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First I ran a simple test to see if I could get crontab to send me an email. I created the following line:

1 * * * * /bin/echo "foobar"

This worked as expected and I received an email every 1 minute with "foobar" in the body.

I then fiddled with the file a bit. When I looked for expected emails, however, they did not appear. So I went back and restored the file to:

1 * * * * /bin/echo "foobar"

But the emails are not coming through. What could be going on? Is it possible that gmail (my email is through google apps) is filtering out the emails because they appear to be automatically-generated?

Any ideas? Thanks.

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If you didn't change the mailer configuration, then most likely Google / GMail has started marking your emails as spam because of the frequency with which they're being sent. In general (okay, in my general opinion), you don't want to be sending email every minute it's bad form and lacks style.

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I'm not trying to send email every minute. I just wanted to send email once a minute for 15 or so minutes, while I was testing and setting things up. – Jon Crowell Jan 8 '13 at 21:31
... and 5 to 7 minutes in, Google decided "this address is too active. Spam folder." – John Jan 9 '13 at 12:37
yeah, except they weren't even in my spam folder. I'm wondering now whether the problem may have been that I didn't understand the frequency at which cron was running. – Jon Crowell Jan 9 '13 at 15:09

Looks to me that your setting of 1 * * * * is going to send an email at 1 minute past the hour, every hour.

If you want to send every minute, try * * * * * instead.

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