shutdown/reboot suggestion

Michael Grant mgrant at
Sun Aug 10 05:11:56 UTC 2008

I have such a script, I put it in /bin/require_hostname and symlinked
shutdown, halt, reboot, fastboot, and fasthalt to this script:


if [ "$1" = `hostname` ]; then
        exec /sbin/`basename $0` $@
        echo "For your protection, use: $0 hostname ..."

I realize a lot of people have their own tricks and habits for
avoiding such stupidity, but what is the problem of fixing the problem
globally by getting these commands to take a hostname argument?

This could certainly be the basis for another thread (and this is
perhaps not the correct list), but is there some way to request a
modification across all the unix/linux distributions out there to
maintain some level of consistency across them?  Except for Posix, is
there some overall list which deals with this conformity of all these
sibling platforms?

Michael Grant

On Sun, Aug 10, 2008 at 3:45 AM, Jeffrey Goldberg <jeffrey at> wrote:
> 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 problem.
>> 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.
> -j
> --
> Jeffrey Goldberg              

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