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I have a raspberry pi with the minimal image of Raspbian running the goodie-less version of XFCE4. After install my neccessary packages I have created a user named screenagent who is logged in automatically via lightdm, not sure if this is necessary but throwing it out there in case.

ANYWAYs..

I am trying to update my screenagent user's crontab with

crontab -e
@reboot chromium-browser --app="https://mydomain.com" --start-fullscreen
ctl-o,  <Enter>

however if I reopen my crontab it is blank again. A couple troubleshooting factors:

  1. There is no /etc/crontab.allow
  2. There is nothing at /var/spool/cron to look at
  3. When I run cat syslog | grep -e "crontab" I get the following which seems to suggest it's trying to do what crontab does, but it isnt...

Syslog entries

Jan 26 07:07:47 raspberrypi crontab[889]: (root) BEGIN EDIT (root)
Jan 26 07:08:11 raspberrypi crontab[916]: (root) BEGIN EDIT (root)
Jan 26 07:10:35 raspberrypi crontab[852]: (screenagent) BEGIN EDIT (screenagent)
Jan 26 07:11:36 raspberrypi crontab[942]: (screenagent) BEGIN EDIT (screenagent)
Jan 26 07:12:19 raspberrypi crontab[957]: (root) BEGIN EDIT (root)
Jan 26 07:16:09 raspberrypi crontab[867]: (screenagent) BEGIN EDIT (screenagent)
Jan 26 07:16:31 raspberrypi crontab[878]: (screenagent) BEGIN EDIT (screenagent)
Jan 26 07:20:10 raspberrypi crontab[928]: (root) BEGIN EDIT (root)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[944]: (root) LIST (root)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[945]: (root) LIST (daemon)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[946]: (root) LIST (bin)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[947]: (root) LIST (sys)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[948]: (root) LIST (sync)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[949]: (root) LIST (games)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[950]: (root) LIST (man)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[951]: (root) LIST (lp)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[952]: (root) LIST (mail)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[953]: (root) LIST (news)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[954]: (root) LIST (uucp)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[955]: (root) LIST (proxy)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[956]: (root) LIST (www-data)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[957]: (root) LIST (backup)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[958]: (root) LIST (list)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[959]: (root) LIST (irc)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[960]: (root) LIST (gnats)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[961]: (root) LIST (nobody)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[962]: (root) LIST (systemd-timesync)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[963]: (root) LIST (systemd-network)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[964]: (root) LIST (systemd-resolve)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[965]: (root) LIST (systemd-bus-proxy)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[966]: (root) LIST (_apt)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[967]: (root) LIST (pi)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[968]: (root) LIST (messagebus)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[969]: (root) LIST (statd)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[970]: (root) LIST (sshd)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[971]: (root) LIST (avahi)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[972]: (root) LIST (rtkit)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[973]: (root) LIST (usbmux)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[974]: (root) LIST (colord)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[975]: (root) LIST (saned)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[976]: (root) LIST (pulse)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[977]: (root) LIST (lightdm)
Jan 26 07:20:53 raspberrypi crontab[978]: (root) LIST (screenagent)
Jan 26 07:24:53 raspberrypi crontab[1013]: (root) BEGIN EDIT (screenagent)
Jan 26 07:25:12 raspberrypi crontab[1024]: (root) BEGIN EDIT (screenagent)
Jan 26 07:25:43 raspberrypi crontab[1037]: (root) BEGIN EDIT (screenagent)

any thoughts on this guys? I'm thoroughly stumped and the existing issues here and on the RPI forums have gone asked but unanswered. Thanks!

  • If you can save files on your SDCard then it's reached end-of-life and needs to be replaced. – Dougie Jan 26 at 9:23
  • Check if your user's file exist by running sudo ls -l /var/spool/cron/crontabs/ and consider using @reboot export DISPLAY=:0 && chromium-browser ... to select the display. Since your user auto logs in, maybe it is easier to edit his .bash_profile file to run your command after login. – GramThanos Jan 26 at 13:58
  • @GramThanos, I've ls'd the directory and found no crontab files.Funny enough. now if I try to modify my crontab for screenagent it only saves the "(at)reboot" and removes everything else between saves. I now have a crontab files that only SA can rw to, should I manually modify permissions such that crontab has RW and then go ahead and manually update the file? – Daniel Kemmet Jan 26 at 20:23
  • @Dougie Thanks for your suggestion. I've saved multiple files as root, pi, and screen agent and all seem to stick! – Daniel Kemmet Jan 26 at 20:23

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