Thursday, September 10, 2015

Purging old kernels to make room on /boot

I've installed Linux on lots of laptops and desktops by now, and like most people I succumbed to the desire to make some custom decisions on how the system should be configured. One of the most basic decisions is the layout of the system across multiple partitions. There are some technical advantages to having a separate /boot partition, but (especially with Ubuntu, which is what I use) the /boot partition eventually fills up with old kernels and you are unable to perform the standard software updates because the drive doesn't have enough free space. There are a number of recommended ways to clear out these old kernels, but most involve lots of scripting or command line magic. Oddly, there is not a one-button solution within the software updater, where it would be incredibly convenient. But there is a simple command from the bikeshed package to handle this problem.