Where cron logs are stored on your server

Because cron does it's work in the background, the logs it writes are helpful for creating, debugging and auditing your cron jobs.  Most versions of cron will log when jobs run and whether there are any errors with your crontab. They do not log cron job results or exit statuses. (For that, use Cronitor).

Understand your cron jobs

checkmark Capture the status, metrics & logs from every job
checkmark Instant alerts when a job fails or never starts
  1. Finding cron logs on Ubuntu and Debian

    On Ubuntu, Debian and related distributions, you will find cron jobs logs in /var/syslog. Your Syslog contains entries from many operating system components and it's helpful to grep to isolate cron-specific messages.

    grep CRON /var/log/syslog

    You will likely require root/sudo privileges to access your Syslog.

  2. Finding cron logs on CentOS and Redhat

    On CentOS, Redhat and Amazon Linux cron logs are written to /var/log/cron.

    tail /var/log/cron

    You will likely require root/sudo privileges to access your cron logs.

  3. Deciphering your cron job logs

    Cron logs store the time the job was started, the user account used, and the command run. In this example, a data-pipeline.py cron job ran on March 29th, on the data-processing host as the dataproc user.

    Mar 29 16:15:01 data-processing CRON[12624]: (dataproc) CMD (/home/data-pipeline.py)
  4. As valuable as cron logs are they can't tell you what cron jobs didn't run. Monitor your cron jobs with Cronitor to easily collect output, capture errors and alert you when something goes wrong. Learn about cron monitoring.

Our software, CronitorCLI, includes the free tools we always wished we had.  Scan your system and list every cron job in seconds using cronitor list.  Run any cron job instantly using cronitor select.