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Thread: Restart?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    178

    Question Restart?

    This probably needs to go in a "General" forum, but I don't see one called that.

    I was at a bus stop taking my tower to the Freegeek lab. I met a young kid there, who was introduced to computers a few years ago. Because of what psychologists call the Language Acquisition Device, I've come to respect the skills of young kids with a few years of computer familiarity.

    The young kid gave me some advise, part of which was: don't trust restart; the restart button may or may not actually shut the system down. "When you add or remove software," he said, "shut your computer down and wait at least 20 seconds before rebooting. You'll find you'll have a lot fewer problems."

    Does "restart" and "reboot" mean the same thing? I know "restarting Firefox" isn't the same as "restarting openSUSE." I encountered some instructions yesterday, that included "You will have to restart Yast . . .." I wonder if that meant exit Yast and then come back into Yast, or restart Yast by restarting the system?

    Is a general rule of shutting down for 20 seconds really necessary in Linux -- or advisable for some distros but not others?
    AMD Athlon II X2 220, 2.8 GHz, 6 GB, Geforce 6150SE nForce 430; 1 TB: Windows 7HP, Ubuntu 11.10 (hosting Pinguy 11.10, Windows 7U, PCLinuxOS, Linux Mint 12, and CentOS on Virtualbox 4.1.8), Linux Mint Debian Edition, Suse 12.1 kde.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dubai
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    1,903

    Default Re: Restart?

    "Shutting down" itself if not advisable in Linux.
    openSUSE 12.3 (x86_64) with Kernel 3.7.10-1.16-desktop and KDE 4.11.2 on MacBook Pro
    Latest MS Windows version used: Win95

  3. #3

    Default Re: Restart?

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    Once upon a time (the 1990's if not earlier) there were recommendations
    going around about shutting down a computer and then turning it back on.
    The recommendations were, as I recall (I was fairly young and receiving
    them secondhand), to not turn the computer back on for several seconds
    (I'm remembering the number five) in order to let the various capacitors
    and other circuitry completely discharge before sending the next rush of
    electricity when turning the power back on. I have not heard of this in
    many years and assume any potential issues that may have existed have been
    solved now.

    With regard to rebooting and restarting I think the most meaning will be
    based on context. 'rebooting' almost always refers to the entire computer
    system while 'restarting' is often used with any old application
    (OpenOffice, YaST, Firefox, etc.) though could also mean the system. As
    YaST is just an application "restarting" it would just mean closing the
    one application and then launching it again. Rebooting the entire system
    would have the same effect but take longer and also restart every other
    application plus the hardware for the system and will be overkill in that
    case.

    So about the reboot vs. shutdown and wait stuff.... very few things in
    computing should require a reboot. Rebooting is done in order to refresh
    components that cannot (at least easily) be refreshed while the system is
    running. These pieces are typically kernel modules and need this
    (historically speaking) because it is difficult to refresh things like
    drivers for hard drives, video cards, and network cards while they are in
    use. Unloading these types of software and refreshing them at runtime is
    not impossible, but it is usually easier (and a better test of what will
    happen the next time the power goes out and there is not time to fix
    things) to refresh the drivers from the media (hard drive) during a normal
    bootup and then verify things work. Many computer users are used to
    restarting computers for all kinds of stupid reasons (like installing a
    random piece of non-hardware-managing software, such as a web browser, or
    a toolbar in a web browser, or an office suite, etc.) but that perception
    of "reboot to apply it" and "reboot to fix it" is one of the things
    encouraged thanks to microsoft windows. Because of a bad architecture
    changing simple things has often required rebooting, and because of bad
    programming even more things have required reboots. Exacerbate this with
    poor troubleshooting techniques encouraged by decades of the bad OS and
    the stereotypical response of "did you try restarting" is pushed to any
    problem from a driver failure the inability to load a webpage with the
    right formatting.

