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How to Schedule a Python Script with Crontab

Before you schedule a Python Script with Crontab you need to have some tasks that are good candidates for automation or they need to be run at specific times or intervals. This guide will show you how this can be achieved.

Many entities be they companies, small business, or even individuals use the Python programming language for a wide variety of applications. It could include making web applications, websites, data science applications, machine learning models, and many other types of analytical tasks.

Python is often used as a niche programming language for specific projects. It is the ideal language that can be integrated in the users’ workflow programmatically. In short it facilitates automation across several ares within the business systems.

With automation comes the need to schedule. Fortunately, on Linux, seeing that is the scope of this guide, there is a way to integrate Python with cron jobs to automate execution on a predetermined schedule as necessary.

In this article, you will learn by examples how to schedule a Python Script with Crontab.

This is how Schedule a Python Script with Crontab

We will be using the the crontab editor to add our tasks to the cron jobs. The crontab editor can be opened by running:

$ crontab -e

In these examples we have a Python script, that required a script to run every 15 minutes. The Python script can be configured using one of the below options depending on the environment:

For default Python version: If the application runs with system default Python version, use below crontab command:

*/15 * * * * python /path/to/python/app/cronscript.py

For non-default Python versions: You can use other Python versions installed on your system by providing the complete path to the Python Binary. Use this depending on which version your script depends on.

*/15 * * * * /usr/bin/python3.10  /path/to/python/app/cronscript.py

For Python with Binary in Path: This is similar to the first example. Here the different python version has been saved in the path.

*/15 * * * * python3  /path/to/python/app/cronscript.py


This was a short guide showing you how to automate and schedule a Python Script with Crontab in Linux and macOS systems. In this example we scheduled our script to run every 15 minutes. You can check out this in-depth guide showing how to schedule different intervals with crontab. Also check out this guide showing how to run multiple scripts with a single cron job.

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