Ryan Wood

Product Builder, Rubyist, Entrepreneur of sorts
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02 Jun 2007
Crontab Problems With Nano

I was trying to set up a cron job on my new (relatively) SliceHost VPS. On Ubuntu, each time I would run crontab -e, edit and save the file, I would get this:

“/tmp/crontab.nQMgF1/crontab”:2: bad minute
errors in crontab file, can’t install.
Do you want to retry the same edit?

It didn’t seem to matter that the syntax was correct. Ha. After googling around for a while, I found out that the problem was with nano, the default text editor on Ubuntu. It wraps long lines by default and crontab has a problem with this.To fix the problem you need to turn off long line wrapping which is on by default. Go to /etc/nanorc and uncomment the following line

set nowrap

Now, nano will correctly save your crontab. (I also uncommented

set rebinddelete

to find a problem with backspace/delete on the mac.)

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