The cron module allows you to do tasks regularly, by setting up a cron job that calls a hook in SimpleSAMLphp. This will invoke hooks/hook_cron.php in any enabled modules

Modules, like e.g. the metarefresh module, that want to invoke tasks on set times, can register cron hooks for use by this module. You in turn configure your system's cron or other time based execution functionality to periodically trigger this module's endpoint, so all registered hooks will be executed at that time. This module also takes care of reporting back the result and provides an interface in SimpleSAMLphp's admin panel to trigger jobs manually.


You need to enable the module in config.php and copy the config-templates files of the module into the global config/ directory.

'module.enable' => [
     'cron' => true,
[user@simplesamlphp] cd /var/simplesamlphp
[user@simplesamlphp simplesamlphp] cp modules/cron/config/module_cron.php.dist config/module_cron.php

Configuring the cron module

The configuration ( config/module_cron.php ) should look similar to this:

$config = [
   'key' => 'RANDOM_KEY',
   'allowed_tags' => ['daily', 'hourly', 'frequent'],
   'debug_message' => true,
   'sendemail' => true,

Bear in mind that the key is used as a security feature, to restrict access to your cron. Therefore, you need to make sure that the string here is a random key available to no one but you. Additionally, make sure that you include here the appropriate tags - for example any tags that you previously told metarefresh to use in the cron directive.

Triggering Cron

You can trigger the cron hooks through HTTP or CLI. The HTTP method is the original technique, and it is recommended if you don't need to trigger CPU or memory intensive cron hooks. The CLI option is recommended if you need more control over memory, CPU limits and process priority.


cron functionality can be invoked by making an HTTP request to the cron module. Use your web browser to go to https://YOUR_SERVER/simplesaml/module.php/cron/croninfo.php . Make sure to properly set your server's address, as well as use HTTP or HTTPS accordingly, and also to specify the correct path to the root of your SimpleSAMLphp installation.

Now, copy the cron configuration suggested on that page:

# Run cron [daily]
02 0 * * * curl -sS "https://YOUR_SERVER/simplesaml/module.php/cron/run/daily/RANDOM_KEY"
# Run cron [hourly]
01 * * * * curl -sS "https://YOUR_SERVER/simplesaml/module.php/cron/run/hourly/RANDOM_KEY"

Finally, add it to your crontab by going back to the terminal, and editing with:

[user@simplesamlphp config]# crontab -e

This will open up your favourite editor. If an editor different than the one you use normally appears, exit, and configure the EDITOR variable to tell the command line which editor it should use:

[user@simplesamlphp config]# export EDITOR=emacs

If you want to trigger a job manually, you can do so by going back to the cron page in the web interface. Then, just follow the appropriate links to execute the cron jobs you want. The page will take a while loading, and eventually show a blank page.

With CLI

You can invoke cron functionality by running /var/simplesamlphp/modules/cron/bin/cron.php and providing a tag with the -t argument.

It is strongly recommended that you run the cron cli script as the same user as the web server. Several cron hooks created files and those files may have the wrong permissions if you run the job as root.

note: Logging behavior in SSP when running from CLI varies by version. The latest version logs to PHP's error log and ignores any logging configuration from config.php

Below is an example of invoking the script. It will:

su -s "/bin/sh" \
   -c "nice -n 10 \
       php -d max_execution_time=120 -d memory_limit=600M \
       /var/simplesamlphp/modules/cron/bin/cron.php -t hourly" \