my_username/Desktop/file.log
  • 1
    +1, but I think the Shell must be bash, it should be declared into the beginning of the script as #!/bin/bash and /bin/sh should be removed from the cron job. Also, maybe, the function should be exported after its definition in .bashrc : export -f mounted. – pa4080 Sep 13 '17 at 12:15

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