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Safest way to clean up boot partition - Ubuntu 14.04LTS-x64, Ubuntu 16.04LTS-x64

Safest way to clean up boot partition - Ubuntu 14.04LTS-x64, Ubuntu 16.04LTS-x64

Reference

Case I: if /boot is not 100% full and apt is working

1. Check the current kernel version

$ uname -r 

It will shows the list like below:

3.19.0-64-generic

2. Remove the OLD kernels

2.a. List the old kernel

$ sudo dpkg --list 'linux-image*'|awk '{ if ($1=="ii") print $2}'|grep -v `uname -r`

You will get the list of images something like below:

linux-image-3.19.0-25-generic
linux-image-3.19.0-56-generic
linux-image-3.19.0-58-generic
linux-image-3.19.0-59-generic
linux-image-3.19.0-61-generic
linux-image-3.19.0-65-generic
linux-image-extra-3.19.0-25-generic
linux-image-extra-3.19.0-56-generic
linux-image-extra-3.19.0-58-generic
linux-image-extra-3.19.0-59-generic
linux-image-extra-3.19.0-61-generic

2.b. Now its time to remove old kernel one by one as

$ sudo apt-get purge linux-image-3.19.0-25-generic
$ sudo apt-get purge linux-image-3.19.0-56-generic
$ sudo apt-get purge linux-image-3.19.0-58-generic
$ sudo apt-get purge linux-image-3.19.0-59-generic
$ sudo apt-get purge linux-image-3.19.0-61-generic
$ sudo apt-get purge linux-image-3.19.0-65-generic

When you're done removing the older kernels, you can run this to remove ever packages you won't need anymore:

$ sudo apt-get autoremove

And finally you can run this to update grub kernel list:

$ sudo update-grub

Case II: Can't Use apt i.e. /boot is 100% full

NOTE: this is only if you can't use apt to clean up due to a 100% full /boot

1. Get the list of kernel images

Get the list of kernel images and determine what you can do without. This command will show installed kernels except the currently running one

$ sudo dpkg --list 'linux-image*'|awk '{ if ($1=="ii") print $2}'|grep -v `uname -r`

You will get the list of images somethign like below:

linux-image-3.19.0-25-generic
linux-image-3.19.0-56-generic
linux-image-3.19.0-58-generic
linux-image-3.19.0-59-generic
linux-image-3.19.0-61-generic
linux-image-3.19.0-65-generic
linux-image-extra-3.19.0-25-generic
linux-image-extra-3.19.0-56-generic
linux-image-extra-3.19.0-58-generic
linux-image-extra-3.19.0-59-generic
linux-image-extra-3.19.0-61-generic

2. Prepare Delete

Craft a command to delete all files in /boot for kernels that don't matter to you using brace expansion to keep you sane. Remember to exclude the current and two newest kernel images. From above Example, it's

sudo rm -rf /boot/*-3.19.0-{25,56,58,59,61,65}-*

3. Clean up what's making apt grumpy about a partial install.

sudo apt-get -f install

4. Autoremove

Finally, autoremove to clear out the old kernel image packages that have been orphaned by the manual boot clean.

sudo apt-get autoremove

5. Update Grub

sudo update-grub

6. Now you can update, install packages

sudo apt-get update
@zEttOn86
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zEttOn86 commented Nov 13, 2019

Thanks!!

@DAVIDhaker
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DAVIDhaker commented Nov 22, 2019

Great thanks!

@Blackkumba
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Blackkumba commented Dec 5, 2019

thank you

@tango4j
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tango4j commented Dec 6, 2019

There was Jesus.
Jesus just messed around and didn't really fix important kernels.
After Jesus, ipbastola came down as a messiah to save us and free us from nasty evilest /boot 100% demon.

Thank you so much Thanks million times

@MarcSaric
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MarcSaric commented Jan 7, 2020

For an all in one try this:

sudo dpkg --list 'linux-image*'|awk '{ if ($1=="ii") print $2}'|grep -v uname -r | while read -r line; do sudo apt-get -y purge $line;done;sudo apt-get autoremove; sudo update-grub

Should be

sudo dpkg --list 'linux-image*'|awk '{ if ($1=="ii") print $2}'|grep -v `uname -r` | while read -r line; do sudo apt-get -y purge $line;done;sudo apt-get autoremove; sudo update-grub

(there was a escaping issue in the original one-liner).

Otherwise great.

@ivanmara555
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ivanmara555 commented Jan 7, 2020

For an all in one try this:
sudo dpkg --list 'linux-image*'|awk '{ if ($1=="ii") print $2}'|grep -v uname -r | while read -r line; do sudo apt-get -y purge $line;done;sudo apt-get autoremove; sudo update-grub

Should be

sudo dpkg --list 'linux-image*'|awk '{ if ($1=="ii") print $2}'|grep -v `uname -r` | while read -r line; do sudo apt-get -y purge $line;done;sudo apt-get autoremove; sudo update-grub

(there was a escaping issue in the original one-liner).

