Makes scheduling tasks in CakePHP much simpler.

3.0.4 2016-01-09 20:50 UTC


Makes scheduling tasks in CakePHP much simpler.


Trent Richardson []


Copyright 2015 Trent Richardson

You may use this project under MIT license.

How It Works

SchedulerShell works by scheduling one cron (SchedulerShell) for your project. Then in bootstrap.php you can create intervals for all your tasks. Deploying new scheduled tasks are now much easier; one crontab entry executes all your tasks.


This Shell was developed for CakePHP 3.

Composer Installation (recommended)

In your project's composer.json file add this to your require:

"trentrichardson/cakephp-scheduler": "~3.0"

Manual Installation

Copy the Scheduler plugin into your App/Plugin folder and rename the folder to Scheduler.

Load the Plugin

In your bootstrap.php file add either:




Schedule a single system cron by the shortest interval you need for SchedulerShell.php. For example, if you have 5 tasks and the most often run is every 5 minutes, then schedule this cron to run at least every 5 minutes. For more help see Shells as Cron Jobs.

Example cron job:

*/5 * * * * cd /path/to/app && bin/cake Scheduler.Scheduler

This would run the SchedulerShell every 5 minutes.

Now once this shell is scheduled we are able to add our entries to bootstrap.php. Lets say we want to schedule a CleanUp task daily at 5am and a NewsletterTask for every 15 minutes.

Configure::write('', array(
	'CleanUp' => array('interval' => 'next day 5:00', 'task' => 'CleanUp'),// tomorrow at 5am
	'Newsletters' => array('interval' => 'PT15M', 'task' => 'Newsletter') //every 15 minutes

The key to each entry will be used to store the previous run. These must be unique!

interval is set one of two ways.

  1. For set times of day we use PHP's relative time formats: "next day 5:00".

  2. To use an interval to achieve "every 15 minutes" we use DateInterval string format: "PT15M".

task is simply the name of the Task.

There are a couple optional arguments you may pass: "action" and "pass".

action defaults to "execute", which is the method name to call in the task you specify.

pass defaults to array(), which is the array of arguments to pass to your "action".

Configure::write('', array(
	'CleanUp' => array('interval' => 'next day 5:00', 'task' => 'CleanUp', 'action' => 'execute', 'pass' => array()),
	'Newsletters' => array('interval' => 'PT15M', 'task' => 'Newsletter', 'action' => 'execute', 'pass' => array())

Storage of Results

SchedulerShell keeps track of each run in a json file. By default this is stored in TMP and is named "cron_scheduler.json".

If you need to change either of these you may use:

// change the file name
Configure::write('SchedulerShell.storeFile', "scheduler_results.json");
// change the path (note the ending /)
Configure::write('SchedulerShell.storePath', "/path/to/save/");

Preventing Simultaneous SchedulerShells Running Same Tasks

By default, the SchedulerShell will exit if it is already running and has been for less than 10 minutes. You can adjust this by setting:

// change the number of seconds to wait before running a parallel SchedulerShell; 0 = do not exit
Configure::write('SchedulerShell.processTimeout', 5*60);

Other Notes/Known Issues

  • The optional pass arguments have not been thoroughly tested
  • PHP prior to version 5.3.6 only used relative datetime for the DateTime::modify() function. This could result in an interval of "next day 5:00" not running if the previous lastRun time was 05:02. Therefore this plugin should only be run on PHP >= 5.3.6.