When I run this Python3 script from the command line or from Thonny I get correct results. When I run it through crontab the variables ipaddress an ssid stay empty.

Can anyone tell me why? Any suggestions to solve it?

import dweepy, os

ipaddress = os.popen("ifconfig wlan0 | grep 'inet' | awk '/inet / {print $2}'").read()
ssid = os.popen("iwconfig wlan0 | grep 'ESSID' | awk '{print $4}' | awk -F\\\" '{print $2}'").read()

data = ssid[:-1] + ' ' + ipaddress[:-1]

dweepy.dweet_for('NorthWestern', {'here I am':data})

This script should let me know the ip address and the SSID of the wifi to which my headless Pi is connected.

Edit: this is the line in crontab:

* * * * * python3 /home/pi/PythonON5MF/send_ip_v001.py &
  • 1
    Please can you provide the full contents of your crontab.
    – Steve Amor
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 5:48
  • Do you start it from cron at reboot? Most likely, it is run before the WLAN is connected. Try to start the same script at a later time.
    – RalfFriedl
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 6:00
  • no I don't start it at reboot, I let it run every minute for testing. When I have this working I'll modify the script to only send me a dweet if SSID/IP change Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 6:18
  • It is difficult to understand what your actual question is. Don't you know the SSID - if so how does the Pi connect? Is there any reason to use that convoluted popen when you could just use hostname -I to get the IP address? The "&" in cron seems superfluous for a script that runs once.
    – Milliways
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 6:45
  • The question is why the os.popen() does not give a result when the script is run in crontab. I want the Pi to let me know to which SSID it is connected and what is its IP address. I have a few different wifi routers and when I move around I want to know to which router it is connected. Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 6:53

1 Answer 1


I found the solution... add sudo inside de os.popen() command:

ipaddress = os.popen("sudo ifconfig wlan0 | grep 'inet' | awk '/inet / {print $2}'").read()

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