Bug#374039: #374039 shutdown -h -H: warn that then cannot poweroff perhaps

Jesse Smith jsmith at resonatingmedia.com
Sun Apr 7 15:12:20 BST 2019

> Halt action is to halt or drop into boot monitor on systems that
> support it." is not enough to convey, that in many cases it brings
> machine into state, when it is still on, display still showing
> letters, but no interation (except physical poweroff) is possible.

That is what halt means - to stop running the system without powering off.

> "Maybe -H is actually produces useful behaviour in some cases (no
> idea), but please add into manpage warning like "Do not use -H option,
> unless you really know what are you doing."

Halting is often used to run through the shutdown process and leave
output on the screen for debugging purposes. Or when you want the OS to
stop, but leave the power on. There is no negative side-effect to using
the -H option, no loss of data. There isn't any reason to print an extra

Which brings me back to the original bug report which read: "Well, I
tried "-h -H", and guess what, it put my IBM Thinkpad in a unrebootable
state... no button would respond, no way to poweroff either. I had to
remove the AC cord, and remove the battery, to finally poweroff. So
perhaps add a warning to the man page."

The user could, in that case, just press and hold the power button for
five seconds to power off the machine. There is no need to remove the AC
power or take out the battery. Holding the power button works on all
workstations and laptops made in the past 20 years. It's common practise
for any time a machine hangs, has a kernel panic or stops responding to
keyboard input.

More information about the Debian-init-diversity mailing list