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I have kernel 2.6.38 still visible in the grub menu and I see


(among the respective files for the recent kernel) in /boot.

But when I try to find the package with dpkg I don't see it:

$ dpkg -l | grep linux-image
2338:rc  linux-image-3.0.0-14-generic     3.0.0-14.23    Linux kernel image for version 3.0.0 on x86/x86_64
2339:rc  linux-image-3.0.0-15-generic     3.0.0-15.26    Linux kernel image for version 3.0.0 on x86/x86_64
2340:rc  linux-image-3.0.0-16-generic     3.0.0-16.29    Linux kernel image for version 3.0.0 on x86/x86_64
2341:ii  linux-image-3.2.0-29-generic     3.2.0-29.46    Linux kernel image for version 3.2.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
2342:ii  linux-image-generic        Generic Linux kernel image

How can I remove these old kernel files safely?

I am running Ubuntu 12.04, uname -a reads

Linux XYZ 3.2.0-29-generic #46-Ubuntu SMP Fri Jul 27 17:03:23 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can safely remove any file/directory having 2.6.38-11 in their names, as this is not your running kernel anymore. This kernel must have been installed during a precedent Ubuntu install.

They should normally belong to a package, but as they are not, you should remove them manually.

To know what type of files are installed with a kernel, you can do dpkg -L linux-image-3.2.0-29-generic | less

Then you can remove all the files/directories listed by ls -1d /{boot,lib/modules,lib/firmware,usr/share/doc}/*2.6.38-11*

Then run sudo update-grub, it should purge the grub entry. If not, check the content of /etc/grub.d

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