Linux / Unix – crontab: no crontab for user using an empty one error and solution


am trying to set cronjob on a Unix systems by running the crontab -e command. But, I’m getting the following error:

crontab: no crontab for veryv – using an empty one

crontab: “/usr/bin/vi” exited with status 1

How do I fix this issue on a Linux or Unix-like systems?

You need to set correct environment variable called EDITOR. It appers that either vi is not installed or /usr/bin/vi is a symbolic link to vim editor. To edit the current crontab using the editor specified by the VISUAL or EDITOR environment variables, enter:

$ crontab -e

But, if EDITOR or VISUAL is not set, so you will see an error as follows:

Fig.01: Linux crontab: no crontab for veryv – using an empty one

So to fix this error and use vim as a text editor, type (bash/sh/ksh shell specific syntax):

export EDITOR=vim


OR if you are using emacs editor, run:

export EDITOR=emacs


Or if you are using nano text editor, enter:

export EDITOR=nano


Finally, try to edit or set new cron jobs, enter:

crontab -e


I recommend that you edit your shell ~/.bashrc file and append the following line:

export EDITOR=vim



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