Schedule & Automate Tasks In Linux With Gnome Schedule

Damien Oh 02-02-2009

gnome scheduled tasks toolHave you ever done a thing repeatedly on your computer and wished that you could automate it and get it to run on its own?


In Linux, the easiest way to schedule and automate a task is to use the crontab. This is a command line based application that allows you to execute commands or scripts automatically at a specified time/date.

For those who dislike the terminal and command line interface, Gnome Schedule is the graphical equivalent of the crontab. It leverages the power of vixie-cron, dcron and at to manage your crontab file and provide an easy way to schedule tasks on your computer. Be it scheduling a recurrent task or task that happens only once, Gnome-schedule has no problem in handling it.



Gnome Schedule is found in the repository of most Linux distros, so installation is an easy affair. If you are using Ubuntu, you can easily install it by clicking this link, in Synaptic Package Manager or in your terminal, type the following command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-schedule



When you schedule a new task, you can choose whether it is a recurrent task or just a one-time thing.

task scheduler linux

For a one-time task, you will be prompted to enter the task description, the date and time of the code execution and the code to be executed. In case you don’t know, a one-time task doesn’t mean you can only schedule one thing to run. You can easily configure Gnome Schedule to run several commands and do different things all at the same time.

For example, you can get it to stop all the applications, clear the trash bin and shutdown the computer at 10pm sharp at night. You just need to ensure that you enter each command in a new line and in the sequence that you want it to run.


gnome schedule newtask1

There is also a button for you to add the existing task as a template. With the template, you won’t have to enter the setting for the same task over and over again.

In the Recurrent mode, you can define the task to run every week, hour, minute, second, or at every reboot. If you want precise control, you can also turn on the Advanced mode to edit the schedule manually.

gnome schedule recurrent mode


gnome schedule scheduled tasks

By default, Gnome Schedule is not able to run the command code that requires administrator permission. For scheduling tasks that involve the system setting, you need to first run Gnome Schedule in Super-user mode before you can add the task to the schedule. To do that, you have to run the Gnome Schedule application from the terminal.

gksu gnome-schedule

In the Super-user mode, you can also edit other user’s scheduled tasks.



Gnome Schedule is a simple and easy to use application for you to schedule and automate tasks in your Linux machine. It doesn’t require you to remember or learn any command line instruction for creating a cron job, yet it allows you to schedule and automate your tasks easily. One thing though, you will have to learn the command line codes that execute your tasks or you won’t be able to create the task.

It would be great if the developer can include some pre-defined template for the standard tasks such as shutdown, clear the trash, close all windows etc.

What other software do you use to automate and schedule tasks in your Linux machine?

Image credit: Jean-Lou Dupont

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  1. Arpit Saxena
    February 13, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Hi My Friend,

    The // is a fantastic site i just love to visiting this.

    I want to know that Do I post any Linux article of this website on my Blog?

    • Damien Oh
      February 13, 2009 at 7:01 pm

      All the articles here are copyrighted. It's right that you ask permission from the owner of this blog and the article before you publish anything on your blog.

      • Arpit Saxena
        February 14, 2009 at 1:15 am

        But if i mentioned this link source address then also because you also know that its hard to get ask permissions for all owners so ????

    • Mark O'Neill
      February 16, 2009 at 8:28 am


      MakeUseOf does not allow any of the articles to be reproduced in full on any other websites under any circumstances.

      All you are allowed to do is write the first one or two lines (or your own introduction in your own words) and then provide a link back to this page. That is allowed. No more.

  2. Vadim P.
    February 3, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I just used Gshutdown before, but had way less features. This is quite nice.

    • Damien Oh
      February 3, 2009 at 8:01 pm

      Gshutdown is more catered to shutting down of computer. For other stuffs, Gnome-schedule is definitely the better choice.

  3. Endolith
    February 2, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Instead of a button for the template, it should have a drop-down with all of the available templates shown.

    • Damien Oh
      February 2, 2009 at 7:53 pm

      I think so too.

      I did mention in the article that it would great if the developer can include some pre-defined template for the standard tasks such as shutdown, clear the trash, close all windows etc. Let's hope the developer can get the message and include that in the future release.