Shutdown Mac Terminal Command

If you want to shutdown your Mac computer or Laptop (Macbook) using the Terminal command then you can make use of the shutdown or the halt command, note that this is special command and will require sudo rights in order to execute it.

Let's see few examples of this command,

Shutdown Mac using shutdown command

Let's read the manual first to understand this command and its syntax,

% man shutdown

     shutdown -- close down the system at a given time

     shutdown [-] [-h [-u] | -r | -s | -k] [-o [-n]] time [warning-message ...]

     The shutdown utility provides an automated shutdown procedure for super-users to
     nicely notify users when the system is shutting down, saving them from system administrators, 
     hackers, and gurus, who would otherwise not bother with such niceties,

     The following options are available:

     -h      The system is halted at the specified time.

     -k  Kick everybody off.  The -k option does not actually halt the system, but
          leaves the system multi-user with logins disabled (for all but super-user).

     -n  If the -o is specified, prevent the file system cache from being flushed by passing 
           -n option to halt(8) or reboot(8).  This option should probably not
           be used.

     -o  If -h or -r is specified, shutdown will execute halt(8) or reboot(8) instead
          of sending a signal to launchd(8).

     -r   The system is rebooted at the specified time.

If you try the command without sudo you will get error: NOT super-user

% shutdown 5 
shutdown: NOT super-user

Let's say you want to shutdown your Mac in the next 60 minutes (an hour) you can use the below command,

 user@mac ~ % sudo shutdown -h 60
shutdown: bad time format
user@mac ~ % sudo shutdown -h +60
Shutdown at Sun Jun 13 13:48:36 2021.
shutdown: [pid 2875]
user@mac ~ %                                                                                
*** System shutdown message from code2care@mac.local ***                     
System going down at 13:48    

Note that if you do not provide the + sign for a time in minutes provided you will get an error saying bad time format. As you can see that a PID is provided to you as well as the exact time in HH:mm when the system will be shut down. If you wish to revoke this you can kill the process to avoid shutdown.

If you to instantly shutdown your Mac you can make use of the now option,

% sudo shutdown -h now

Shutdown Mac using Terminal
Shutdown Mac using Terminal

Shutdown Mac using halt or reboot command

Again, its also good to read the manual to better understand the command,

     halt, reboot -- stopping and restarting the system

     halt [-lnqu]
     reboot [-lnq]

     The halt and reboot utilities flush the file system cache to disk, send all running
     processes a SIGTERM (and subsequently a SIGKILL) and, respectively, halt or restart
     the system.  The action is logged, including entering a shutdown record into the
     wtmp(5) file.

     When the system is halted with the halt command, the system is powered off.

     The options are as follows:

     -l      The halt or reboot is not recorded in the system log.  This option is
             intended for applications such as shutdown(8), that call reboot or halt and
             log this themselves.

     -n      The file system cache is not flushed.  This option should probably not be

     -q      The system is halted or restarted quickly and ungracefully, and only the
             flushing of the file system cache is performed (if the -n option is not spec-
             ified).  This option should probably not be used.

     -u      The system is halted up until the point of removing system power, but waits
             before removing power for 5 minutes so that an external UPS (uninterruptible
             power supply) can forcibly remove power.  This simulates a dirty shutdown to
             permit a later automatic power on. OS X uses this mode automatically with
             supported UPSs in emergency shutdowns.

     Normally, the shutdown(8) utility is used when the system needs to be halted or
     restarted, giving users advance warning of their impending doom and cleanly terminat-
     ing specific programs.

% sudo halt

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