Schedule And Automate Tasks in Ubuntu

Doing the same thing over and over again is a boring chore. Windows and Mac understand that, that why they have the automation program built into their OS. Windows XP & Vista have a task scheduler that allow you to create and automate simple task. Unknown to many, Mac OS X iCal alarm function can also be used to schedule and automate task.

In Ubuntu (or basically Linux), task automation used to involve writing shell scripts and setting cron job, and this is not an easy thing for a new user to do. Luckily, there is the Gnome-schedule that come with a simple graphical interface and makes task scheduling a breeze.

First, let install the Gnome-schedule,

sudo apt-get install gnome-schedule

For those who prefer graphical interface, navigate to System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager. Scroll down till you see gnome-schedule. Check the box beside it and choose “Mark for installation”. Click “Apply”.

Once installed, open up the gnome-schedule (Applications -> System Tools -> Schedule).

A plain and simple window will appear. Do not be surprised by the blank screen, it is meant to be that way, simple and clean.


To schedule a task, click on the “New”. A window will popup to ask if you want to schedule a repeating task or an one time job. Make your selection and click “OK”.


In the next window, you can create a new template so that you won’t have to recreate the same task again and again. You can also insert an icon to the template for easy recognition. Next, set the time for the task to execute and place the link to where the task (or script) is stored.


If you like to set a more precise timing to execute your task, you can choose the “Advanced” tab. This is where you can set the minute, hour, day, month and year of the execution of the task.