Spoiler alert: It’s not pointless.

I’ve taken a lot of flack over the years in saying that it’s OK to reboot Linux. While you can read on the ‘net how it’s pointless to do so, a statement like that has too many nuances to be considered fact. A better statement would be to say that, in many cases, Linux doesn’t need to be rebooted (it’s not MS Windows, after all). Linux does an amazing job of recovering from runaway RAM issues and even out-of-disk issues. I’ve even seen CPU usage bring a Linux server to a standstill, only to have it recover after I’ve left it for dead.

Linux, and all its flavors, is built on an amazing set of technologies, but it’s not perfect. Sometimes a good old-fashioned, quick reboot helps.

Reasons for a reboot might be an upgrade to its installed software, security patch(s), or Linux itself. When logging into a Linux box that needs a reboot, it should notify you, so it’s pretty easy to know when to do it. And it’s also pretty quick.

So the next time someone insists you don’t need to ever to reboot Linux, just smile and do it while they’re not looking.

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