I issued a remote SSH shutdown command to a headless Mac server. However, the server is not shutting down and I can no longer access the server with SSH, I get this message:

NO LOGINS: System going down at 08:16

This was nearly 20 minutes ago. What can I do now that the machine won't shut down and I cannot login?

I realize I can push the power button, but I have some Drobos attached that could loose data if don't gracefully shut down.

3 Answers 3


Go to Finder. In the menu bar click Go, select Go to folder, type /etc/ and press Enter. In the opened window find the "nologin" file and delete it. It's fixed.

  • This worked for me. No idea how or why that nologin file appeared. Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 15:00

I don't know your situation exactly, but it happened to me that when i typed shutdown -k in terminal, the nologin file was created and filled with the comment after shutdown -k.


Strangely, the server did finally shutdown a few hours later. I verified the time zones are in-sync so not sure what the root cause was.

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