So, I have my Pi, and based on some posts here, am installing Raspbmc.

I have a nice powerstrip that senses current through the "main" outlet (my TV), and will switch off some of the outlet if there is no current flowing (shut down say my DVD player and game machine if there's no TV turned on to show video on).

As a Linux device, how would the Pi react to this sort of a shutdown? Part of me thinks the distro is so stripped that there shouldn't be too many filesystem issues. Part of me thinks this is just asking for problems some day.

Is there a better Distro for unclean poweroffs, or do I need to remember to shut it down every single time? Since Raspbian is full Debian, I'd say no to it, but what about, say, OpenElec? And my area gets way to frequent blackouts/brownouts so even if I'm a good boy I may get zapped by random power events.

And yes, I know it's a low power drain device, but if it's unused, that's still wasted electricity.

  • It will cope with occasional hard shutdowns, but you should by no means do it every time. I would expect this to shorten the life of the card considerably.
    – Jivings
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


From R-pi FAQ:

Where’s the on / off switch?
To switch on: just plug it in!
To switch off: remove power.

I don't see how your case is different. To feel more secure, back up the image of the SD on another device. This way all you can ever lose, is your physical SD card (which is not eternal anyway). Buy the next one, burn the image, and forget about it.

  • The case is different because the FAQ is concerned with the hit to hardware, but I'm concerned with the hit to software. A PC running DOS can be shut off any time, no software hit. The same PC running, say, WinNT would have some issues on startup. I do like the "create disk image as backup" suggestion, +1 for that. Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 15:44

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