Run at command in two minutes time

I’m trying to perform a one-liner using at.

Basically, I want to send an SMS at some point in the future.

Here’s my command to send an SMS:

php -r 'include_once("/home/eamorr/open/");sendCentralSMS("08574930418","hi");'

The above works great! I receive my sms in a couple of seconds.

Now, how can I get at to run this command in future?

I tried

php -r 'include_once("/home/eamorr/open/");sendCentralSMS("08574930418","hi");' | at now + 2 minutes

But this sends my command immediately! I want to send the message in 2 minutes’ time!

Asked By: Eamorr


Because that’s not how the at command works. at takes the command in via STDIN. What you’re doing above is running the script and giving its output (if there is any) to at.

This is the functional equivalent of what you’re doing:

echo hey | at now + 1 minute

Since echo hey prints out just the word “hey” the word “hey” is all I’m giving at to execute one minute in the future. You probably want to echo the full php command to at instead of running it yourself. In my example:

echo "echo hey" | at now + 1 minute


As @Gnouc pointed out, you also had a typo in your at spec. You have to say “now” so it knows what time you’re adding 1 minute to.

Answered By: Bratchley

You have an error in your syntax:

php -r 'include_once("/home/eamorr/open/");sendCentralSMS("08574930418","hi");' |
at now + 2 minutes

From man at:

You can also give times like now + count time-units, where the time-units 
can be minutes, hours, days, or  weeks and  you  can  tell  at to run the 
job today by suffixing the time with today and to run the job tomorrow by
suffixing the time with tomorrow.

You should wrap your php command in a shell script, then execute it.

$ cat

/usr/bin/php -r 'include_once("/home/eamorr/open/");sendCentralSMS("08574930418","hi");'


$ at -f now + 2 minutes
Answered By: cuonglm

If you are just concerned with sending the message after 2 minutes irrespective of the approach, I would suggest using sleep.

( sleep 120 ;  php -r 'include_once("/home/eamorr/open/
/ajax/constants.php");sendCentralSMS("08574930418","hi");' )
Answered By: Ramesh
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