    Anyway, a reboot and a shutdown/wait/start should have the same outcome.
    In either case if you see something that looks like your system checking
    RAM, looking for hard drives, or displaying the OEM brand (Dell, Gateway,
    Lenovo, etc.) you are down to something lower-level than the OS and that
    is as much as the OS cares about. After that you should see Grub or Lilo
    to start the boot process. Some things may require shutting all the way
    down but most of them will already have you shutdown (replacing hardware)
    to carry out in the first place.

    Good luck.





    Randymanme wrote:
    > This probably needs to go in a "General" forum, but I don't see one
    > called that.
    >
    > I was at a bus stop taking my tower to the Freegeek lab. I met a young
    > kid there, who was introduced to computers a few years ago. Because of
    > what psychologists call the Language Acquisition Device, I've come to
    > respect the skills of young kids with a few years of computer
    > familiarity.
    >
    > The young kid gave me some advise, part of which was: don't trust
    > restart; the restart button may or may not actually shut the system
    > down. "When you add or remove software," he said, "shut your computer
    > down and wait at least 20 seconds before rebooting. You'll find you'll
    > have a lot fewer problems."
    >
    > Does "restart" and "reboot" mean the same thing? I know "restarting
    > Firefox" isn't the same as "restarting openSUSE." I encountered some
    > instructions yesterday, that included "You will have to restart Yast . .
    > .." I wonder if that meant exit Yast and then come back into Yast, or
    > restart Yast by restarting the system?
    >
    > Is a general rule of shutting down for 20 seconds really necessary in
    > Linux -- or advisable for some distros but not others?
    >
    >

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  4. #4
    PeeGee NNTP User

    Default Re: Restart?

    ab@novell.com wrote:
    >
    > Once upon a time (the 1990's if not earlier) there were recommendations
    > going around about shutting down a computer and then turning it back on.
    > The recommendations were, as I recall (I was fairly young and receiving
    > them secondhand), to not turn the computer back on for several seconds
    > (I'm remembering the number five) in order to let the various capacitors
    > and other circuitry completely discharge before sending the next rush of
    > electricity when turning the power back on. I have not heard of this in
    > many years and assume any potential issues that may have existed have been
    > solved now.
    >

    [snip]

    "In the early days", power supplies required a physical off (as opposed
    to the "soft" off with ATX) and problems could occur with the reset
    circuit used to electrically initialise the discrete TTL chips if the
    capacitor which delayed the reset signal retained charge. This could
    (and often did) result in the TTL chips initialising semi-randomly
    (depended on manufacturer) and preventing the system working properly.

    I built a kit system in the mid 70s and it had two chips of the same
    part number but different manufacturers. In one configuration, the
    character display would "hide" characters depending on the "bit 7"
    sequence. Exchanging the chips made everything work fine - all due to
    different rise times on the output signal (found by probing with a 5pF
    scope lead :-) ).

    --
    PeeGee

    Asus m/b M2V-MX SE, AMD LE1640, 2GB, openSUSE 11.0 x86-64/XP Home VBox
    Asus m/b M2NPV-VM, AMD 64X2 3800+, 2GB, openSUSE 10.3 x86-64/XP Home
    dual boot
    Acer Aspire 1350, AMD (M)XP2400+, 768MB, openSUSE 11.2/XP Home dual boot
    Asus eeePC 4G (701), Celeron M353, 2GB, Mandriva 2009.1 on SSD/openSUSE
    11.2 on USB disk

  5. #5

    Default Re: Restart?

    I'm going to mostly agree with ab and peegee, but with a little diff spin.

    First - as pointed out previously, there is a difference between Linux and Windows (idk Mac). Shutdown or restart can be used to refer to a program OR the computer & OS. Imo, your young friend was almost certainly referring to the Windows world, but it's not as different in the Linux world as many would like to believe.

    When shutting down or restarting the box, meaning the complete OS, there are several reasons to wait before restarting. They have changed somewhat over the years, but there are still valid reasons to do this.

    First, you have hardware wear-and-tear. Shutting down and rebooting mean a change in the state of moving parts. Even at the micro stage, this creates a wearing effect. This is probably the least important reason to wait, but there it is, anyway.

