ctrlaltdel hard|soft


Based on examination of the linux/kernel/sys.c code, it is clear that there are two supported functions that the Ctrl-Alt-Del sequence can perform: a hard reset, which immediately reboots the computer without calling sync(2) and without any other preparation; and a soft reset, which sends the SIGINT (interrupt) signal to the init process (this is always the process with PID 1). If this option is used, the init(8) program must support this feature. Since there are now several init(8) programs in the Linux community, please consult the documentation for the version that you are currently using.

ctrlaltdel is usually used in the /etc/rc.local file.


-V, --version

Display version information and exit.

-h, --help

Display help text and exit.



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Peter Orbaek


The ctrlaltdel command is part of the util-linux package and is available from

Linux Kernel Archive