Hi After a recent update to packages on to 13.04 (i.e. this has recently manifested) I now have 5 different systems which will all fail to reboot using sudo reboot now this will result in them being stuck in single user mode, and since sshd will be down at this runlevel I have to physically Ctrl-Alt-Delete them down.

6 Answers 6


The solution in part is to use sudo reboot -r now however sudo reboot now should really work. Given this appears to be reproducible I'm posting this in the hope that others will not suffer the PITA that is rebooting a remote server.

sudo init 6 should work too, but this would skip the user warnings.

  • Also having this issue, though the -r flag for reboot does not seem to exist on my system.
    – hak8or
    Aug 15, 2013 at 3:52
  • Maybe he meant sudo shutdown -r now?
    – davemyron
    Oct 10, 2014 at 17:16

There was a syntax change between 12.10 and 13.04:

reboot [OPTION]...                          # 12.10
reboot [OPTION]...  [REBOOTCOMMAND]         # 13.04 and later

So to put it mildly, your now was never "valid", it was just ignored.

Now, the now is being read in as REBOOTCOMMAND and that's being used during the reboot sequence and that's generally why everything's getting so fouled up.

The short solution is you just don't need now. You never have. That's the shutdown command.


I know the question is old but I run into this myself after installing 14.04 and noticed that the now keyword seems to confuse the reboot command.

The command to use nowadays is simply

sudo reboot

Having the same issue... I'm finding that the following appears to work for me...

sudo shutdown -h -r now

Though it doesn't look like it even would allow everything to gracefully exit first.


You can shutdown or restart your desktop or server with a simple command in bash. You have to use the commands with sudo. To restart your computer right away, just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command(s) below:

sudo shutdown -r now

To reboot the command should be any one of the following:

sudo reboot

sudo shutdown -r now

sudo init 6

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