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Every time Ubuntu installs a new Linux kernel, the old one is left behind. This means that if you are regularly updating an Ubuntu system the Grub boot menu becomes longer and longer with kernels you don’t need anymore. You will probably start getting error messages like

/boot is using 91.2% of 227MB

The old kernels are deliberately left installed and on the menu so you can boot a previous kernel if you have trouble with a new one. But if the new one works, you can safely uninstall the old kernel, which will also result in the Grub menu being cleaned up.

Follow these steps to identify and remove any old kernels.

  • Go to Terminal and paste the following command:
    uname -r[/code]

    [indent=2]It will print the version of the Linux kernel you are running, this is the one you want to keep. It should look something like this:


    • Go to Synaptic Package Manager via the System > Administration menus
    • Paste this: linux-image-2 into the search box of Synaptic Package Manager
    • Once you have located the old kernels, hightlight them and right-click then select Mark For Complete Removal then click Mark and then click Apply

    The results should show every available and installed kernel. A green box on the left indicates that the package is installed. The only linux-image you want installed is the latest one.

    Be careful of what you remove. Ensure that you don’t remove your current kernel, or anything that is not a linux-image. It is possible to break Ubuntu if you remove the wrong kernel.

    Your computer and Grub menu should now be free of old kernels.

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