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How can I ensure my environment is configured for cron, batch, and at jobs?

If a shell or other script calling shell commands runs fine interactively but fails due to environment configurations (say: a complex $PATH) when run noninteractively, you'll need to force your environment to be properly configured.

You can write a shell wrapper around your script which configures your environment. You may also want to have a "testenv" script (bash or other scripting language) which tests what shell and environment are present when running under different configurations.

In cron, you can invoke Bash (or the Bourne shell) with the '-c' option, source your init script, then invoke your command, eg:

  * * * * *  /bin/bash -c ". myconfig.bashrc; myscript"

Another approach would be to have myscript dot in the configuration file itself, if it's a rather static configuration. (Or, conditionally dot it in, if you find a certain variable to be missing from your environment... the possibilities are numerous.)

The at and batch utilities copy the current environment (except for the variables TERM, DISPLAY and _) as part of the job metadata, and should recreate it when the job is executed. If this isn't the case you'll want to test the environment and/or explicitly initialize it similarly to cron above.

2012-07-01 04:05