I'm running Ubuntu 18.04 x86_64, fully patched with dist-upgrade. I have an old kernel and I am not sure if it safe to remove:

$ ls /boot/
config-4.15.0-64-generic      memtest86+.elf
config-5.0.0-29-generic       memtest86+_multiboot.bin
efi                           System.map-4.15.0-64-generic
grub                          System.map-5.0.0-29-generic
initrd.img-4.15.0-64-generic  vmlinuz-4.15.0-64-generic
initrd.img-5.0.0-29-generic   vmlinuz-5.0.0-29-generic

I also have Nvidia and Virtual Box DKMS's in /usr/lib for the kernels. I used dkms remove ... to remove the 4.x modules, but they keep returning:

$ ls /lib/modules/
4.15.0-64-generic  5.0.0-29-generic

$ dkms status
nvidia, 430.26, 4.15.0-64-generic, x86_64: installed
nvidia, 430.26, 5.0.0-29-generic, x86_64: installed
virtualbox, 5.2.32, 4.15.0-64-generic, x86_64: installed
virtualbox, 5.2.32, 5.0.0-29-generic, x86_64: installed

I'm catching random crashes and I believe they are due to video drivers. Each boot and each login generates a Crash Report (not a panic). The crash happens with both Nouveau (generic X driver) and Nvidia (nvidia-driver-430). Unfortunately, Ubuntu does not provide the details. I am only offered the choice to Cancel or Send (and not View).

I'd like to remove the old kernel in hopes of clearing the issue. The rub is, the last time I tired to do it with SecureBoot on and signed kernels, the machine stooped booting.

My question is, is it safe to remove old Ubuntu 4.x kernel in this configuration?

  • That its not booting if you removed the old kernel is strange. It ought to be safe - ubuntu does remove some old kernels automatically, That said, if you're booted into the new kernel, and its crashing, the issue ought to be with the new, not old kernel – Journeyman Geek Sep 25 '19 at 4:20

The only kernel you need is the one be you are booting to. Old kernels and even newer kernels are always safe to delete.

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