8.1. Shutting down the system

To shut down a running Debian GNU/Linux system, you must not reboot with the reset switch on the front or back of your computer, or just turn off the computer. Debian GNU/Linux should be shut down in a controlled manner, otherwise files might get lost and/or disk damage might occur. If you run a desktop environment, there is usually an option to log out available from the application menu that allows you to shutdown (or reboot) the system.

Alternatively you can press the key combination Ctrl+Alt+Del or Control+Shift+Power on Macintosh systems. If the key combinations do not work, a last option is to log in as root and type the necessary commands. Use reboot to reboot the system. Use halt to halt the system without powering it off [16]. To power off the machine, use poweroff or shutdown -h now. The systemd init system provides additional commands that perform the same functions; for example systemctl reboot or systemctl poweroff.

[16] Under the SysV init system halt had the same effect as poweroff, but with systemd as init system (the default in jessie) their effects are different.