RHEL7: Boot, reboot, and shut down a system normally.

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Note: This is an RHCSA 7 exam objective.


Switch on a physical server or a virtual machine (in this case, type: # virsh start vm).
Connect to the console.

Basic Management

To reboot the system, choose one command among these:

# reboot
# systemctl reboot
# shutdown -r now
# init 6
# telinit 6

To shutdown the system, choose one command among these:

# halt
# systemctl halt
# shutdown -h now
# init 0
# telinit 0

To switch off the system, choose one command among these:

# poweroff
# systemctl poweroff

Advanced Management

To suspend the system, type:

# systemctl suspend

To put the system into hibernation, type:

# systemctl hibernate

To put the system into hibernation and suspend it, type:

# systemctl hybrid-sleep

Additional Resources

Bob Cromwell provides some very interesting pages about Linux kernel details and the Linux boot process.

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11 comments on “RHEL7: Boot, reboot, and shut down a system normally.
  1. algorisms says:

    These also will work:

    telinit 0 #shutdown
    telinit 6 #reboot

  2. reaz_mahmood says:

    So I have used the systemctl halt command, it halted the system. Now, how do I get back to normal operations from here ? (I am on a virtual machine.)

    • CertDepot says:

      It depends on the virtualization software that you are using.
      If you use KVM, execute virsh start vm.
      If you use VirtualBox, use the VirtualBox interface to start the vm.

      • reaz_mahmood says:

        Right now I am using virtualbox. What I really wanted to know is what I would do if it were a physical server. Is there a keystroke combination (like ctrl+alt+del) which will take a halted system to active mode, or will I have to yank the power cord and start the machine again?

        • CertDepot says:

          Sorry, I edited your question because I didn’t find the first part of it very clear.
          Concerning a keystroke combination to halt a physical system, I don’t think there is. You can enable it but it’s not by default.

          • reaz_mahmood says:

            Sorry for not making the question more clear.
            Question 1: I have a system which is in a halt state (by using systemctl halt command).
            Now, I want to go back to normal mode to work on the server. How do I do that?
            Case 1: virtual server
            Case 2: physical server.

            In the case 1, as you suggested using virtualbox interface but I can not start a halted vm, because it is already in running state.

          • CertDepot says:

            As I’m not regularly using VirtualBox, I leave someone else answer for the case 1.
            Concerning the case 2, physical server, you can’t do anything except if you’ve got an out-of-band management system (iLO, DRAC, etc) as Lisenet said. An out-of-band management system is a way to remotely switch off/switch on a server.

          • Lisenet says:

            If you VirtualBox VM is halted, then try these:

            vboxmanage controlvm $vm_name poweroff
            vboxmanage startvm $vm_name

        • Lisenet says:

          Are you talking about out-of-band management (aka lights-out management)? In such case you want iLO or DRAC.

  3. gnutux95 says:

    My two cents …

    shutdown -r is better because it warns the other users and you can put a time to plan the reboot and a message.

    reboot / init 6 to go fast but often if the server is not in production.

    Rq : I think hibernation is not a good idea for server… it’s better to keep it for Linux Desktop to avoid to use too much swap when you have more than 64G RAM for instance.

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