shutdown/reboot suggestion

Jeffrey Goldberg jeffrey at
Sun Aug 10 01:45:38 UTC 2008

On Aug 9, 2008, at 3:22 PM, Michael Grant wrote:

> More than once, through carelessness, and I'm sure I'm not alone, I
> have inadvertently shutdown or rebooted the wrong machine.  I'm sure
> some of you know that all too familiar feeling when you see
> "Connection closed" instead of your desktop being rebooted.

I use a combination of tricks.

1. I have the hostname in my prompt.
2. I have a separate color scheme for ssh sessions for each host I  
commonly connect to, and a generic color scheme for ssh sessions for  
other hosts.  These are all distinct from my term window color scheme  
for my local host.
3. I rarely run as root, so all of my shutdown's use sudo.  My  
password isn't the same on all hosts.

This doesn't work perfectly, but it does help avoid this kind of  

> I have a suggestion with respect to these commands.  What if they
> could be modified to require the hostname of the machine as their
> first argument, otherwise, they refuse to bring the machine down?
>  shutdown -h now
> becomes:
>  shutdown -h now

As others have pointed out, you can easily make scripts to do that.


Jeffrey Goldberg              

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