I am relatively new to programming and am attempting to run a program from boot using a cron job on a Raspberry pi 2. So I went into the terminal and accessed the cron tab, I then entered @reboot python /home/pi/Project/Bluetooth.py (I know that's the right address, I have checked several times). The Python code I am trying to run in the beginning is:

import os
import subprocess

print "Hello World"
os.system('echo "hello world"')


target = open('test.txt', 'w')
target.write("Why doesn't this work")

I am simply trying to write some type of code to see if the cron is working and I test the code below in the terminal and everything works (prints hello world twice, opens up calculator, and then creates the text file). But it doesn't do anything on boot.

I tried every thing I could think of by printing to opening up processes. I am running Raspbian that i installed my self and everything else is working ok. I can't really start working on this project until I know it will run at boot. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • 1
    Is that the actual code, or does the real version not have the typos in lines 5, 7 and 9? There's a very good chance that X11 is not up by the time that this script is run, so galculator will have no way to run.
    – scruss
    Apr 20, 2015 at 1:08
  • Sure about that dubious . in the ` /usr/bin` path?
    – Ghanima
    Apr 20, 2015 at 1:21
  • Scruss? What errors? It runs in terminal, am i missing some code in there? I copied it over pretty hastily but I am pretty sure that is it. And Ghanima the ./ is to run galculator. Is that improper syntax in python?
    – Sean
    Apr 20, 2015 at 1:40
  • /usr/bin./galculator means 'Run galculator in a folder called "/usr/bin." - There is no folder called bin. (with the dot at the end).
    – recantha
    Apr 20, 2015 at 13:00
  • The code above runs in the terminal on PI. It throws some errors but it looks like its for the instance of galculator starting up. Is ./ not run on python? I thought that was a unix thing. It seems like cron isn't running my code right off boot.
    – Sean
    Apr 20, 2015 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


Hey guys i figured out what my issue was! Running that code wouldnt work so in the cron tab i had to put the line "@reboot cd /home/pi/Project; sudo python Bluetooth.py &". This worked, I don't know why it wasn't working earlier. But the code would work but i did change the galculator command to what you suggested Gilles. Thanks for the help guys!

  • As often repeated: there is no need for the "&" in crontab.
    – Ghanima
    Apr 27, 2015 at 7:18
  • Oh, does it automatically run everything in the back ground on start up?
    – Sean
    Apr 29, 2015 at 0:28
  • 1
    Yes, cron (+) forks each scheduled job into a separate process so that it will not be attached to cron but runs "in the back ground". (+) Note that this is the common behaviour there might be cron-implentations around handling that otherwise (but that seems unlikely).
    – Ghanima
    Apr 29, 2015 at 7:02

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