Reboot Linux System Command

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How do I reboot my Linux based system? How do I reboot a remote Linux system or server using command line?

Linux comes with various utilities that allow a system administrator to reboot, halt or poweroff the system. One must be root or a member of wheel group in order to run reboot command.

Reboot Linux command

You must login as root to reboot the system. Open the terminal application (or login to remote box using ssh client) and type any one of the following command to reboot the system immediately:
# /sbin/reboot
# /sbin/shutdown -r now

You can also use sudo command under Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora and other Linux based distros:
$ sudo reboot

It is a good idea to provide notification to all logged-in users that the system is going down and, within the last five minutes of TIME, new logins are prevented. Type the following command:
# shutdown -r +5
Sample output:

Broadcast message from [email protected]
        (/dev/pts/1) at 13:21 ...

The system is going down for reboot in 5 minutes!

TIME may have different formats, the most common is simply the word now which will bring the system down immediately. Other valid formats are +m, where m is the number of minutes to wait until shutting down and hh:mm which specifies the time on the 24hr clock.

How do I reboot remote Linux server?

Simply login as the root user using ssh command:
$ ssh [email protected] /sbin/reboot
$ ssh [email protected] /sbin/shutdown -r now

19 comment

  1. Now the trouble is that my server is 90 miles away and does NOT respond to ssh (frozen) How can anyone reboot that sucker without traveling 180 miles (round trip)?
    It’s deep buried in some corporates server room too!
    I know it is doable but I like to know how!

  2. @Matey: You call someone there and ask them to reboot it. Or you install a smart PDU on your remote UPS and power cycle the outlet the server is plugged into.

  3. I have a VPS with no panel and I want to reboot my container, will this work as well, or will affect the entire node?

  4. OK, I’ve got the following working for remotely rebooting a Linux (Centos, but should work elsewhere) system from an OSX machine (using Terminal).

    ssh -t [email protected] /usr/bin/sudo /sbin/reboot

    /etc/sudoers has:


    at the end. You are supposed to be able to make

    username localhost=/sbin/reboot

    work, but I had to put the IP address in.

    REMEMBER to use visudo to edit the file, i to insert, to stop inserting, :write and then :quit to write and exit.


  5. Hello,

    I have restarted my server remotely but now I cannot reach it. I try it on SSH but nothing. What could happen? I had given out the reboot command. Normally it only do a normal restarting. This is strange. Does anybody any idea?


  6. supi007,

    If you gave someone the reboot command they could easily transform it into the shutdown command, so it’s possible your machine has been powered off instead of rebooted. Gotta get someone to push the power button.

  7. wpns,

    thank you for reply. I have got two NIC in my server in bond. The bond usually make the life easier but not for me :( When I had restarted my machine, something had gone wrong with the bond connection. I know because when I arrived home I coldnt get IP from my server therefore I had to check it directly on my server. After that I did an ifconfig eth0 down;ifconfig eth0 up and everything was fine again.
    Unfortunately it is not a solution in a major case when you far away 100 miles, but it was a good lesson for me. I’m going to remove the second NIC from my server…


    1. Hi…
      I need help from U.

      I want to restrt the Redhat server 6.3 server.
      Which is locatedin different country.
      How to do that and is their any risk of doing it?
      If risk any solution for that.

  8. Hi it means…
    Do we cant restart the server remotely.?

    I want to restart the server which is in different country.
    Can i restart that machine from SSH.
    If so what i shold do. It shold not be risk.
    I have root permision.

    1. 1) login as root (or login and su to root),
      2) type (and hit return):
      /sbin/shutdown -r now

      It should tell you “SYSTEM IS GOING DOWN FOR REBOOT NOW”
      and after 20 seconds or so (during which it is shutting down services) it will reboot.

  9. After I run the command # /sbin/shutdown -r now, my nagios gives an error below:

    Error: Could not read host and service status information!

    Any ideas?

  10. Hi William,

    Yes, it can still reboot. The error I have mentioned was on web access in nagios.
    I solved the issue by checking windows.cfg. I found out that there were two items that are typo error.


  11. You forgot another method to do a reboot. Not the recommended method, but when something has gone weird with your terminal, another way to get a reboot is:

    init 6

    Hope that helps.

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