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
The delay in minutes variable specifies the number of minutes anacron
waits, if necessary, before executing a job. This variable is
represented 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
execute 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 assignment 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
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
You can continue a line onto the next line by adding a '\' at the end
In case you want to disable Anacron, add a line with 0anacron which
is the name of the script running the Anacron into the
This example shows how to set up an Anacron job similar in
functionality 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
This page is part of the cronie (crond daemon) project. Information
about the project can be found at
⟨https://github.com/cronie-crond/cronie⟩. If you have a bug report
for this manual page, see
⟨https://github.com/cronie-crond/cronie/issues⟩. This page was
obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
⟨https://github.com/cronie-crond/cronie.git⟩ on 2017-03-13. If you
discover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or
you believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page,
or you have corrections or improvements to the information in this
COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail
cronie 2012-11-22 ANACRONTAB(5)