Howto: Shutdown Linux System From Terminal

How do I shutdown Linux system from terminal or command line options?

The following programs allow a system administrator to shutdown the Linux server (system) from terminal (xterm or gnome-terminal or kde terminal):


[a] shutdown command – bring the system down with warning message.

[b] poweroff command or halt command – Halt / stop the system (

First, login as root user. Open a terminal window (select Applications > Accessories > Terminal). Switch to the root user by typing su – and entering the root password, when prompted. Type the following command to bring the system down immediately:
# poweroff
# shutdown -h now
# shutdown -h +0

Safe shutdown option

The shutdown command arranges for the system to be brought down in a safe way. All logged-in users are notified that the system is going down and, within the last five minutes of TIME, new logins are prevented. 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.

In this example I’m shutting down the Linux server for disk replacement and file system recovery withing 5 minutes:
# shutdown -h +5 RAID hard-disk replacement and system recovery needed.

Shutting down remote server

To restart the remote computer or server called, type:
ssh /sbin/shutdown -h now
OR shutdown remote server in 10 minutes for hardware upgrade:
# ssh
# shutdown -h +10 Ram upgrades.

How do I access a server after a server poweroff?

You can wakeup the remote server using the wakeonlan command or KVM over IP applications or server management interface (Remote Access Card) provided by server manufactures. See the following tutorials for more info:

  1. HowTo: Wake Up Computers Using Linux Command [ Wake-on-LAN ( WOL ) ]
  2. Remote Linux / UNIX / Windows Server Management With KVM over IP

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I'm Vivek Gite, and I write about Linux, macOS, Unix, IT, programming, infosec, and open source. Subscribe to my RSS feed or email newsletter for updates.

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