I was farting around with dpkg on my recently re-installed system, looking for a way to see which packages took up the most space (which had been an issue previously) and discovered the following:

$ dpkg-query -W -f='${Installed-Size}\t${Package}\n' | sort -nr
158443  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-34-generic
158201  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-31-generic
121492  linux-firmware
109159  firefox
108164  libgl1-mesa-dri
68655   linux-headers-4.4.0-34
68628   linux-headers-4.4.0-31
58638   breeze-icon-theme
54242   linux-image-4.4.0-34-generic
54206   linux-image-4.4.0-31-generic

Excellent! I thought. I've got a new kernel image. And thanks to it's new 'no reboot' magic...

$ uname -r

Hmmm. That's not right. Shouldn't it be 4.4.0-34?

I was really looking forward to some absurdly long uptimes thanks to "no reboot" kernel patching, and am under the impression that the system should be using the latest (-34) version. Is there some additional step I'm overlooking? Might a forthcoming update fix the issue? Or - say it's not so - is there a reboot in my future

  • The machine is running a recent install of Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS 'Server', in case this information is useful.
    – DrDR
    Aug 11, 2016 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


The most likely reason your kernel is not being auto updated like you are expecting, is that you don't have the linux-generic meta package installed. If you use aptitude to install software on your linux system. Then just do apt-get install linux-generic then do your usual steps in updating the system and it should pull the updated kernel like you are wanting. Or use which ever package manager you have to install linux-generic

  • Thanks for the input, but I do have the linux-generic package installed. (It has a much smaller footprint on disk, so it's way down on the list.)
    – DrDR
    Aug 10, 2016 at 23:23
  • Ok, well, going to need a bit more information about your system to better help then lol. Would be nice to know which linux distro you are using.
    – Frostalf
    Aug 10, 2016 at 23:41

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