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Moodle Tech Tip – Cron

The Moodle Cron process is a PHP script that must be run regularly in the background as it runs various tasks at differently scheduled intervals.

Cron is vital to the operation of a Moodle site and triggers many things including, but not limited to:

  • Forum posts digests
  • Email processing
  • Notifications – including the all important Assignment submissions
  • Course Backups
  • Emptying the Recycle Bin
  • Processing enrolments and unenrolments
  • Synchronising users (e.g. from external sources)
  • … and MANY other things !

An administrator can see and schedule cron tasks very precisely from:

Administration > Site administration > Server > Scheduled tasks

(see Scheduled tasks)

If you are a Moodle administrator you should definitely read the main Moodle Docs:


If you are not from a linux background, it’s really worth doing a little background reading about Cron too.

If you are hosting on Ubuntu/Debian then the distribution guides are pretty good:


A quick search on the net will also turn up plenty of generic guides such as this tutorial:


Stuart Mealor
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Stuart Mealor

Stuart is interested in all things e-learning, with specific interests in Moodle, e-learning strategy, and business development. His experience in education over 30 years, MBA in International Business, and knowledge of e-learning systems implementation, together with graphic design background, give him a unique skill set for e-learning projects.

One thought on “Moodle Tech Tip – Cron

  • This was a bit technical for me, so thanks for the links, which I will try and read soon 🙂


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