Forcing debian to restart

The magic SysRq key is a key combination understood by the Linux kernel, which allows the user to perform¬† various low-level commands regardless of the system’s state. It is often used to recover from freezes, or to¬† reboot a computer without corrupting the filesystem.

Force Reboot :
That enables the SysRq feature:
echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq 
then:
echo b > /proc/sysrq-trigger
This is equivalent to the key combination Alt+SysRq+B which reboots the machine.
Force Shutdown
echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq
echo o > /proc/sysrq-trigger
more info:

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