“./tools/run-periodic-tasks: Permission denied” error

This will probably not be news to most other bloggers out there using MoveableType 3.x, but it took me a while to figure it out so I’m posting it here in the hopes that I can help someone else stuck in the same boat that I was earlier today.

Newer versions of MT have a “future posting” feature that allows you to write a post and postdate it for publishing at a later date/time. This could be nifty for any number of reasons. But to use this feature you need to set up a cron job on your server to run what’s called run-periodic-tasks. This script actually runs MT and checks to see if anything needs to be posted.

For an in-depth explanation of how to set this all up, see the indespensible Learning MoveableType site.

Being somewhat familiar with cron jobs, I didn’t have much trouble setting this up (although it took me a couple tries to hit what they’re looking for for [path to MT]). But I was stuck with an error message:

./tools/run-periodic-tasks: Permission denied

I read several places that users needed to make sure that permissions for periodic tasks were set to 755, but it wasn’t clear to me how you did that. After a bit of poking around, I found it.

Within the ‘tools’ folder of your MT installation is a file called, of all things, run-periodic-tasks. Simply set permission for this file to 755.