Programming language: Go
License: MIT License
Tags: Job Scheduler    

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cheek, of course, stands for Crontab-like scHeduler for Effective Execution of tasKs. cheek is a KISS approach to crontab-like job scheduling. It was born out of a (/my?) frustration about the big gap between a lightweight crontab and full-fledged solutions like Airflow.

cheek aims to be a KISS approach to job scheduling. Focus is on the KISS approach not to necessarily do this in the most robust way possible.

Getting started

Fetch the latest version for your system below.

darwin-arm64 | darwin-amd64 | linux-386 | linux-arm64 | linux-amd64

You can (for example) fetch it like below, make it executable and run it. Optionally put the cheek on your PATH.

curl https://storage.googleapis.com/better-unified/darwin/amd64/cheek -o cheek
chmod +x cheek

Create a schedule specification using the below YAML structure:

tz_location: Europe/Brussels
    command: date
    cron: "* * * * *"
        - bar
      - echo
      - bar
      - foo
    command: this fails
    cron: "* * * * *"
    retries: 3
        - https://webhook.site/4b732eb4-ba10-4a84-8f6b-30167b2f2762

If your command requires arguments, please make sure to pass them as an array like in foo_job.

Note that you can set tz_location if the system time of where you run your service is not to your liking.


The core of cheek consists of a scheduler that uses a schedule specified in a yaml file to triggers jobs when they are due.

You can launch the scheduler via:

cheek run ./path/to/my-schedule.yaml

Check out cheek run --help for configuration options.


cheek ships with a terminal ui you can launch via:

cheek ui

The UI allows to get a quick overview on jobs that have run, that error'd and their logs. It basically does this by fetching the state of the scheduler and by reading the logs that (per job) get written to $HOME/.cheek/. Note that you can ignore these logs, output of jobs will always go to stdout as well.


All configuration options are available by checking out cheek --help or the help of its subcommands (e.g. cheek run --help).

Configuration can be passed as flags to the cheek CLI directly. All configuration flags are also possible to set via environment variables. The following environment variables are available, they will override the default and/or set value of their similarly named CLI flags (without the prefix): CHEEK_PORT, CHEEK_SUPPRESSLOGS, CHEEK_LOGLEVEL, CHEEK_PRETTY, CHEEK_HOMEDIR, CHEEK_NOTELEMETRY.


There are two types of event you can hook into: on_success and on_error. Both events materialize after an (attempted) job run. Two types of actions can be taken as a response: notify_webhook and trigger_job. See the example below. Definition of these event actions can be done on job level or at schedule level, in the latter case it will apply to all jobs.

    - https://webhook.site/e33464a3-1a4f-4f1a-99d3-743364c6b10f
    command: this fails # this will create on_error event
    cron: "* * * * *"
        - https://webhook.site/e33464a3-1a4f-4f1a-99d3-743364c6b10f
    command: echo grind # this will create on_success event
    cron: "* * * * *"

Webhook are a generic way to push notifications to a plethora of tools. You can use it for instance via Zapier to push messages to a Slack channel.


Check out the Dockerfile for an example on how to set up cheek within the context of a Docker image.

Available versions

If you want to pin your setup to a specific version of cheek you can use the following template to fetch your cheek binary:


  • os is one of linux, darwin
  • arch is one of amd64, arm64, 386
  • tag is one the available tags
  • shortsha is a 7-char SHA and most commits on main will be available

Usage stats

By default cheek reports minimal usage stats. Each time a job is triggered a simple request that (only) contains your cheek version is send to our servers. Check out the exact implementation here. Note that you can always opt-out of this by passing the -no-telemetry or -n flag.


Thanks goes to:

  • gronx: for allowing me not to worry about CRON strings.
  • Charm: for their bubble-icious TUI libraries.
  • Sam & Frederik: for valuable code reviews / feedback.

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