Poweroff an old PC in DebianIf you've just installed Debian onto an old PC, then you may notice that when you shutdown it doesn't actually turn the computer off. We try the options for getting it to poweroff properly.
In order for the computer to be able to poweroff completely, it needs a powersupply that can be told to turn off, such as an ATX power supply. Older computers (Pentium 1, 486 etc) had AT power supplies, which can't turn themselves off. So for this article we are looking at turning off Pentium II and newer computers.
There are two main standards for power management - APM and the newer ACPI, both off which support powering down the computer completely. Recent Debian Kernels have ACPI support compiled in, so should be able to shut down most modern computers without any extra help.
If the compiled in ACPI support is not turning off your computer, then check at ACPI is loading correctly.
debian:~# dmesg | grep ACPI BIOS-e820: 00000000040fd800 - 00000000040ff800 (ACPI data) BIOS-e820: 00000000040ff800 - 00000000040ffc00 (ACPI NVS) ACPI disabled because your bios is from 1999 and too old ACPI: Subsystem revision 20040326 ACPI: Interpreter disabled. debian:~#
If ACPI is not starting, then try running APM instead. To install APM, from a root prompt type
apt-get install apmd which should work as below
debian:~# apt-get install apmd Reading Package Lists... Done Building Dependency Tree... Done Suggested packages: xapm The following NEW packages will be installed: apmd 0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded. Need to get 0B/57.1kB of archives. After unpacking 279kB of additional disk space will be used. Preconfiguring packages ... Selecting previously deselected package apmd. (Reading database ... 24042 files and directories currently installed.) Unpacking apmd (from .../archives/apmd_3.2.2-3_i386.deb) ... Setting up apmd (3.2.2-3) ... Starting advanced power management daemon: apmd.
Now check that apm is installed and working by checking the apm module is loaded, and the apmd is running
debian:~# lsmod | grep apm apm 8428 1 (autoclean) debian:~# ps ax | grep apmd 1046 ? S 0:00 [kapmd] 1048 ? Ss 0:00 /usr/sbin/apmd -P /etc/apm/apmd_proxy --proxy-timeout 30 debian:~#
Now when you issue a shutdown command ( either
shutdown -h now ) your computer should power off completely.
Of course it might not ...
These are the usual steps I take to get debian to power off an old PC, and I've only had them fail once. That was for a 500Mhz Pentium III. In that case, APM under debian wouldn't turn the box off (although APM under slackware would power it off completely ! ), so I had to investigate more.
It seems that ACPI will not load if it thinks the PC is too old to run ACPI, even if it has ACPI support. In this case, you need to force ACPI to load.
To do this you need to edit your
/boot/grub/menu.lst file, and add
acpi=force to the end of the kernel line
title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.4.27-2-386 root (hd0,0) kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.27-2-386 root=/dev/hda1 ro acpi=force initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.4.27-2-386 savedefault boot
debian:~# dmesg | grep ACPI BIOS-e820: 00000000040fd800 - 00000000040ff800 (ACPI data) BIOS-e820: 00000000040ff800 - 00000000040ffc00 (ACPI NVS) ACPI: RSDP (v000 PTLTD ) @ 0x000f6b80 ACPI: RSDT (v001 PTLTD RSDT 0x00000000 PTL 0x01000000) @ 0x040fdb3c ... ACPI: Subsystem revision 20040326 ACPI: Interpreter enabled ... ACPI: PCI Root Bridge [PCI0] (00:00)
You should see lots of ACPI lines, in which case ACPI is loading fine, so try powering off
debian:~# shutdown -h now
Broadcast message from root (pts/0):
The system is going down for system halt NOW! debian:~#
If your system powers off completely, the hoorah. Now remove the apmd package as you no longer need it
debian:~# apt-get remove apmd Reading Package Lists... Done Building Dependency Tree... Done The following packages will be REMOVED: apmd 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 0 not upgraded. Need to get 0B of archives. After unpacking 279kB disk space will be freed. Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y (Reading database ... 24062 files and directories currently installed.) Removing apmd ... debian:~#
Your old PC should now be powering off properly using either APM or ACPI.