crontab -e will use what ever editor either the VISUAL or EDITOR environment variable points to.
The man page for crontab says:
The -e option is used to edit the current crontab using the editor specified by the VISUAL or EDITOR environment variables. After you exit from the editor, the modified crontab will be installed automatically.
Yes, but this usually means vi (default) or the editor established by the system administrator, which may mean nano, pico or vi, but could mean emacs, or any other editor / interface (even 'edit').
So, short of editing a file in your editor of choice and then executing crontab <file>, what alternative does the original poster have? Being my own system admin, setting one of those environment variables suffices for me.
ESC+:+write to save ESC+:+quit! to quit immediately Ctrl-I to "insert" – once you are in "insert" mode it works like a normal editor, except only on that one line. Hit ESC again to return to a normal mode.
Thanks for all your help guys… Sorted it.. had to use vi *cringe* as i couldnt change the editor of the crontab :)
Glad to have been of assistance, Tijer. While you're cringing about having to use VI though, I would think for a simple crontab entry you wouldn't need to do very much in VI anyway. Just once it opens, hit i then type in like you would in any other editor, once it's done, hit Esc and type :w hit Enter then type :q and hit Enter. *shrug*