Running a cakePHP shell script as cronjob on Dreamhost

Dreamhost as a wonderful wiki on how to set cron jobs and cakePHP has a cookbook page on how to do it too, but getting it just right was a little frustrating.

I finally managed to run my shell task as a cronjob, and here is how I did it.

The magic command

First, here is the command I wrote in my Dreamhost panel :

/home/username/ -app /home/username/ shell_name

You have to set the full path to the cake console because it obviously is not in the pre-saved paths on a default Dreamhost install.

You also have to specify the app directory otherwise cake will search your shell in the wrong directories. This is even more important if your shell is located in a plugin directory.

But, this won't work as-is, you'll have to do several other stuff, mostly explained by Miles Johnson, but I'll recap them

Setting the file as executable

You have to set the cake/console/cake file as executable. It is kind of obvious, but you have to do it anyway.

Set the TERM variable

Update you cake/console/cake to replace the first lines with :

export TERM

If you don't, you'll have notice errors in the resulting log. No big deal, but it is cleaner that way.

Forcing using php5

While in command line, the php command refer to the php4 version. If you need to use php5 (and I guess you should), you would have to manually reference the binary file. Hence, you have to update your cake/console/cake file one more time and change the execline to :

exec /usr/local/php5/bin/php -q ${LIB}cake.php -working "${APP}" "$@"

And it's ok

Your cronjob should not work effortlessly. It took me some long hours to track all this down (along with other issues on my local dev machine that make debugging even more cloudy).

Tags : #cakephp #dreamhost #shell #cronjob

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