After yesterday's update of Linux Mint Mate (64bit), I started to receive a warning about "Full disk space". I have 400 MB for the /boot partition on my hard disk.

This is the screen-shot of the /boot files.


This is the screen-shot of the update-log.


The question is: How can I clean the /boot? What files are safe to delete?

  • Sorry, I don't have enough reputation to post images. Nov 11, 2016 at 14:24
  • 1
    You have 4 bootable installations (4.4.0-31, -34, -36 and -38). You are unlikely ever to need more than one previous boot, so uninstall and completely remove all the -31 and -34 files (I find synaptic easiest), and you will halve the size of /boot.
    – AFH
    Nov 11, 2016 at 14:31
  • Whenever possible, please post text, not screenshots. Text is searchable and scrollable, and people who use screen readers are able to read it and help you. You can use the ls command to list the contents of a directory, and cat or less to show the contents of a file, in this case, /var/log/apt/history.log may be helpful. Copy text by selecting it in the terminal, and middle-click to insert it into a post. Before and after, put three inverted commas (or 'backticks') i.e. ``` on lines by themselves, so it gets formatted correctly in your post. Thanks! Jan 5, 2021 at 12:46

3 Answers 3


I received this response from StackOverflow before they flag my question...

Check the current kernel version with uname -r and make sur that the current kernel work without any problem to keep it.

From the terminal:

List the installed kernel :

dpkg --list | grep linux-image
dpkg --list | grep linux-headers

Remove the old kernels through the following command:

apt-get purge linux-image-x...
apt-get purge linux-headers-x...

using the synaptic package manager

Open Synaptic and mark the old kernel versions for removal then apply changes

Update Manager

from the Update Manager view the Linux kernels , click the 'Remove' button for the kernels that you want to remove


You can install the purge-old-kernels cli tool through:

sudo apt-get install bikeshed

If you want to purge the old kernel except for the latest 2 kernels, run the following command:

sudo purge-old-kernels --keep 2

Finally run

sudo update-grub 
sudo update-grub2

Get the current of list of installed kernel packages:

dpkg -l linux-* | awk '/^ii/{ print $2 }' | grep -e [0-9]

View current kernel version:

uname -r

Take away the old versions of packages that are older than the current kernel by specifying them separated by a space in command:

sudo apt-get purge

  • I got this:linux-base linux-firmware linux-headers-4.4.0-21 linux-headers-4.4.0-21-generic linux-headers-4.4.0-31 linux-headers-4.4.0-31-generic linux-headers-4.4.0-34 linux-headers-4.4.0-34-generic linux-headers-4.4.0-36 linux-headers-4.4.0-36-generic linux-headers-4.4.0-38 linux-headers-4.4.0-38-generic linux-headers-4.4.0-42 linux-headers-4.4.0-42-generic linux-headers-4.4.0-43 linux-headers-4.4.0-43-generic linux-headers-4.4.0-45 linux-headers-4.4.0-45-generic linux-headers-4.4.0-47 linux-headers-4.4.0-47-generic ... Nov 11, 2016 at 14:44
  • Wow... You have too many kernels! Remove all packages that has version and it different from uname -r result
    – Slipeer
    Nov 11, 2016 at 14:47
  • Seems like a normal number of kernels, to me, for a healthy machine that doesn't get rebooted often. I love Mint, but I think it's a failing that it doesn't clean these up by itself. Jan 5, 2021 at 12:52

Old kernels are the most often reason why /boot has low amount of space.

Since 19.2 Linux Mint has a GUI to remove old kernels manually and to set up automatic maintenance.

To remove manually

In the Update Manager (mintupdate) select "View" -> "Linux Kernels" to open kernel management window. Press "Remove kernels" button, select unneeded kernels and press "Apply".

I advise leaving at least one old kernel just in case.

enter image description here

To set up automatic removal

In the Update Manager (mintupdate) select "Edit" -> "Preferences", switch to "Automation" tab. Enable "Automatic maintenance".

enter image description here

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