I have inherited a magento site owned by a customer and we are getting errors logged in var/reports every 5 minutes, I have checked our cron job setup with host and it appears to be in the correct SimpleTrigger format. I've been researching the issue but I don't really understand how it works so I'm hoping someone can help point me in the right direction. Thanks, J

a:4:{i:0;s:45:"Invalid cron expression: 0 5 10 15 20 * * * *";i:1;s:1238:"
#0 /chroot/home/domain/domain.com/html/app/code/core/Mage/Cron/Model/Schedule.php(68): Mage::exception('Mage_Cron', 'Invalid cron ex...')
#1 /chroot/home/domain/domain.com/html/app/code/core/Mage/Cron/Model/Observer.php(214): Mage_Cron_Model_Schedule->setCronExpr('0 5 10 15 20 * ...')
#2 /chroot/home/domain/domain.com/html/app/code/core/Mage/Cron/Model/Observer.php(168): Mage_Cron_Model_Observer->_generateJobs(Object(Mage_Core_Model_Config_Element), Array)
#3 /chroot/home/domain/domain.com/html/app/code/core/Mage/Cron/Model/Observer.php(128): Mage_Cron_Model_Observer->generate()
#4 /chroot/home/domain/domain.com/html/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/App.php(1338): Mage_Cron_Model_Observer->dispatch(Object(Varien_Event_Observer))
#5 /chroot/home/domain/domain.com/html/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/App.php(1317): Mage_Core_Model_App->_callObserverMethod(Object(Mage_Cron_Model_Observer), 'dispatch', Object(Varien_Event_Observer))
#6 /chroot/home/domain/domain.com/html/app/Mage.php(447): Mage_Core_Model_App->dispatchEvent('default', Array)
#7 /chroot/home/domain/domain.com/html/cron.php(46): Mage::dispatchEvent('default')
#8 {main}";s:11:"script_name";s:57:"/chroot/home/domain/domain.com/html/index.php";s:4:"skin";s:5:"admin";}

2 Answers 2


Welcome to Magento.SE!

The cron expression you're looking for is not set up in your host, rather, it's configured in a Magento module.

The problem

The module you're installed has attempted to make the cron run every 5 minutes for the first 20 minutes of every hour of every day. However, this is improperly formatted.

It should instead look like this:

0,5,10,15,20 * * * * 

Fixing the error

You are going to have to find the code that is failing. If you've recently installed a module since the error started that would be a great place to look.

This declaration is likely in the etc/config.xml file of a 3rd party module. You can begin looking for these in app/code/local and also in app/code/community.

Here's a command-line script you can run to find the offending file:

grep "0 5 15" ./app/code/{community,local} -R

The crontab notation in your snippet is actually incorrect. Crontab notation has room for 5 inputs.

* * * * * /path/to/some/executable

In your snippet you've got

0 5 10 15 20 * * * *

So essentially cron is reading that as having 9 inputs instead of 5. Now I'm a little fuzzy on what exactly you're trying to do, but if you're trying to run the cronjob on the 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 minute (i.e. 12:00, 12:05, 12:10, 12:15, 12:20), then your crontab notation would actually need to be

0,5,10,15,20 * * * *

If you're trying to run the cronjob every 5 minutes and just didn't want to put the full expression, then you could go with

*/5 * * * *


0,5,10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50,55 * * * * 

Crontab notation is definitely a little weird at first. Here's a good write-up that explains the different fields, how to work with them, and has examples too. http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2009/06/15-practical-crontab-examples/

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