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Can't call gzip and mailx from cron



6:31 pm on Oct 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hello Friends,

I am new to shell scripting and this is the first time I am trying to use cron to automate a job. The script I use generates a huge log file which I wish to mail out.

My script runs fine when called from the command line but fails to zip and mail when called from cron. Below is the script I am using



fname=`/bin/date '+active_alarms_%h%d%y_%H.xls'`

### script to generate the alarms log file goes here

#### compressing the collected report
/bin/usr/gzip $fname

#### mailing zipped collection report
TO="nanu@xyz.com "
(cat body; uuencode "$fname.gz" "$fname.zip") /bin/mailx -s "Active Alarms Collector Report" "$TO"

Please could someone tell me what I am doing wrong here? I am at my wits end as the script behaves when called from command prompt. I guess I am missing some environmental variables but which ones?


11:10 pm on Oct 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

normally the output of a cron script is mailed to the owner of the cron process (root?) or the user specified in the MAILTO environment variable.
perhaps the commands sent some output you haven't seen?
if you have problems seeing the emailed output, you could try redirecting standard error and output to a file that you can examine after cron runs.

have you looked at the value of the error codes returned by the commands.
the special variable $? contains the return code of the last commmand...


10:37 am on Oct 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi phranque,

Many thanks for your reply ...
On checking the mailbox I found that gzip & mailx were both failing as variable $fname didn't contain the fully qualified file-name. On fixing this the error disappeared!

Thanks again for setting me on the correct path. :-)


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