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Four letters. A simple command. I've been using it for 16 years. Yes, I've been told that the proper way is to use 'shutdown -h now' but someone in the past thought it would be easier to just type 'halt' and made it so. It works. Until now. I suppose it needed to be changed because it was old and needed to be changed.
Normally, I unplug the laptop when I turn it off. I did that last night after shutting down, no, HALTING on my brand new debian jessie install. I'm glad that I noticed that lights were still on. I reopened the laptop, and it was sitting there with a message on the screen, "System halted." Thanks for telling me. !*%*&$!~)(#*$!)(