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I'm using Arch linux. As you know, each new update can bring troubles to the system and i think that happend to my system. For few weeks now sometimes i can't reboot / shutdown my system properly - when i click "Restart" or "Shutdown" from my "XFCE 4" menu, GUI is reduced to console (like while boot), each process is stopped (one by one) and system halts in the end. The problem is that sometimes, when i get dropped to console after i click reboot / shutdown, only text that is written is "login:" (like when you try to login from console) and that's it - system is freezed because i can't type anything (like keyboard is turned off) i can't do anything except manually reboot my system.

What might be the problem? How to solve it? System worked fine for several months after i installed it, i haven't added any new hardware since then.... i simply have no idea what might be wrong... Can "hd-idle" cause those problems? (My Arch is on SSD, and i use "HD-Idle" to stop my regular hdd).

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"As you know, each new update can bring troubles to the system" . This is not true at all. If you keep up with the updates [since it is a rolling release] and make sure to review pacman's output in case any manual intervention is needed such as merging .pacnew's. Also, big changes are usually posted on [news] and also sent out to the mailing lists (as the move to systemd was). – cinelli Mar 29 '13 at 3:06
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You don't provide much context, so I'm going to make some assumptions here:

1) You are currently using systemd, as it was introduced in an Arch upgrade a couple of months ago. If you don't know what systemd is, you badly need to educate yourself. Go read the Arch wiki articles about systemd and the Arch systemd FAQ.

2) You state that the system 'halts' when you quit XFCE. And then you say that 'the problem is...' that sometimes when this happens, the system quits to a dead console login screen. I'm assuming that both of these issues are 'the problem', right? You are using 'halt' as in pauses the shutdown process, not as in halts the system (i.e. shuts down the computer)

First, I think you're in need of troubleshooting, so I'm wondering why you don't use the forums since they're better suited for that sort of thing, but now you're here...

A) You need to check whether you really are using systemd as your primary init. B) You need to troubleshoot the shutdown process.

If you're not using systemd, you need to update anyway, so start with that. If you are, then systemd is in charge of the shutdown process. I suspect, that the 'halting' part of the problem is just systemd waiting for some service to stop. It can wait a long time. I have an issue where it waits for my network drives to accept unmounts which means 300 seconds where nothing happens before it gives up.

I suggest, you try shutting down the computer and then leaving it for a while, say fiften minutes, just to see if it is really 'dead' or just waiting.

Regardless of the outcome, you'll need to find out what service is causing the wait/freeze. There are some good instructions on how to proceed with troubleshooting systemd shutdown problems here

EDIT: If you find that the system isn't just hanging a long time before shutting down but is truly stuck, you need to follow the "Shutdown Never Finishes" instructions just below.

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Great response! I'm using systemd and i hate it. That's why i also have "daemons" array in rc.conf. That really caused me problems few days ago with "networkmanager" in daemons array and "NetworkManager.service" in systemd. I have omitted "networkservice" from rc.conf and now it's ok. As for "halt" - i'm just using "shutdown" and "halt" terms for the same thing (clicking app menu -> logout -> shutdown) because both give the same effect :) – guest86 Mar 24 '13 at 21:23
rc.conf shouldn't be doing anything if you're using systemd properly. – Rob Mar 27 '13 at 13:01

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