According to this post menu shutdown asks each application to save their work prior to shutting down. Will something more serious happen if one always uses sudo shutdown -h now to turn off the machine? It works so fast, I am getting hang of it.

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    I think the worst thing that could happen is a corrupted file because it wasn't closed properly/in the middle of writing.
    – NorTicUs
    Oct 17, 2012 at 15:25
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    I'd use sudo poweroff, but I think they're the same thing. If you don't you a force option (-f or equivalent), there's no problem. The program probably halts/kills all your processes/programs gracefully at the beginning. If you didn't save your work (e.g. an open document edited in libreoffice), you might lose your unsaved work. Oct 17, 2012 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


None that I am aware of. That is how I shut down all of my servers. Using the -q options would force a non-graceful shutdown, but the -h option is fine. The 'now' part of the command is the 'time' to shutdown.


shutdown [-a][-t sec][-krhnfFc][time][warning-message]

shutdown -h -t 10

specified a shutdown in 10 seconds.

shutdown -h 8:00

shutdown happens at 8 o'clock


As long as there are no applications which require manual shutdown steps (or you always perform any manual steps) and there are no users who might have files open (say in vi or openoffice) who might have the rug pulled out from underneath them. Of course those are primarily concerns for a server. If the system is used by you alone, then no worries.

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