Crontab Time Values

There are five fields at the beginning of each crontab entry. Each field represents a specific time and/or day. Starting from left to right they are:

1. Minute [0,59]
2. Hour [0,23]
3. Day of the month [1,31]
4. Month of the year [1,12]
5. Day of the week ([0,6] with 0=Sunday)

Valid entries can be an asterisk (meaning every minute, day, etc), a single digit, a series of numbers separated by commas (not necessarily contiguous) or a dash (all inclusive).


0 0 1,15 * * – at midnight on the 1st and 15th of every month

0 * * * 0 – run every hour on the hour on Sundays

0 3-6 * * * – run on the hour from 3 to 6 in the morning every day

More info from the man page:

The time and date fields are:

field allowed values
—– ————–
minute 0-59
hour 0-23
day of month 1-31
month 1-12 (or names, see below)
day of week 0-7 (0 or 7 is Sun, or use names)

A field may be an asterisk (*), which always stands for “first-last”.

Ranges of numbers are allowed. Ranges are two numbers separated with a hyphen. The specified range is inclusive. For example, 8-11 for an “hours” entry specifies execution at hours 8, 9, 10 and 11.

Lists are allowed. A list is a set of numbers (or ranges) separated by commas. Examples: “1,2,5,9”, “0-4,8-12”.

Step values can be used in conjunction with ranges. Following a range with “<number>” specifies skips of the number’s value through the range. For example, “0-23/2” can be used in the hours field to specify command execution every other hour (the alternative in the V7 standard is “0,2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20,22”). Steps are also permitted after an asterisk, so if you want to say “every two hours”, just use “*/2”.

Names can also be used for the “month” and “day of week” fields. Use the first three letters of the particular day or month (case doesn’t matter). Ranges or lists of names are not allowed.