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My cron jobs are computed one hour later compared to server time. I don't understand what is going on.

My configuration is the following :

Server time :


In /etc/default/cron I added the following line :


Despite that, cron job are launched one hour later than server time. What is really tricky, is that if I ask cron to play instruction "date", it gives the server date (the good one !).

I have no idea of how to resolve this problem ; I've been doing some reading on forums, but found nothing interesting.

What do you think ?

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So cron jobs are being scheduled in UTC. The Vixie cron man page says, "The daemon will use, if present, the definition from /etc/timezone for the timezone." What's in /etc/timezone? Have you modified /etc/timezone more recently than the cron process was started? Have you tried /etc/init.d/cron restart? – Keith Thompson Jan 5 '12 at 11:11
/etc/timezone has been modified recently, without restarting /etc/init.d/cron . I'm gonna try to restart it. – Guillaume Lebourgeois Jan 5 '12 at 12:35
It did the job ! Thanks to you. – Guillaume Lebourgeois Jan 5 '12 at 13:55
up vote 8 down vote accepted

(Copying my comment as an answer, since it turned out to be the solution; I guessed right.)

So cron jobs are being scheduled in UTC (Europe/Paris is at a one hour offset from UTC).

The Vixie cron man page says:

The daemon will use, if present, the definition from /etc/timezone for the timezone.

What's in /etc/timezone? Have you modified /etc/timezone more recently than the cron process was started? Have you tried

/etc/init.d/cron restart


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Some distros such as Fedora provide a mechanism where you can set CRON_TZ= to override your default timezone.

From the Fedora man 5 crontab

The CRON_TZ variable specifies the time zone specific for the cron table. The user should enter a time according to the specified time zone into the table. The time used for writing into a log file is taken from the local time zone, where the daemon is running.

Something like this:

#m  h           d   m   wday    command
5   0,6,12,18   *   *   *       /path/to/script.bash
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Wikipedia says

Most cron implementations simply interpret crontab entries in the system time zone setting under which the cron daemon itself is run. This can be a source of dispute if a large multiuser machine has users in several time zones, especially if the system default timezone includes the potentially confusing DST. Thus, a cron implementation may special-case any "TZ=" environment variable setting lines in user crontabs, interpreting subsequent crontab entries relative to that timezone

So perhaps your login ID has a TZ setting that differs from the system TZ setting?

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Restarting cron was what I needed but for me the command was

/etc/init.d/crond restart (crond not cron)
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