Linux / UNIX Setup and Run PHP Script As A Cron Job

I‘ve written a PHP script. I would like to run it as a cron job. I’m using CentOS server with Apache web server. How do I setup a PHP script as a cron job on a Linux or Unix-like systems?

You need to setup execute permission on a php script. You need to use chmod command to change file access permissions. [donotprint]
Tutorial details
Difficulty Easy (rss)
Root privileges No
Requirements None
Time 1m
[/donotprint] Use the chmod command as follows on your php script:

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chmod +x scriptname.php

Also make sure you add following line to top of php script (first line should be #!/usr/bin/php):

#!/usr/bin/php

If you are using FreeBSD unix os, use:

#!/usr/local/bin/php

#!/usr/bin/php is called as a shebang (pound bang). It execute php script using the interpreter /usr/bin/php. Save and close the file.

Setup and run php script as a cron job

Now add cron job by typing following command:
$ crontab -e
Sample outputs:

# run everday at 10:45
45 10 * * *     /path/to/myphpscript.php

Save and close the file.

This entry is 11 of 16 in the Linux Cron Jobs Howto & Tutorial series. Keep reading the rest of the series:
  1. What is cron on a Linux or Unix-like systems?
  2. How To Add Jobs To cron Under Linux or UNIX?
  3. Verify crond Daemon And Cronjobs Are Running
  4. Start Restart and Stop The Cron or Crond Service
  5. List / Display All Cron Jobs
  6. Linux / UNIX Crontab File Location
  7. Change Crontab Email Settings ( MAILTO )
  8. Disable The Mail Alert By Crontab Command On a Linux or Unix-like Systems
  9. At What Time Cron Entries In cron.daily, cron.weekly, cron.monthly Run?
  10. Execute Cron Job After System Reboot
  11. Setup and Run PHP Script As A Cron Job
  12. Run crontab job every minute on a Linux or Unix-like system
  13. Running crontab (cron jobs) Every 10 Minutes
  14. Cron Job Script Execution on the Last Day of a Month
  15. Execute / Run crontab (cron jobs) every 1 minute
  16. Ubuntu create cron.log file
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15 comments… add one
  • MDZakri Jul 26, 2007 @ 5:30

    Thanks Pal,

    Its teach me more on setting the crontab on different server :)

  • Swapneel Jul 31, 2007 @ 21:06

    My apologies for nitpicking but shouldn’t the cron job be,

    45 10 * * * /path/to/myphpscript.php

    for the Cron to run at 10:45 as the first field from the left starts with Minute..Hour and so on.

  • Travis Jun 4, 2009 @ 18:51

    Swapneel is correct. A cronjob runs off of the following format for schedules.
    minute hour day month dayofweek command

  • 🐧 nixCraft Jun 4, 2009 @ 20:41

    @Travid and Swapneel

    Thanks for the heads-up!

  • sricha Oct 23, 2009 @ 17:33

    Thanks. It was really helpful for me.

  • azaazaaza Feb 8, 2010 @ 0:00

    Big big big big thanks!!!

  • smerez23 Apr 3, 2010 @ 21:56

    i tried passing arguments to a php script in UNIX

    For example: 45 10 * * * /path/to/myphpscript.php -args filename=”hello.txt”

  • smerez23 Apr 3, 2010 @ 21:57

    is there a way to pass arguments to a php script in unix

    For example: 45 10 * * * /path/to/myphpscript.php -filename=”hello.txt”

  • Rupesh Feb 15, 2011 @ 12:31

    I like this for running daily cron handling thanks :)

  • TonyRiver Jul 9, 2011 @ 1:40

    Great, thanks. Been do lazy to read up on this for a while, but this page makes it simple.

  • chamil May 31, 2012 @ 10:21

    I run as a ./email_test.php

    before I set as a cron job I run on a terminal,but then I had following error

    “/usr/bin/php^M: bad interpreter: No such file or directory centos PHP

  • dimti Jul 2, 2012 @ 11:25

    Search your php interpreter with help this command:
    locate bin/php
    if you need update location database, use:
    updatedb
    or (if it FreeBSD)
    /usr/libexec/locate.updatedb

  • Damodar Aug 24, 2012 @ 7:53

    thanks a lot.

    i run cron 00 11 30 08 4 php /path /script -args argumentName=”value”

    it run.

    thanks

  • Hendrik Jan 11, 2013 @ 10:28

    Thanks, great help

  • Dr. H K Sahjwani Apr 4, 2014 @ 5:53

    I have a website http://www.noidasindhis.com from which I send emails to the registered Sindhis.
    My program to send emails is in PHP and runs fine.
    The site has been taken from dollar2host under Linux environment. I wish to send my mails at specified intervals using cron job but do not know the Linux command to do so.
    Can any one help me?
    Sahjwani

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