I needed to shutdown the server running Linux but accidentally run the command sudo shutdown now. It says it went to single user mode. How can I return it back to its original state?

  • Have you tried pushing the power button? – Peter Apr 9 '13 at 7:50
  • @seth What is that supposed to do? – slhck Apr 9 '13 at 8:03
  • Oh wow I just goofed, That is to bring back to multi-user on my sql server. for linux i believe "tellinit 3" or "tellinit 5" depending on the run level it was in before you switched to single user mode. You can also issue a shutdown from that screen. shutdown -r to reboot – user213584 Apr 9 '13 at 8:12

To shutdown the server (this works in single use mode or in the normal multiuser mode):

shutdown -h now

The simple way to get from single user mode back to normal multiuser mode is just to reboot:

shutdown -r now

You won't need sudo in single user mode because you are root.

"Single user mode" is effectively a maintenance mode. If you want to know more about this, including how to get back to multiuser mode without rebooting, have a look at the runlevel documentation specific to your version of Linux (i.e. Ubuntu, [Redhat])4

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initlevel=$(cat /etc/inittab|grep initdefault|cut -d: -f2)
init ${initlevel}
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If you have a debian based system (e.g. Debian, Ubuntu, Mint), you can install the molly-guard package to help prevent accidental shutdowns.

For most linux systems if you are on the console (i.e. physical keyboard and monitor), you can type

init 5

to bring the system back up to multi-user state.

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  • The mistake here wasn't shutting down the wrong computer, it was omitting the -h or -r option. – Wyzard Apr 10 '13 at 6:05

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