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Old 05-17-2017, 10:10 PM   #1
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Red face Cron Job syntax issues

Hi Linux guru's, newbie here.

I am struggling the get my Cron Job working and suspect it is because I am not escaping a "%" in my password correctly. I know, it's bad to include pw etc, however, once this is working I will disable any inclusion of it anywhere external.

I should say I'm doing this from cPanel as I'm not a hard core Linux buff.
After many dozens of attempts, I am stumped. Here's what I'm trying to do.

mysqldump --opt -Q -u USERNAME -p 'XXXX\%X' --all-databases > /home/USERNAME/backups/databases.sql

Where "X" is password chars, "%" is included in pw and the backslash is my attempt to escape the % in the password.

Result (via email) is:
/usr/local/cpanel/bin/jailshell: -c: line 0: unexpected EOF while looking for matching `''
/usr/local/cpanel/bin/jailshell: -c: line 1: syntax error: unexpected end of file

Any help greatly appreciated

Last edited by Tempoetic; 05-17-2017 at 11:37 PM. Reason: post left out backslash
Old 05-18-2017, 01:38 AM   #2
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Well, normally '\' should do it I would have thought .
Anyway, I would recommend putting all that into a shell script and just calling the script from cron.
Its more powerful/flexible and should also save you having to escape '%'.

PS: you could try double \\, but scripts are a better soln anyway.
Old 05-18-2017, 02:02 AM   #3
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Hi Chris

Thanks for responding.

Tried the double \\, no luck.

Forgive my ignorance, but to create the shell script would I just paste that line in a blank file and name it something like ""?

Old 05-18-2017, 02:21 AM   #4
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It is not that simple. Cron runs using sh, and the command line interpreted differently. So putting everything in a script and running it with bash may definitely solve this issue (and also other similar ones).
I'm not really sure you need to protect % at all, there can be other problems.
You can try to create a shell/python/perl/awk/whatever script to print the passed command line arguments (just to check how cron handles your entry).

Also using cron you may need to take care about stdout and stderr yourself, probably there will be some other information (this is another reason to use a shell script - you can handle it better).
Old 05-18-2017, 03:22 AM   #5
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There is no space between -p and the password,

# mysql -p 'mypass'
Enter password:
ERROR 1045 (28000): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO)
# mysql -p'mypass'
ERROR 1045 (28000): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: YES)
see in the first how it says "using password: NO", having the space means prompt for password but I did not pass one, it assumes mypass is the name of the database now.

in the second, it actually passed mypass as the password but as that isn't my actual password it failed, still it says "using password: Yes" as 'mypass' is now seen as the password. you need to eliminate that space, mysqldump has the same behavior as the mysql client in this regards.

Last edited by r3sistance; 05-18-2017 at 03:24 AM.
Old 05-20-2017, 12:22 PM   #6
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Backslash escapes the % for cron, but you must do it outside the ticks so the pogram does not see the backslash (because the shell removes it).
mysqldump --opt -Q -u USERNAME -p 'XXXX'\%'X' --all-databases > /home/USERNAME/backups/databases.sql

Last edited by MadeInGermany; 05-20-2017 at 12:23 PM.


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