I have a remote raspberry pi that runs 24/7. It is running Debian bullseye. Tasks that normally run daily failed to send some mail failed and I was told about it by the normal recipients. When I went and looked (sudo systemctl status cron.service) cron had failed at 10:04 am on last Sunday (2023-12-17), but with no indication why.

I restarted it again and everything carried on again as normal.

I tried to find out what had happened and ran sudo journalctl -t CRON --since "2023-12-17" and it ran and produced entries up until 10:04 on Sunday then nothing until I restarted it today and it resumed working and then it showed those entries.

Is there somewhere else I can look so I can get some more clues as to why it terminated?

In case its relevant (I can't see why) the day before I had made a new release and re-orginised these cron jobs. It appears I'd made a mistake and a number of the cron jobs never terminated. So mid afternoon on the Saturday the whole machine disappeared (in the sense I could no longer ssh into it). I am postulating that it filled up memory and then swap space until the kernel had to kill some things, because after 7 hours the machine appeared again (ie an attempt to ssh into it succeeded). I noticed that there will some hung cron jobs and killed them off and then went back and fixed all the cron jobs so that they terminated properly. cron was clearly running successfully after that incident.

  • What do you find in the unfiltered system log at around that time? Dec 19, 2023 at 12:39

1 Answer 1


I suggest you check your syslog file which should be here: /var/log/syslog

Unlikely but you might also find some clues in the cron log: /var/log/cron

  • definitely more stuff in there than journalctl returned, but nothing definititve
    – akc42
    Dec 21, 2023 at 9:39

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