How to Run or Repeat a Linux Command Every X Seconds Forever

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Marin Todorov

I am a bachelor in computer science and a Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator. Currently working as a Senior Technical support in the hosting industry. In my free time I like testing new software and inline skating.

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11 Responses

  1. coringa says:

    Oh my god, thanks a lot, i was trying to use cron, but 1 minute is too long, you saved me, a simple command that do the job, thanks a lot man

  2. SanjayW says:

    Add screen to the mix and you can exit the terminal and the script continues to run…

  3. Richard says:


    I tried to follow all the instructions above to set up my LCD screen to work with my pi Model B+, but it looks like I got myself into trouble. The LCD screen won’t work– and the pi won’t book up correctly. After step 3, I rebooted the Pi, but I could get back to a working environment- meaning I can’t get to the command-line to finish up the setup process.

    Could you help me with this?

  4. Kenton says:

    Instead of “while true; do (some command);sleep 3;done” You can just use “while sleep 3;do (some command);done”

    The sleep command returns true in a conditional.

  5. Michael says:

    Please how will i grep a string in a log file to output the lastest string in the file.

    Thanks for your answer as usual.

  6. Stef says:

    Another nice command is ‘at’ that executes the commands specified from the input stream at a given time. On Debian, it is provided by the package at.

    The nice thing about ‘at’ is that the time specification is quite flexible and intuitive
    echo notify-send Hoops | at now + 5 minute
    echo notify-send Hoops | at 10pm
    echo notify-send Hoops | at 10pm tomorrow
    echo notify-send Hoops | at 22:00 monday

    By itself t does not repeat but that can easily be done using a loop.

    for ((i=1;i<10;i++)) ; do echo echo notify-send "Hoops $i" | at now + $i minute ; done

    Be aware that 'at', like cron, executes its commands in a clean environment so without most environment variables such as DISPLAY.

  7. Shahid Khattak says:

    Nice article. especially to check free memory in real time and checking system average load

  8. Vicdeveloper says:

    Saved in Favorites. :D. Thanks

  9. John Thingstad says:

    How about a introduction to time dependent tasks in systemd?. cron is on the way out anyways.

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