Does the command reboot (used in Terminal) hurt the computer? Because it is almost like pulling the power cord, which is not a recommended way to power down a computer.

  • 2
    Super clear. I appreciate you making this brief and objective.
    – bmike
    May 3, 2020 at 19:57
  • 11
    Just an FYI: If you click the Apple menu and then Restart… the /sbin/reboot command is actually called by macOS as part of the reboot process. May 3, 2020 at 19:57
  • 1
    but just typing reboot in the terminal doesn't seem to include the steps that gracefully shut down the apps May 4, 2020 at 9:17
  • 1
    It only hurts the user ;-). May 5, 2020 at 8:26

1 Answer 1


It’s not like pulling the power plug because it sends various signals like SIGTERM which closes services and daemons. User applications with unsaved data may get lost, but they’re not arbitrarily closed as if the system lost power.

From the man page (man reboot)

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.

So, running reboot is perfectly safe to the system.

  • This is not the same as the shutdown command which will stop services in order
    – user44764
    May 4, 2020 at 6:45
  • 3
    @nonopolarity correct but that is another question
    – mmmmmm
    May 4, 2020 at 11:01
  • 8
    Reboot flushes to disk, so you may lose unsaved changes, but it's impossible to get filesystem corruption. May 4, 2020 at 14:47
  • 15
    🤔 Strange stuff in this old source code... void die_you_gravy_sucking_pig_dog(void);
    – jtbandes
    May 4, 2020 at 20:26
  • 2

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .