Updater can't update kernel due to disk space

Dustin Kirkland kirkland at canonical.com
Thu Jan 15 14:37:00 UTC 2015

On Wed, Jan 14, 2015 at 3:39 PM, Alan Pope <alan.pope at canonical.com> wrote:

> On 14 January 2015 at 16:49, Chris Knutson
> <christopher.knutson at gmail.com> wrote:
> > This is not a support request. I have no problem cleaning up my system.
> >
> > My mother should never have to do this if she wants to run Ubuntu.
> >
> +1
> The default installation on a Dell XPS 13 (a flagship device we
> promote) has a separate /boot partition which runs out of space once
> you have used it normally for some months. I have a few friends who
> own them and I've personally "fixed" it for them more than once. The
> error messages aren't clear, and don't advise what to do in this
> situation, it requires a technical 'expert' to resolve.
> It's also the case if you choose the default partitioning scheme with
> encrypted disk. So it's not a niche corner case (in so much as
> installing Ubuntu or buying an Ubuntu machine is niche already) but a
> common enough problem that we should fix properly and not work around
> with arcane command line tools.

It's not just Desktops.

I have Ubuntu Server instances in the Cloud, with very tiny root disks, one
of which has run for several years, autoupdating, and accumulated 37(!!)
kernels, which filled up its 8GB root partition.

Around that time a few years ago, I wrote the "purge-old-kernels" command (
http://manpg.es/purge-old-kernels), which does a very effective job of
saving your current kernel, and one other known working kernel, while
deleting the rest.  I was working on getting that into the distro (and out
of the bikeshed package), but Adam Conrad told me that apt would fix this,
itself.  I've CC'd Adam.  Can you advise us, Adam?

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