How to detect pending system shutdown on Linux?

How to detect pending system shutdown on Linux?

I am working on an application where I need to detect a system shutdown. However, I have not found any reliable way get a notification on this event.

I know that on shutdown, my app will receive a SIGTERM signal followed by a SIGKILL. I want to know if there is any way to query if a SIGTERM is part of a shutdown sequence?

Does any one know if there is a way to query that programmatically (C API)?

As far as I know, the system does not provide any other method to query for an impending shutdown. If it does, that would solve my problem as well. I have been trying out runlevels as well, but change in runlevels seem to be instantaneous and without any prior warnings.

printing uid of a file on linux system


How to handle key pressed in a Linux console in C?
Maybe a little bit late.

simulating atm communication without atm switch
Yes, you can determine if a SIGTERM is in a shutting down process by invoking the runlevel command.

Can I run original MS.Net Framework 4 on Linux someway (with Wine perhaps)?
Garbage data from serial port
#!/bin/bash trap "runlevel >$HOME/run-level; exit 1" term read line echo "Input: $line" 
save it as, say, and run it.

Why setupterm terminates the program?
By executing killall, you should able to see and investigate the run-level file in your home directory.

Python - detect keyboard layout
By executing any of the following:.
What can I do with Seed?
sudo reboot sudo halt -p sudo shutdown -P 
and compare the difference in the file.

Then you should have the idea on how to do it..


There is no way to determine if a SIGTERM is a part of a shutdown sequence.

To detect a shutdown sequence you can either use use rc.d scripts like ereOn and Eric Sepanson suggested or use mechanisms like DBus.

. However, from a design point of view it makes no sense to ignore SIGTERM even if it is not part of a shutdown.

SIGTERM's primary purpose is to politely ask apps to exit cleanly and it is not likely that someone with enough privileges will issue a SIGTERM if he/she does not want the app to exit..


From man shutdown:.
If the time argument is used, 5 minutes before the system goes down the /etc/nologin file is created to ensure that further logins shall not be allowed..
So you can test existence of /etc/nologin.

It is not optimal, but probably best you can get..


Making your application responding differently to some SIGTERM signals than others seems opaque and potentially confusing.

It's arguable that you should always respond the same way to a given signal.

Adding unusual conditions makes it harder to understand and test application behavior.. Adding an rc script that handles shutdown (by sending a special signal) is a completely standard way to handle such a problem; if this script is installed as part of a standard package (make install or rpm/deb packaging) there should be no worries about control of user machines..


When the system shuts down, the rc.d scripts are called.. Maybe you can add a script there that sends some special signal to your program.. However, I doubt you can stop the system shutdown that way..


Its a little bit of a hack but if the server is running systemd if you can run . /bin/systemctl list-jobs ...

it will report ....
JOB UNIT            TYPE  STATE 755 start waiting     <---- existence means shutting down  1 jobs listed. 


if the server is shutting down or rebooting ( hint: there's a if you want to look specifically for that ). You will get No jobs running. if its not being shutdown.. You have to parse the output which is a bit messy as the systemctl doesnt return a different exit code for the two results.

But it does seem reasonably reliable.

You will need to watch out for a format change in the messages if you update the system however..


I think I got it.

. Source = I copy part of the code here, just in case the reference disappears..
#include "libbb.h" ... 

struct utmp *ut; char prev; if (argv[1]) utmpname(argv[1]); setutent(); while ((ut = getutent()) != NULL) { if (ut->ut_type == RUN_LVL) { prev = ut->ut_pid / 256; if (prev == 0) prev = 'N'; printf("Runlevel: prev=%c current=%c\n", prev, ut->ut_pid % 256); endutent(); return 0; } } puts("unknown");


The practical answer to do what you originally wanted is that you check for the shutdown process (e.g ps aux | grep "shutdown -h" ) and then, if you want to be sure you check it's command line arguments and time it was started (e.g.

"shutdown -h +240" started at 14:51 will shutdown at 18:51).

. In the general case there is from the point of view of the entire system there is no way to do this.

There are many different ways a "shutdown" can happen.

For example someone can decide to pull the plug in order to hard stop a program that they now has bad/dangerous behaviour at shutdown time or a UPS could first send a SIGHUP and then simply fail.

Since such a shutdown can happen suddenly and with no warning anywhere in a system there is no way to be sure that it's okay to keep running after a SIGHUP.. If a process receives SIGHUP you should basically assume that something nastier will follow soon.

If you want to do something special and partially ignore SIGHUP then a) you need to coordinate that with whatever program will do the shutdown and b) you need to be ready that if some other system does the shutdown and kills you dead soon after a SIGHUP your software and data will survive.

Write out any data you have and only continue writing to append-only files with safe atomic updates.

. For your case I'm almost sure your current solution (treat all SIGHUPs as a shutdown) is the correct way to go.

If you want to improve things, you should probably add a feature to the shutdown program which does a notify via DBUS or something similar.


82 out of 100 based on 62 user ratings 862 reviews