    Moving right up the scale, you have a latent affect in memory and other electronic parts. When I got my start with PC's, I knew a lot of computer people who denied this that there could be a "RAM carryover", but I have seen it operate way too many times. It is real. Hardware and the OSes have greatly improved, but this has only shifted the issue. I almost never see RAM carryover anymore, and I think it is because of hardware improvements, but it could also be because I almost never immediately restart. When I started, the possibility of RAM carryover was very real, especially when there was an issue.

    Today we have the soft "off" referred to, in addition to reset switches. And, the power switch on the front is no longer a real "on/off" switch for the power. The motherboard will have power so long as the box is plugged in, and it has a battery backup, jic. A variation of the memory carryover case that we have today is that, so long as there is power to the box, there are settings retained on the motherboard. I'm writing this on a Ubuntu machine that will not reboot if I shutdown, until I completely remove all power from the motherboard (power cord and battery) for something like 15-30 seconds. Long enough for the bios to lose its startup settings. Since this machine is also a home server, it almost never shuts down. This means this is not a problem, so I've never fixed it. I'm sure it could be fixed, but the point is that SOMETHING is still being retained, from the OS, by the mb.

    In the Windows world the possible memory issue alone would be enough for me to still advise people to give it 10 seconds or so after shutdown. Windows is designed so that it relies on a full shut down to reload the registry, drivers, and whatever. If a Linux OS were badly shutdown, I think you might want to keep the same response. These previous posters are going to know more than I about the full hardware implications of a Linux OS shut down, whether shut down cleanly or not.

    So, your young acquaintance was quite likely repeating good advice, at least for installing software in the Windows world: "You'll find you'll have a lot fewer problems."
    Last edited by spokesinger; 02-Dec-2009 at 10:37. Reason: Spelling and grammar corrections.

  6. #6
    palladium NNTP User

    Default Re: Restart?

    PeeGee wrote:
    > found by probing with a 5pF scope lead :-) ).
    >


    ooooh, i love it when real geeks talk dirty.. ;-)

    --
    palladium

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dubai
    Posts
    1,903

    Default Re: Restart?

    Quote Originally Posted by palladium View Post
    PeeGee wrote:
    > found by probing with a 5pF scope lead :-) ).
    >


    ooooh, i love it when real geeks talk dirty.. ;-)

    --
    palladium
    scope = oscilloscope
    openSUSE 12.3 (x86_64) with Kernel 3.7.10-1.16-desktop and KDE 4.11.2 on MacBook Pro
    Latest MS Windows version used: Win95

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
    Posts
    13,700

    Default Re: Restart?

    On Wed, 02 Dec 2009 12:06:02 +0000, Randymanme wrote:

    > Does "restart" and "reboot" mean the same thing? I know "restarting
    > Firefox" isn't the same as "restarting openSUSE." I encountered some
    > instructions yesterday, that included "You will have to restart Yast . .
    > ." I wonder if that meant exit Yast and then come back into Yast, or
    > restart Yast by restarting the system?
    >
    > Is a general rule of shutting down for 20 seconds really necessary in
    > Linux -- or advisable for some distros but not others?


    It's totally unnecessary in Linux unless you're updating the kernel.

    Jim

    --
    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Moderator

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
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    Default Re: Restart?

    Rebooting is so painless, I do it like I'm running windows .

    But, I do need some clarification. I often do a zypper up and when finished it reports that some apps are using deleted files. I then run zypper ps and get a list of these apps. There can be a dozen in that list. Once, I did a kill PID on an app that I knew wouldn't matter. But, in the list I see lots of apps that I'm afraid to shut down and don't know how to restart. These are everything from knotify to xorg.

    So, how do you get away with NEVER rebooting?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Restart?

    On Wed, 02 Dec 2009 21:26:02 +0000, Prexy wrote:

    > So, how do you get away with NEVER rebooting?


    Never update the system. :-)

    Seriously, though, if it's not a kernel update, I generally don't
    reboot. I have used zypper ps to find apps and shut them down, but how
    you do that depends on what the app is - that's something that comes with
    experience and by asking questions.

    You'll probably find that many of the apps are background daemons and can
    be restarted using the rc* scripts.

    Jim

    --
    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Moderator

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