I often SSH into my Raspberry Pi, which is connected to my network via a wired connection. The last time I tried to reboot it, though, it failed:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ shutdown now -bash: /sbin/shutdown: cannot execute binary file
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo shutdown now /sbin/shutdown: 1: /sbin shutdown: Syntax error: word unexpected (expecting ")")

I am currently running Raspbian.

Could the files be corrupted? How can I now safely restart it? Will I just have to power cycle it? Last time I did so, I had to reinstall the OS to get it to start up.

  • bad things happen. you might need to reimage your SD card.
    – lenik
    Jul 29, 2014 at 6:12
  • 2
    did you try this command sudo shutdown -h now to shutdown and sudo shutdown -r 0 to reboot?
    – askmish
    Jul 29, 2014 at 12:21

3 Answers 3


The correct syntax to power off are:

sudo shutdown -h now

sudo halt

And for reboot:

sudo shutdown -r now

sudo reboot

Be sure you use either sudo or logged as root himself.


I think the files are corrupted. Just reinstall Raspbian. (You can backup your files before doing that, if you rpi is still running)


You could try the:

sudo reboot


sudo poweroff


  • 1
    They don't work either
    – PitaJ
    Jul 29, 2014 at 22:27

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