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I noticed for a while that although I could run the commands in my crontab just fine, they would not run from cron itself; when I looked at magento.cron.log, I found lines like this:

Directory "var/locks/" cannot be created Warning!mkdir(): Permission denied

I noticed that var/locks in my Magento installation directory had all of the correct permissions, and it was full of lock-files, but just from when I would manually run the cron jobs; also, ~/var was mostly locked down in my shared-hosting setup, and the only sub-directories I could see are the per-site directories (I can't even enumerate sub-directories of ~/var, only guess at what the names are, and I can tell that in particular there is no ~/var/locks).

Prepending each Magento cron job with a command to switch to the Magento installation directory (using an absolute path) worked; for example, if my username were user and Magento were installed in ~/magento, then the relevant command would change from

* * * * * php /home/user/magento/bin/magento cron:run 2>&1 | grep -v "Ran jobs by schedule" >> /home/user/magento/var/log/magento.cron.log

to

* * * * * cd /home/user/magento && php /home/user/magento/bin/magento cron:run 2>&1 | grep -v "Ran jobs by schedule" >> /home/user/magento/var/log/magento.cron.log

(Here, the correct php executable was in my $PATH, which I had explicitly set near the top of my crontab.)

Why does Magento try to write lock-files to ~/var/locks rather than var/locks under its own installation directory? I'm currently running Magento 2.3.6-p1.

1 Answer 1

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It might also be a good idea to limit how much each cron job has to do by breaking them up, as detailed here: https://github.com/magento/magento2/issues/26809#issuecomment-588267706

The actual crontab line I now use (again assuming the username is user and Magento installation directory is ~/magento) is

* * * * * cd /home/user/magento && chronic flock -w 0 /tmp/crongroup_default php /home/user/magento/bin/magento cron:run --group="default" --bootstrap="standaloneProcessStarted=1" 2>&1 | grep -v "Ran jobs by schedule" >> /home/user/magento/var/log/magento.cron.log

and there are lines for each cron group, as I found in my admin area, with the less-used groups (like consumers) only runnning every 30 minutes; the system-wide /tmp directory is writable on my system, but you could use /home/user/tmp or even /home/user/magento/var/locks.

(Okay, there is one more thing: Nexcess regularly prepends /usr/sbin/relax, a proprietary shell-script, before any bare invocation of php at the start of a cron job, probably to mitigate the impact of frequent invocations of php on shared hosting, and I decided to put that before chronic when I changed my crontab line to include that; the problems in the main post long pre-dated such changes.)

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