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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

Buy it now, or read it online on Safari Bookshelf.


telinit [option] [runlevel]

System administration command. Signal init to change the system's runlevel. telinit is actually just a link to init, the ancestor of all processes.


-t seconds

Send SIGKILL seconds after SIGTERM. Default is 20.


The default runlevels vary from distribution to distribution, but these are standard:


Halt the system.

1, s, S

Single user.


Reboot the system.

a, b, c

Process only entries in /etc/inittab that are marked with runlevel a, b, or c.

q, Q

Reread /etc/inittab.

Check the /etc/inittab file for runlevels on your system.

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