My objective is to execute a custom class/method (e.g. send data to a backend system) every X minutes. Seems cron is the way to go. Though, I'm new to cron in Magento 2.

What I see so far is I should create a etc\crontab.xml file

<config xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:module:Magento_Cron:etc/crontab.xsd">
<group id="default">
<job name="mymodule_orders_job" instance="My\Module\Model\Observer" >
<schedule>*/5 * * * *</schedule>

and "Observer" does the work. Seems simple enough.

What I'm confused on is, how does this get into cron (crontab)? Also, I see there's a cron_schedule table...not sure what that's used for.

Finally, I want the flexibility to 1) enabled/disabled the job in a custom Admin config and 2) set the interval on the same custom Admin.

I suspect for the custom Admin it would create the etc\crontab.xml and set parms accordingly? Also, since this is a packaged module need the module to be able set things up inclusively

  • Regarding cron job, look at how to make it run. This job will process crontab.xml. For other issues, create separate questions so that each question has one canonical answer. Dec 24, 2015 at 7:37
  • Thanks Alex! Starting to get a handle on this. So I now understand that magento needs to be a "job" echo "* * * * * php ${project_root}/bin/magento cron:run &" | crontab -u www-data - and for my module add etc\crontab.xml. As you suggest I'll create another question for my other questions
    – user20719
    Dec 28, 2015 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


You need setup not only a cron job execution schedule in a Magento 2 extension, but also setup a generic cron job execution schedule in an operating system.

The operating system will run Magento 2 by the schedule, and Magento 2 will check it's internal schedule and run the appropriate extensions jobs.

The generic operating system schedule should run Magento 2 more frequent then any of internal Magento 2 schedules. I recommend run Magento 2 every 5-10-15 minutes, depends on your server performance.

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