ANACRONTAB(5) File Formats ANACRONTAB(5)NAME
/etc/anacrontab - configuration file for Anacron
The /etc/anacrontab configuration file describes the jobs controlled by
anacron(8). It can contain three types of lines: job-description
lines, environment assignments, or empty lines.
Job-description lines can have the following format:
period in days delay in minutes job-identifier command
The period in days variable specifies the frequency of execution of a
job in days. This variable can be represented by an integer or a macro
(@daily, @weekly, @monthly), where @daily denotes the same value as the
integer 1, @weekly the same as 7, and @monthly specifies that the job
is run once a month, independent on the length of the month.
The delay in minutes variable specifies the number of minutes anacron
waits, if necessary, before executing a job. This variable is repre‐
sented by an integer where 0 means no delay.
The job-identifier variable specifies a unique name of a job which is
used in the log files.
The command variable specifies the command to execute. The command can
either be a command such as ls /proc >> /tmp/proc or a command to exe‐
cute a custom script.
Environment assignment lines can have the following format:
Any spaces around VAR are removed. No spaces around VALUE are allowed
(unless you want them to be part of the value). The specified assign‐
ment takes effect from the next line until the end of the file, or to
the next assignment of the same variable.
The START_HOURS_RANGE variable defines an interval (in hours) when
scheduled jobs can be run. In case this time interval is missed, for
example, due to a power down, then scheduled jobs are not executed that
The RANDOM_DELAY variable denotes the maximum number of minutes that
will be added to the delay in minutes variable which is specified for
each job. A RANDOM_DELAY set to 12 would therefore add, randomly,
between 0 and 12 minutes to the delay in minutes for each job in that
particular anacrontab. When set to 0, no random delay is added.
Empty lines are either blank lines, line containing white spaces only,
or lines with white spaces followed by a '#' followed by an arbitrary
You can continue a line onto the next line by adding a '\' at the end
In case you want to disable Anacron, add the 0anacron cron job (which
is a part of crontab(1)) into the /etc/cron.hourly/jobs.deny directory.
This example shows how to set up an Anacron job similar in functional‐
ity to /etc/crontab which starts all regular jobs between 6:00 and 8:00
only. A RANDOM_DELAY which can be 30 minutes at the most is specified.
Jobs will run serialized in a queue where each job is started only
after the previous one is finished.
# environment variables
# Anacron jobs will start between 6am and 8am.
# delay will be 5 minutes + RANDOM_DELAY for cron.daily
1 5 cron.daily nice run-parts /etc/cron.daily
7 0 cron.weekly nice run-parts /etc/cron.weekly
@monthly 0 cron.monthly nice run-parts /etc/cron.monthly
SEE ALSOanacron(8), crontab(1)
The Anacron README file.
Itai Tzur ⟨email@example.com⟩
Currently maintained by Pascal Hakim ⟨pasc@(debian.org|redellipse.
For Fedora, maintained by Marcela Mašláňová ⟨firstname.lastname@example.org⟩.
cronie 2012-11-22 ANACRONTAB(5)