telinit – Switch the Runlevel of the Currently Running System

The telinit command is a Linux system administration command that is used to switch the runlevel of the currently running system. The runlevel is a mode in which the system operates, and each runlevel has a different set of services that are started or stopped. The telinit command is used to change the runlevel, which can be useful for system maintenance, troubleshooting, and other tasks.


The telinit command is used to change the runlevel of the system. It is typically used by system administrators to perform maintenance tasks or troubleshoot issues. The command can be used to switch to a different runlevel, such as single-user mode or multi-user mode, or to reboot the system.

The syntax for the telinit command is as follows:


Where OPTIONS are any command-line options that are available for the command, and RUNLEVEL is the runlevel to switch to. The available runlevels depend on the system configuration and can vary from system to system.

Here are some examples of how to use the telinit command:

To switch to runlevel 1 (single-user mode):

telinit 1

To switch to runlevel 3 (multi-user mode with networking):

telinit 3

To reboot the system:

telinit 6


The telinit command has the following options:

Option Description
-h, –help Display help information and exit
-q, –quiet Suppress output
-u, –update Update the current runlevel without changing it

Troubleshooting Tips

If you encounter issues with the telinit command, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Make sure you have the correct permissions to run the command. The telinit command should be run as the root user or with sudo privileges.
  • Check the system configuration to ensure that the desired runlevel is available and properly configured.
  • If the system does not respond to the telinit command, try using the init command instead.


  • The telinit command is typically used by system administrators and advanced users.
  • Changing the runlevel can affect the system’s behavior and should be done with caution.
  • The available runlevels and their associated services can vary depending on the Linux distribution and system configuration.