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How To Remove the Newest Kernel in Ubuntu?

Ubuntu 7

In the world of Ubuntu, the kernel is the core part of the operating system that interacts with the hardware of your computer. Occasionally, you may need to remove a kernel, particularly if it’s causing issues with your system. This article will guide you through the process of removing the newest kernel in Ubuntu.

Quick Answer

To remove the newest kernel in Ubuntu, you can use the sudo apt-get purge command followed by the kernel version you want to remove. Make sure to also remove the corresponding kernel headers. After removing the kernel, reboot your system to complete the process. Verify the removal by checking the GRUB menu during boot. Remember not to remove the ‘linux-generic’ package responsible for automatic kernel updates.

Identifying the Kernel Version

Before you can remove a kernel, you need to identify which version you’re currently using. To do this, open your terminal and type the following command:

uname -r

This command will return the version of the kernel that’s currently in use. The -r flag stands for ‘release’ and it will display the kernel release information.

Listing All Available Kernels

Next, you need to list all the kernels available on your Ubuntu system. This can be done with the following command:

dpkg -l | grep linux-image

The dpkg -l command lists all the packages installed on your system. The | symbol is a pipe that takes the output of the previous command and uses it as input for the next command. grep linux-image filters the output to only show packages that include ‘linux-image’ in their name, which are the kernels.

Removing the Kernel

Now that you’ve identified the kernel you want to remove, you can do so with the following command:

sudo apt-get purge linux-image-X.X.X-XX-generic

Replace X.X.X-XX with the version of the kernel you want to remove. The sudo command allows you to run commands with administrative privileges. The apt-get purge command removes the specified package along with its configuration files.

Removing the Kernel Headers

After removing the kernel, it’s also necessary to remove its headers. You can do this with the following command:

sudo apt-get purge linux-headers-X.X.X-XX-generic

Again, replace X.X.X-XX with the version of the kernel you removed. The headers are files that contain definitions and configurations for the kernel, and they’re not needed once the kernel is removed.

Rebooting Your System

After removing the kernel and its headers, reboot your system using the following command:

sudo reboot

Verifying the Removal

To verify that the kernel has been removed, you can check the GRUB menu during the boot process. Hold down the “Shift” key during boot to access the GRUB menu. The removed kernel should no longer be listed in the advanced settings of the GRUB menu.


By following these steps, you can remove the newest kernel in Ubuntu. However, remember not to remove the ‘linux-generic’ package as it is responsible for automatic kernel updates. If you remove it, you’ll need to manually run apt-get to get kernel updates. Always ensure you have a backup kernel version that works well with your system before removing any kernel.

If you encounter any issues or have further questions, feel free to ask for assistance in the Ubuntu community or check out the official Ubuntu documentation.

Remember, tinkering with the kernel can be risky, so always proceed with caution. Happy Ubuntu-ing!

Can I remove multiple kernels at once?

Yes, you can remove multiple kernels at once by specifying their versions in the apt-get purge command. For example, you can use sudo apt-get purge linux-image-X.X.X-XX-generic linux-image-Y.Y.Y-YY-generic to remove two kernels at the same time.

How can I check the currently installed kernel version after removing a kernel?

You can check the currently installed kernel version by running the uname -r command in the terminal. This command will display the version of the kernel that is currently in use.

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