I need to shut down a Mac every night at 10:00 pm. Does Mac have a scheduler that I should use, or should I defer to cron? I'm a Linux user, this was a question asked to me by a friend. I'd like to be able to insert the command from a terminal like I would in Linux:

crontab -e 


(crontab -l >/dev/null 2>/dev/null && (crontab -l && echo "@reboot do-stuff") | crontab -)

What's the best option for doing something from the command line? I'm not exactly too familiar with OSX.

2 Answers 2


cron is there for compatibility, but it has been superseded by launchd, which does indeed have the ability to schedule events. You need, in your property list file, a StartCalendarInterval key with a value that is a simple a Hour/Minute pair:

  • Although using cron is still perfectly fine.
    – slhck
    Sep 1, 2011 at 20:32
  • Hooray for cron! Sep 1, 2011 at 22:14

pmset is the command line utility for the system preferences energy saver schedule section.

sudo pmset repeat shutdown MTWRFSU 22:00:00

GUI at Apple menu > System Preferences... > Energy Saver > Schedule (button)

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