I am trying to upgrade kernel on my laptop and as I'm doing that very often I never had an issue until last time when I was able to fix the issue with running:

sudo dpkg --configure --pending

As there is a new kernel version, upgrade got stuck again and it's not moving from there:

Setting up linux-headers-4.15.0-36-generic (4.15.0-36.39) ...

I have also checked dmesg but I cannot find any issue there.

Command execution were as follows:

sudo apt update
sudo apt list --upgradable
sudo apt upgrade

I would like to skip the "workaround" part and be able to upgrade kernel/packages normally. Hope you can help me!

Please let me know if you need any logs.

Thank you!


As mentioned by cspan51, I don't have nvidia graphics, I have only intel.

I was able to fix the issue with restart of the laptop, and when fully ready I have started Software Updater, which seems does not have the same problem, tho I am not sure is this correct because under the hood I would say tools are the same.


Secure boot was the culprit but disabling it does not solve the problem since I don't want to disable it, so actually solution is to do package upgrade with Software Updater (GUI) instead of terminal apt-get/apt .. because in terminal version, it does never asks for secure boot password

3 Answers 3


I had the exact same problem with my laptop, which has a discrete Nvidia graphics card. I did some research and found that this is problem if fairly common if your machine has an Nvidia graphics card.

I was able to get past this problem by running killing all apt and dpkg processes: sudo killall apt && sudo killall dpkg

Then this to finish configuring the packages:

sudo dpkg --configure -a

After that, the setup finished like it normally does.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer, but I have only intel graphics, will update an question. Please note that I have tried that but it did not work.
    – Filip C.
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 3:36
  • I had no nvidia graphics (on this computer at least) but the killall commands helped to get unstuck! Thanks a lot! Commented May 6, 2019 at 9:33

Disabling Secure Boot in bios helped in my case.

  • This seems more suited for a comment, next time try commenting to retreive more information
    – j-money
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 8:54
  • 2
    @j-money A solution should be posted as an answer, not a comment.
    – Melebius
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 10:50
  • Don't work, SecureBoot disabled
    – fireb86
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 20:49

Killing all apt and dpkg processes is solved my problem. To find processes with ps aux | grep apt and ps aux | grep dpkg

After that kill -9 processnumber <id> to make it work.

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