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Linux, Unix, and *nix like Operating Systems Forum

1. How Often Do You Power Down Your Linux System?

 11:29 am on Jun 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

How often do you actually shut down your Linux desktops/laptops (servers excluded for the obvious reason)? Do you power down when you’re not using it, every evening when you are done, or never – unless a power outage happens? What do you recommend? I used to never shut down but I find myself doing it more and more, at least every couple of days. I'm also not talking about rebooting; I'm talking about powering down and keeping it powered down for a little bit.



 3:32 pm on Jun 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi henrymatthew, first of all Welcome to Webmasterworld!

Here is the output from the 'w' command on my development laptop:

17:31:30 up 95 days, 21:15, 1 user, load average: 0.08, 0.02, 0.01
lammert pts/0 17:31 0.00s 0.02s 0.01s w

Practically I only power down this laptop when I am travelling. All other machines are servers or Windows based computers, and those are also only powered down in rare circumstances.


 8:28 pm on Jun 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Three linux Mint machines (one backup mail server, two desktops) and a laptop at this location. None are powered down deliberately with very few exceptions which total maybe once avery few months.

Just added a Mint Hyper-V to a new online Windows 8 server and that goes offline for a few minutes every month when Windows (curse it!) reboots on software updates.

From early days in electronics (when transistors were sliced bread!) I learned of switch-on stress (PSU components, CPUs and other components). No doubt things are more tolerant of switch-on stress now but I see no reason to change, especially as it takes me several minutes to load everything onto a desktop whenever I do power down for any reason.

brotherhood of LAN

 10:33 pm on Jun 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Often. Any work-related task is usually done on a remote server and I dislike wasting energy. So, probably daily for me.


 11:53 pm on Jun 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

We ran a rural ISP for about 10 years using a combination of Windows and Apache servers. The Windows servers needed rebooting monthly to refresh and maintain performance. The mail and DNS servers using Apache could run for a year.

These days our Apache servers are virtuals and we have found that their performance suffers unless rebooted every couple of months at most.


 2:44 pm on Jun 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm old school in the belief that the most dangerous time for any hardware is when power is applied (no state to active state) ... so powered 24/7/365 and shut down only for hardware maintenance, or adding new hardware. Only exception is laptops, they need to routinely run on battery to near depletion to exercise the battery and prolong battery life/number of cycles. Laptops in the field do occasionally get run until they quit.

Depending on the machine use will auto reboot daily, weekly, monthly as accumulated memory faults can only slow things down.


 11:12 pm on Jun 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

I agree about power shutdown being dangerous because it causes a huge spike. Although modern power supplies and mother board should be able to compensate these days.


 5:35 am on Jun 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

My laptop (Ubuntu) seems to get a kernel update at least once a month, so that is the longest I go without a reboot. Ignoring reboots (as the OP asks), I never do it. The same is true for my wife's netbook.

I do get my daughter to power hers (my old one) down on school days because the battery discharges quite fast so if its not plugged in for a day or two it discharges completely.


 5:14 am on Jun 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

I currently have 2 laptops with Xubuntu, one Desktop with Xubuntu and W7.

Primary laptop on, only when used. I turn it off every day, like 3 times per day. Why? well, I'm minimalistic and believe in nature, survival, etc (if you know... then you know what I'm going to say). If it's not needed then it's off. Everything wears out, energy loss in form of heat, wasted, it's not good for the batteries, etc. But above all because it creates a bad habit. My computers always have energy because I'm an energy saver. Yes I can pay the bills with no problem it's not that.

Secondary laptop = the same, always off unless in use.

I keep the desktop off, on only when in use.


 6:55 am on Jun 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

@explorardor, you will probably consume less electricity that way, but you will shorten the life of the computers, and making new ones (or even replacement components) also uses energy and causes environmental damage. If reducing switch on stress lengthens the life of coomputers or components it may be better.

I have no idea what the balance is, or how sleep/suspend to RAM compares (as the RAM is on, but most things are off).


 8:23 pm on Jun 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

It occurred to me yesterday that server farms must scrap (and then buy) a LOT of servers, especially when MS forces an OS upgrade. I'm pretty sure that my current Windows 2003 server will be scrapped rather than recycled when I finish with it next month, if only because its spec is low compared to new ones.


 3:02 am on Jun 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

That MS machine to be scrapped is a great candidate for a Linus install! Heck, the hardware is already paid for and depreciated and it still works... nothing wrong with having a second system that can take load off your Win server replacement (if your organization is large enough to go that route).


 6:55 am on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Every evening when finished working / playing. Used to leave all our systems powered on 24/7 running Folding@home or other distributed computing applications (even Seti for a long time) however the cost of electricity got to be silly and we couldn't justify / afford 24/7 any more.

[edited by: engine at 8:43 am (utc) on Jun 20, 2014]
[edit reason] See WebmasterWorld TOS [/edit]


 8:48 pm on Aug 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Almost every night, before I go to sleep. I say "almost" because I often just put my laptop in standby or suspend it. I just it down only if it's overheating (happens often in summer) or if the family says I have to (I live with my parents, they pay the bills). Also, if there are ongoing transfers that I can't stop, I'll leave it on all night and then even for two days in a row.

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