How to create and run Cron job in PHP

Abhigyan Singh 01st Oct 2016

Cron jobs are useful when you want to execute some code to be executed on specified time or date like once in seven day or once in a day. Sometimes you will need to run Cron job to do particular task like send mails to registered users on each Sunday. Cron job is a Linux command for scheduling a task to be executed sometimes in the future. There are many situations when a web application may need certain task to run periodically. In this Article, we are going to tell you a lot about the Cron jobs. Here we will run PHP file by writing a Cron job will execute that file once in a week at 12:10 PM.The syntax of writing Cron job is as follows:

Syntax to create Cron Job in php

* * * * * php /var/www/html/folder_name/file_name.php   -- In case of Apache Web Server

* * * * * php /srv/www/html/folder_name/file_name.php  -- In case of Ngnix Web Server

As shown above first * for minute, second for Hour, third for which day of month, four for which month to be executed and fifth for which day of week.

Basic Command to run cron job from Command Line

To run Cron job we should know basic command like list of all scheduled jobs and edit these jobs and create new jobs as follows:
To see list of scheduled Cron jobs type following command in command line or terminal as shown below. Here we are using Putty which is terminal emulator, serial console and network file transfer application.

crontab -l

After writing following command press enter will show all scheduled Cron job or tasks.

To edit or create new Cron job type following command as shown below. Now you can edit or create new jobs or task.

crontab –e

After writing following command press enter can edit or create new Cron Job. Below we will create new job to run mail.php file.
To stop any Cron job add # sign in front of command as shown below as follows:

#* * * * * php /var/www/html/folder_name/file_name

Here # sign works as comment and will stop to execution php file.

Examples of cron job in php:

Mail to user once in a week:

  • Create mail.php file with following code as shown below as follows:



Upload this  file on server and save it any folder .In my case I created cron folder and saved mail.php file in cron folder.

  • Now run your terminal like Putty to run command.  We will need following command to execute mail.php file once in week at 12:10 PM.

10 12 * * 6 php /var/www/html/cron/mail.php

After writing following command press Ctrl+X then it will ask you for saving following command. Type y for saving then press enter will save following Cron job and it will run on each Saturday at 12:10 PM.

Here we are giving other commands to run according to your need as follows:

  • This Cron job will run every minute, all the time:

 * * * * * php /var/www/html/folder_name/file_name.php

  • This Cron job will run at minute zero, every hour (i.e. an hourly Cron job):

0 * * * * php /var/www/html/folder_name/file_name.php

  • This is also an hourly Cron job but run at minute 15 instead (i.e. 00:15, 01:15, 02:15 etc.):

15 * * * * * php /var/www/html/folder_name/file_name.php

  • This will run once a day, at 2:30am:

30 2 * * * php /var/www/html/folder_name/file_name.php

We hope you have understood to run Cron job still have any confusion or query feel free to comment below

Authored By Abhigyan Singh

He is a continuous blogger and has blogged on different topic. He loves to surf Internet and always trying to get new Idea about new Technology and Innovations and sharing these great information to all the technology lovers.