How To Backup "crontab -e" Files?

Better Stack Team
Updated on November 23, 2023

To backup the crontab entries that you've edited using the crontab -e command, you can use several methods. Here are a couple of approaches:

Step 1 - Use the crontab Command to Export to a File

You can use the crontab -l command to display your current crontab entries and then save them to a file. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open your terminal.
  2. Run the following command to display your crontab entries:

    crontab -l > crontab_backup.txt

This command will create a file called crontab_backup.txt in your current working directory, containing your crontab entries. You can then save this file to a secure location as a backup.

Step 2 - Copy the Crontab Configuration File

Your crontab entries are typically stored in a system directory as a file named after your username. This file can be copied to back up your crontab entries.

  1. Open your terminal.
  2. Copy your crontab configuration file to a backup location using a command like cp:

    cp /var/spool/cron/crontabs/your_username crontab_backup

Replace your_username with your actual username. This will create a backup file named crontab_backup in your current working directory.

Please note that you may need superuser privileges to access or copy the system's crontab configuration files. If you're not the system administrator, check with them or use the first method to create a personal backup in your home directory. It's a good practice to keep these backups in a secure location and document any important changes you make to your crontab entries for future reference.

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