Ubuntu/Debian — How to Shutdown a Machine

Occasionally you need to shut down or reboot your Linux servers. The Linux operating system comes with the built-in shutdown command. This command allows you to power off or reboot a computer.

This tutorial shows you how to shut down or reboot a Linux machine.

Ubuntu/Debian Series Overview

Shutdown Your Ubuntu/Debian Server

At first: you either need to be the root user or your logged-in user needs root privileges (sudo) to run the shutdown command.

You may power off a Linux server using the shutdown command. By default, this schedules the shut down of your machine in one minute:

# This shuts the computer down in 1 minute
sudo shutdown  

Shutdown Immediately

You may shut down a Linux machine immediately using the -h now flag. The -h flag needs to stop the system at a specific time and now tells Linux to shut down the machine immediately:

# This shuts down the computer immediately
sudo shutdown -h now  

Shutdown in X Minutes

In situations where you want to shut down the computer at a later point in time, you can use the -h +<number> format. This tells Linux to shut down the computer in <number> minutes.

# This shuts down the computer in 2 minutes
sudo shutdown -h +2  

Shutdown in X Seconds

The shutdown command doesn’t support the granularity of shutting the machine down in X seconds.

Reboot Your Ubuntu/Debian Server

The shutdown command also allows you to reboot a server using the -r flag. Using -r to reboot supports the same time arguments as a shutdown. For example, you may reboot a system immediately like this:

# This reboots the computer immediately
sudo shutdown -r now  

You can also schedule to reboot the machine in three minutes:

# This reboots the computer in 3 minutes
sudo shutdown -r +3  

Enjoy rebooting and shutting your computer down!

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