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Linux – Shutdown

If you want to shutdown a server from the box without it coming back up again you can issue the shutdown command with the -h flag as shown below:

$ shutdown -h now
Broadcast message from root (pts/1) (Fri Jul  8 15:11:33 2011):
The system is going down for system halt NOW!

This should only be issued by the root user and will terminate all sessions to the box. To restart the box you will need to manually switch it back on. The shutdown -r now command is preferred, as this will bring the box down and restart. Use the -h command with caution and only when necessary.

Shutdown restart

If you wish to shutdown the server and for it to come back up again you will need to issue the -r flag for a restart:

$ shutdown -r now
Broadcast message from root (pts/1) (Mon Jul 11 09:59:27 2011):
The system is going down for reboot NOW!

Shutdown commands

The output of a shutdown –help is as follows:

Usage:    shutdown [-akrhfnc] [-t secs] time [warning message]
-a:      use /etc/shutdown.allow
-k:      don't really shutdown, only warn.
-r:      reboot after shutdown.
-h:      halt after shutdown.
-f:      do a 'fast' reboot (skip fsck).
-F:      Force fsck on reboot.
-n:      do not go through "init" but go down real fast.
-c:      cancel a running shutdown.
-t secs: delay between warning and kill signal.
** the "time" argument is mandatory! (try "now") **

Further reading

These are the two commands that I use most often. For further flags for the shutdown command you can take a look at the following links (links open in a new window):

http://linux.about.com/od/commands/l/blcmdl8_shutdow.htm
http://www.apache.com/?p=34
http://linux.die.net/man/8/shutdown

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