CentOS/RHEL 6: Shutdown Command

I am a new RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) version 6 server admin user. What is the command to shut down a RHEL based system over the ssh based session? How do I shutdown a CentOS Linux based system?

You can use any one of the following command on CentOS/Red Hat/RHEL/Fedora/Scientific Linux based system to shutdown the system:

  1. shutdown command – Bring the system/server down in a safe way.
  2. halt or poweroff command – These programs allow a system administrator to halt or poweroff the system.
  3. telinit command – Change system runlevel to zero (0) i.e. shutdown the system.

RHEL/CentOS/Red Hat server poweroff command syntax

You can use any one of the following command and the basic syntax is:

shutdown -h now


shutdown -h 0






telinit 0

Exact procedure and command to shut down a Red Hat (RHEL)/CentOS Linux system

Open the Terminal or login to the remote server over the ssh. Type the following command as root user to shutdown server immediately without any warning to the users:
# shutdown -h now
However, on busy system, you may want send a message to everybody’s terminal using the wall command as follows:
# wall "Server is shutting down in 10 minutes. Please save all work."
# shutdown -h +10

OR use the shutdown command as follows to send a message:
# shutdown -h +5 "System RAM upgraded scheduled at 6:30pm IST. Save all your work as system going to shutdown in 5 minutes."
Sample outputs:

Broadcast message from
	(/dev/pts/0) at 4:38 ...
The system is going down for halt in 5 minutes!
System RAM upgraded scheduled at 6:30pm IST. Save all your work as system going to shutdown in 5 minutes.
See also:

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.


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