Different ways to shutdown or restart Ubuntu

Cort Ammon

Jul 8, 2016
I'm not going to discover something essential, but surely some will not know any of these different ways to turn off system.

In the background, it is not only valid to turn it off or restart it, it also serves to close the session, block the screen, change user, suspend or hibernate the system. What it does is show us the small screen that offers all the options named:

Applet in the bar
I guess it's the most used option. Ubuntu by default shows in the upper panel an applet with the icon to turn off the system. This applet only has that function and doing a left click on it will show us the previous window.

Through the menu
If you have the default Ubuntu menu you just have to go to " System> Exit ... ". If by contrast you have this other more compact menu , you have to display it and choose the same option, " Exit ... "

Key combination
This is somewhat less known and yet it is quite practical if we have both hands on the keyboard. Instead of moving one of them over the mouse, point and click, we can simply press the " Ctrl + Alt + Delete " keys. Indeed, it is the damn combination of Windows systems that we have used so many times when the system was hanging.

Tower button
Be careful with this one. If you have an excessively old computer that shuts down with a quick press of the power key, you can not follow this example. If instead your tower is the one that you have to press the button for 3 or 4 seconds if you are worth it.

Be careful again because you do not have to do that, the button must be pressed in those seconds. That would cause a bad shutdown of the system with some risk in the file system and the information with which we are working.

Instead, what you need to do is a quick press of the button. It does not have to be too fast, with "click" sound is enough and you can pull it off. Immediately after that window will come out.

This method is obviously the least orthodox, although perhaps someone will do well if you have the button within reach of your finger, or to explain without too much trouble to your father how to turn off the computer if you are not when you have to.

By console
For those who are not using graphical environment (for example in servers), they are simply using the console at that moment, or want to be the most 1337-geeks.

To turn off the system we have three different commands (halt, poweroff and shutdown), the third quite configurable.

sudo halt
sudo poweroff
shutdown has different options, for example we can tell you to turn it off right now:

sudo shutdown -h now
or in x time, where x is the number of minutes you have to wait to turn it off, for example in 5 minutes:

sudo shutdown -h +5
We can also tell you to turn off at a specific time (24-hour system clock, that is, from 0 to 23), for example at 10:30 PM:

sudo shutdown -h 22:30
To restart the system we have two: reboot and again shutdown , with all the options mentioned before only that instead of using the argument -h (of halt ), we will use the -r (of reboot ). Keeping the same examples as before:

sudo reboot
sudo shutdown -r now
sudo shutdown -r +5
sudo shutdown -r 22:30
These commands are essential when managing a computer remotely by SSH to restart or shut down the machine. We can also play to program the computer itself to turn off or restart when we want without using the scheduled tasks .


Staff Member
Apr 18, 2016
Thanks for sharing this information! I'm new to the Ubuntu and trying to learn it's knooks and crannies, I appreciate that you shared this valuable resource!
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