I can't get cron (specifically elysia cron) to run with Drush. I've been using this as a guide. What have I missed/done wrong?

My Crontab


*/5 * * * * /usr/bin/drush @main elysia-cron
* * * * * env > /tmp/cronenv.log


  • I've used www-data for my crontab. This is the default nginx server user.
  • The path to drush (/usr/bin/drush), comes from which drush.
  • I've used an alias for the site, @main. I've tested this outside of cron and the command drush @main elysia-cron runs cron, although only once an hour (see this problem). This cron runs every five minutes so it should work once an hour.

I also tried the format in the docs above:

*/5 * * * * /usr/bin/env PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin COLUMNS=80 /usr/bin/drush @main elysia-cron

4 Answers 4


It would probably be easier to use --root and --uri instead of @main. Drush loads aliases on a per-user basis; the user you are testing drush @main elysia-cron probably has the @main alias defined in an alias file in ~/.drush. You'd need to either move your aliases to a global location, or perhaps copy your alias file to the www-data user's .drush folder.

  • Cheers for third time in a row Greg, I did indeed have my alias file defined for a user who wasn't www-data, I'd completely forgotten I'd moved it from sites. Dec 3, 2013 at 16:12

I copied my aliases drush folder from ~/.drush to /var/www the home of the default server user: www-data.

The command in Ubuntu I used was:

cp -r ~/.drush /var/www

Just make bash script /var/www/scripts/elysia_cron.sh

cd /var/www #put your path to the document root which add centext  
/usr/bin/drush elysia-cron

and start this script on cron

*/5 * * * * /var/www/scripts/elysia_cron.sh
drush --root=/var/your website/ elysia-cron
  • Hello and welcome. This may be an answer, but it does not explain why or how. Could you add some detail to it?
    – Mołot
    Mar 20, 2014 at 14:57

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