Let’s Learn About Halt

Today’s article is about the halt command. The reason we’re writing about the halt command today is because I was halfway through another article before I realized I’d already written an article on that subject. So, this is going to just be a nice, easy article.

And, yes, yes I did write more than half of an article that I’ve already written. I ain’t even intoxicated!

The command we’re looking at using today is called ‘halt’. For such a little command, here’s an interesting post about the difference between halt and shutdown. And, if that’s not enough, you can read the other answers and comments on that page. 

Anyhow, halt is described like this in the man page:

halt, poweroff, reboot – Halt, power-off or reboot the machine

Of those three, we’ll just be covering the halt. Yes, the man page contains all three in just one page. They’re all related. As I said, we’ll just be covering the useful features of halt command today.

And, without further ado…

The Halt Command:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Once you have the terminal open, the first use of halt would be just to halt the system:

That will halt your CPU. It probably won’t shutdown your computer all the way, it will just stop it. So too won’t the -f (force) flag. If you force it, it just stops the CPU. It looks like and requires sudo:

Finally, of the options we’ll cover, is the -p flag, and the -p stands for poweroff. It’s just another way to shut down your computer, and it obviously looks like this:

Those are about the only ways you’re ever going to use it, if you use it at all. It’s not a command that you’re likely to bump into but now you know it exists and how to use it.


There you have it, another article. This one covers the halt command in Linux. It’s not a major article, but I needed one in a hurry – just to ensure there’s one scheduled. While my health is mostly returned, I’m still not so caught up that I have a bunch of extra articles. Feel free to step up and write one or two!

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Author: KGIII

Retired mathematician, residing in the mountains of Maine. I may be old and wise, but I am not infallible. Please point out any errors. And, as always, thanks again for reading.

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