Diagnosing power cycle vs software reboot

Colin Law clanlaw at gmail.com
Fri Nov 11 11:32:41 UTC 2016

On 11 November 2016 at 11:02, Nikhil Nair <nnair at pobox.com> wrote:

> Hi Colin,
> On Fri, 11 Nov 2016, Colin Law wrote:
> [...]
>> If you look in /var/log/syslog then for a controlled reboot you will see
>> messages indicating the system is shutting down
>> (services stopping and so on), then messages indicating it is booting.
>> For a power down the messages will simply stop, there
>> will be no shutting down messages.  Then the boot messages will appear.
> Thanks, I would have expected that, but hadn't found any shutdown
> messages.  After I read your message, I took another look, and there was
> one I'd missed - rsyslogd shutting down after receiving signal 15.  No
> other messages about services shutting down, however: there was a gap of
> over a minute before that rsyslogd shutdown message, and a gap of about a
> minute after it before the startup messages started.
> Is that normal?
> In any case, there was an rsyslogd shutdown message for my deliberate
> reboot, but not for any of the other 4, so I guess that means it was a
> power cycle issue after all.  Or, given that there was only one message in
> the deliberate reboot case, is that inconclusive?

It is unusual that there are no other shutdown messages, Is this a real
machine or a VPS? If it is a VPS then perhaps that is expected. I don't

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