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Possibly recover from a freeze without a reboot
Authored by: inertia186 on Feb 08, '06 10:59:23AM

Good question. From the man pages for shutdown(8):

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.

It doesn't mention anything about cleanly shutting down. But if you look at the man pages for reboot(8), it's a little more clear:

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.

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 terminating specific programs.

Whether or not this informs the WindowServer process, isn't directly alluded to. But I'm sure it gets the message.

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