Otherwise great.

see https://gist.github.com/ipbastola/2760cfc28be62a5ee10036851c654600#gistcomment-3047160

@mihaipora
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mihaipora commented Jan 28, 2020

very helpful, thank you . Case II worked perfectly.

@jpcuve
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jpcuve commented Feb 10, 2020

Thank you

@matiasmasca
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matiasmasca commented Feb 11, 2020

Thanks! work for me with full disc error

@ray-moncada
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ray-moncada commented Mar 7, 2020

Thank you. I had to used both method several times and both worked.

@khuongln-1346
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khuongln-1346 commented Mar 9, 2020

Thanks very much. It works for me
https://gist.github.com/ipbastola/2760cfc28be62a5ee10036851c654600#gistcomment-3047160

my full automatic way including Ubuntu 18.04 :

apt purge $(dpkg --list linux-{headers,image,modules}-\* \
| awk '{ if ($1=="ii") print $2}' \
| egrep '[4-9]\.[0-9]+\.[0-9]+-[0-9]+' \
| egrep -v $(uname -r | cut -d"-" -f1,2))

apt autoremove
update-grub

@Tolgor
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Tolgor commented Mar 16, 2020

Life saver ! Thanks !

Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS

@xenomorpheus
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xenomorpheus commented Apr 8, 2020

None of the usual methods worked, and when I manually deleted the files in /boot they returned.

This worked.

https://askubuntu.com/questions/563483/why-doesnt-apt-get-autoremove-remove-my-old-kernels/1225285#1225285

@ivanmara555
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ivanmara555 commented May 4, 2020

my full automatic way including Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04, 20.04 :

apt purge $(dpkg --list linux-{headers,image,modules}-\* \
| awk '{ if ($1=="ii") print $2}' \
| egrep '[0-9]+\.[0-9]+\.[0-9]+-[0-9]+' \
| egrep -v $(uname -r | cut -d"-" -f1,2))

apt autoremove
update-grub

@JacoJeco
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JacoJeco commented Jul 17, 2020

It works, thanks !

@aclarck
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aclarck commented Aug 13, 2020

Case 2 worked.
/boot is now clean
reboot ok

Thanks.

@gzjhones
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gzjhones commented Oct 20, 2020

Muchas gracias, funciona perfecto, tendré que darle más espacio al boot la próxima vez

@ob-ivan
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ob-ivan commented Nov 17, 2020

I somehow feel more comfortable if instead of awk '{ if ($1=="ii") print $2}' i write awk '/^ii/ { print $2 }', but I agree that it might be confusing unless you're good at awk (which I don't claim to be, though).

@seth-rah
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seth-rah commented Nov 23, 2020

Case 1, 2b

The command can be automated if preferred.

sudo apt-get purge $(sudo dpkg --list 'linux-image*'|awk '{ if ($1=="ii") print $2}'|grep -v `uname -r`)

@vmpr
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vmpr commented Dec 4, 2020

thanks, worked a treat!

@bllgg
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bllgg commented Feb 15, 2021

Thanks.

@djvdorp
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djvdorp commented Mar 2, 2021

Thanks a lot, much appreciated!

@Marty
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Marty commented Mar 18, 2021

Thank you and well done! It fixed my problem and I learned something :)

@NikoS34
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NikoS34 commented Apr 2, 2021

Tkx for the Case II (Can't Use apt i.e. /boot is 100% full), it rocks !

@danielfaust
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danielfaust commented Apr 18, 2021

I used this gist to create a script which generates an "apt purge" command which can then be copy and pasted in a shell to execute it and free up some space. Hope it helps: https://gist.github.com/danielfaust/442a125ff5c5b17e60519a12f10f8113

@fahmimmaliki
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fahmimmaliki commented Apr 20, 2021

Thanks, it's help me a lot

@PeterTough2
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PeterTough2 commented Oct 21, 2021

After removing one of the file returned after running this code, I rebooted my server and I can't access it any longer.
It is refusing connection, server is on AWS
AWS Instance status checks: Instance reachability check failed

$ sudo dpkg --list 'linux-image*'|awk '{ if ($1=="ii") print $2}'|grep -v uname -r``

Any idea how I can fix this.

@tomekowal
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tomekowal commented Jan 14, 2022

Unfortunately, I had some "stubborn" linux images that were reinstalled every time I tried this solution.
Fortunately, I've found this script https://launchpad.net/linux-purge which helped :)

@JHLasbatre
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JHLasbatre commented Apr 2, 2022

Perfect, thanks !

@pylapp
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pylapp commented Apr 6, 2022

The 2nd case saved me! Thank you a lot, you are awesome!

\(-ㅂ-)/ ♥ ♥ ♥

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