Deta Cron

A Deta Micro can be set to run on a schedule from the deta cli using the deta cron set command.

In order to set a micro to run on a schedule, the micro's code needs to define a function that will be run on the schedule with the help of our library deta.

The deta library is pre-installed on a micro and can just be imported directly.

Set Cron

Use deta cron set to schedule the micro.

You can set the cron in two ways:


You can define the rate at which a micro should run. It is comprised of a value and unit.

  • value: is a non-zero positive integer
  • unit: unit of time, can be minute, minutes, hour, hours, day, days. If the value is 1 the unit must be minute, hour or day.


  • deta cron set "1 minute" : Run every minute
  • deta cron set "2 hours" : Run every two hours
  • deta cron set "5 days" : Run every five days

Cron expressions

Cron expressions allow you more flexibility and precision when setting a cron job. Cron expressions have six required fields, which are separated by white space.

Month1-12 or JAN-DEC,-*/
Day-of-week1-7 or SUN-SAT,-*?L#


  • The , (comma) wildcard includes additional values. In the Month field, JAN,FEB,MAR would include January, February, and March.

  • The - (dash) wildcard specifies ranges. In the Day field, 1-15 would include days 1 through 15 of the specified month.

  • The (asterisk) wildcard includes all values in the field. In the Hours field, would include every hour. You cannot use * in both the Day-of-month and Day-of-week fields. If you use it in one, you must use ? in the other.

  • The / (forward slash) wildcard specifies increments. In the Minutes field, you could enter 1/10 to specify every tenth minute, starting from the first minute of the hour (for example, the 11th, 21st, and 31st minute, and so on).

  • The ? (question mark) wildcard specifies one or another. In the Day-of-month field you could enter 7 and if you didn't care what day of the week the 7th was, you could enter ? in the Day-of-week field.

  • The L wildcard in the Day-of-month or Day-of-week fields specifies the last day of the month or week.

  • The W wildcard in the Day-of-month field specifies a weekday. In the Day-of-month field, 3W specifies the weekday closest to the third day of the month.

  • The # wildcard in the Day-of-week field specifies a certain instance of the specified day of the week within a month. For example, 3#2 would be the second Tuesday of the month: the 3 refers to Tuesday because it is the third day of each week, and the 2 refers to the second day of that type within the month.


  • You can't specify the Day-of-month and Day-of-week fields in the same cron expression. If you specify a value (or a *) in one of the fields, you must use a ? (question mark) in the other.

  • Cron expressions that lead to rates faster than 1 minute are not supported.


  • deta cron set "0 10 * * ? *" : Run at 10:00 am(UTC) every day
  • deta cron set "15 12 * * ? *" : Run at 12:15 pm(UTC) every day
  • deta cron set "0 18 ? * MON-FRI *" : Run at 6:00 pm(UTC) every Monday through Friday
  • deta cron set "0 8 1 * ? *" : Run at 8:00 am(UTC) every 1st day of the month
  • deta cron set "0/15 * * * ? *" : Run every 15 minutes
  • deta cron set "0/5 8-17 ? * MON-FRI *" : Run every 5 minutes Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 5:55 pm(UTC)


const { app } = require('deta');
// define a function to run on a schedule
// the function must take an event as an argument
app.lib.cron(event => "running on a schedule");
module.exports = app;

With this code deployed on a deta micro, the deta cron set commands will execute the function based on the cron rate or expression. For example

$ deta cron set "10 minutes"

will set the function to run every 10 minutes. In order to see the execution logs, you can use the visor


A function that is triggered from the cron must take an event as the only argument. The event will have the following attribute.

  • event.type: string type of an event, will be cron when triggered by a cron event

Remove Cron

Use deta cron remove to remove a schedule from the micro.

Cron and HTTP

You can combine both cron and HTTP triggers in the same deta micro. For this you need to instantiate your app using the deta library that is pre-installed on a micro.

const { App } = require('deta');
const express = require('express');
const app = App(express());
app.get('/', async(req, res) => {
res.send('Hello deta, i am running with HTTP');
app.lib.cron(event => {
return 'Hello deta, i am cron job';
module.exports = app;

Cron and Run

You can use both cron and run triggers in the same deta micro. You can also stack run and cron triggers for the same function.

const { app } = require('deta');
const sayHello = event => 'hello deta';
const printTime = event => `it is ${(new Data).toTimeString()}`;
// only run;
// stacking run and cron, 'time'); // action 'time'
module.exports = app;