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Functions

Execute a command at a given time

Terminal - Execute a command at a given time
echo "ls -l" | at midnight
2009-01-25 21:07:42
User: root
Functions: at echo
212
Execute a command at a given time

This is an alternative to cron which allows a one-off task to be scheduled for a certain time.

Alternatives

There are 7 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
at midnight<<<'ls -l'

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

Good work - this is exactly what I've been looking for.

Comment by bazza 290 weeks and 3 days ago

Unfortunatly, nothing will be printed to the screen... you have to redirect the output to the current tty in order to see something :

echo "ls -l" >$(tty)| at midnight

it's only for the output of course

Comment by mrttlemonde 284 weeks and 4 days ago

Bravura! bravura! bravura!

Comment by Sonny 284 weeks and 1 day ago

mrttlemonde, your command is not exactly right with the quotes, i.e. it should be something like:

echo "ls -l >/dev/pts/3" |at 23:59

or we could also direct to a file:

echo "ls -lah >/foo/bar/ls.txt" |at 07:00
Comment by Buzzcp 278 weeks and 4 days ago

Thats Cool!!

Comment by gandulo 275 weeks and 2 days ago

echo overload! :-)

Comment by mpb 269 weeks and 4 days ago

less-than less-than less-than "ls -l" at midnight

(where "less-than less-than less-than" is three less than symbols (these get "eaten" by commandlinefu text entry )

Comment by mpb 269 weeks and 4 days ago

Is there any way to make it work with, say... mplayer ? :)

Comment by sitaktif 268 weeks and 1 day ago

This is cool...

Comment by bakhru 245 weeks and 1 day ago

Be aware that the "at" command has a very important restriction. From the man page: "At and batch as presently implemented are not suitable when users are competing for resources." In other words, if your system is under a heavy load when the time comes to execute your "at" command, then your task might not run at all.

Some might see this as a feature, since it cuts down on time-release tasks when the system load is high, but in my case it caused an important set of overnight tests to mysteriously stop running. These days I use cron, which is less sensitive to system loads. I've also read good things about nqs (indeed, the "at" man page suggests it as an alternative), but haven't tried it.

Comment by willdye 237 weeks and 1 day ago

I think I may have solved this problem.

And I'm wondering what really is the utility of "at" (or even cron). Sleep is enough. Why loop when we can just sleep up to the time to execute?

An "at" type script that runs once every 24hr - i.e. "sleep 86400; script.sh" - could parse a list of jobs and schedule, again using "at" style scripts, the ones on the list that matched the present year, day and month.

I must be missing something.

Comment by argv 207 weeks and 6 days ago

Your point of view

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