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I am unable to upgrade software since upgrading to 18.04 due to the boot partition size being too small. I've tried Gparted as a LiveCD, but that didn't allow me to expand the boot partition. I can't get KVPM to boot due to needing to be root and I can't find instructions on how to make that happen.

I also can't install system-config-lvm for some reason. I've used several sources, but this link has most of the instructions I've followed thus far:

How can I resize an LVM partition? (i.e: physical volume)

Outside of doing a clean install to fix the boot partition size problem, I'm hoping someone can help me resize the partitions on my machine so I can get past this roadblock.

Thanks in advance.

Output of df -h

Output of df -i

Software updater error message:

Software Updater "Not enough free disk space" error

Output of ls -la /boot:

total 110844
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root     4096 Nov 17 11:50 .
drwxr-xr-x 24 root root     4096 Nov 15 19:26 ..
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  1537821 Sep 24 07:08 abi-4.15.0-36-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  1537997 Oct 10 02:20 abi-4.15.0-38-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   216954 Sep 24 07:08 config-4.15.0-36-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   216983 Oct 10 02:20 config-4.15.0-38-generic
drwxr-xr-x  5 root root     1024 Nov 15 19:27 grub
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 26584853 Nov 15 19:26 initrd.img-4.15.0-36-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 57729589 Nov 17 11:50 initrd.img-4.15.0-38-generic
drwx------  2 root root    12288 Nov 15  2014 lost+found
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   182704 Jan 28  2016 memtest86+.bin
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   184380 Jan 28  2016 memtest86+.elf
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   184840 Jan 28  2016 memtest86+_multiboot.bin
-rw-r--r--  1 root root        0 Sep 24 07:08 retpoline-4.15.0-36-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root        0 Oct 10 02:20 retpoline-4.15.0-38-generic
-rw-------  1 root root  4046393 Sep 24 07:08 System.map-4.15.0-36-generic
-rw-------  1 root root  4046910 Oct 10 02:20 System.map-4.15.0-38-generic
-rw-------  1 root root  8275824 Sep 24 07:08 vmlinuz-4.15.0-36-generic
-rw-------  1 root root  8277752 Oct 10 03:43 vmlinuz-4.15.0-38-generic

New df-h output after removing old kernel:

Filesystem                   Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev                         5.9G     0  5.9G   0% /dev
tmpfs                        1.2G  2.1M  1.2G   1% /run
/dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root  905G  347G  513G  41% /
tmpfs                        5.9G  3.0M  5.9G   1% /dev/shm
tmpfs                        5.0M  4.0K  5.0M   1% /run/lock
tmpfs                        5.9G     0  5.9G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/loop0                    88M   88M     0 100% /snap/core/5742
/dev/loop1                    89M   89M     0 100% /snap/core/5897
/dev/loop2                   203M  203M     0 100% /snap/firefox/152
/dev/loop3                   5.0M  5.0M     0 100% /snap/canonical-livepatch/50
/dev/loop4                    88M   88M     0 100% /snap/core/5662
/dev/sda1                    236M  117M  107M  53% /boot
tmpfs                        1.2G   16K  1.2G   1% /run/user/127
tmpfs                        1.2G   32K  1.2G   1% /run/user/1000
:/boot$ ls -la
total 110844
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root     4096 Nov 17 11:50 .
drwxr-xr-x 24 root root     4096 Nov 15 19:26 ..
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  1537821 Sep 24 07:08 abi-4.15.0-36-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  1537997 Oct 10 02:20 abi-4.15.0-38-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   216954 Sep 24 07:08 config-4.15.0-36-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   216983 Oct 10 02:20 config-4.15.0-38-generic
drwxr-xr-x  5 root root     1024 Nov 15 19:27 grub
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 26584853 Nov 15 19:26 initrd.img-4.15.0-36-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 57729589 Nov 17 11:50 initrd.img-4.15.0-38-generic
drwx------  2 root root    12288 Nov 15  2014 lost+found
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   182704 Jan 28  2016 memtest86+.bin
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   184380 Jan 28  2016 memtest86+.elf
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   184840 Jan 28  2016 memtest86+_multiboot.bin
-rw-r--r--  1 root root        0 Sep 24 07:08 retpoline-4.15.0-36-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root        0 Oct 10 02:20 retpoline-4.15.0-38-generic
-rw-------  1 root root  4046393 Sep 24 07:08 System.map-4.15.0-36-generic
-rw-------  1 root root  4046910 Oct 10 02:20 System.map-4.15.0-38-generic
-rw-------  1 root root  8275824 Sep 24 07:08 vmlinuz-4.15.0-36-generic
-rw-------  1 root root  8277752 Oct 10 03:43 vmlinuz-4.15.0-38-generic
:/boot$ sudo apt remove linux-image-4.15.0-36-generic
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Package 'linux-image-4.15.0-36-generic' is not installed, so not removed
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 76 not upgraded.
  • What makes you believe that your /boot partition is too small? Many, many Ubuntu systems with small /boot partitions have been successfully upgraded after a release-install. Perhaps you have an extra old kernel still installed that can be easily identified and removed? – user535733 Nov 18 '18 at 0:05
  • Thanks for your reply. I get the following error message when trying to update software: "Not enough free disk space". I'll try and post a screen shot of the actual message. I've tried sudo apt autoremove but that didn't solve it. I have not yet figured out how to edit initramfs.conf file, which seems to be a permissions issue. – Dave H Nov 19 '18 at 4:45
  • Thanks for your help. I just posted screenshots of each. – Dave H Nov 20 '18 at 5:25
  • Your disks don't look out-of-space. You /boot is only 53%. Please edit your question to include the complete output of a terminal session showing the out-of-space error, including the exact command you used. It's usually easier to copy-and-paste text than to muck about with screenshots. – user535733 Nov 20 '18 at 7:25
  • I saw that in the output also. Please see new screen shot from software updater showing the error message I am receiving. I primarily update software this way, and in the past when I've received it, clearing out old kernels did the trick. This time it's not solving the problem as all old kernels have been cleared and I still don't have enough disk space. – Dave H Nov 20 '18 at 15:27
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Make sure you downsize one of the other partitions and apply changes, then reboot. Next resize the boot partition.

If that does not work: I would try to use a live full version linux OS. Then use the GUI GParted to see if you can get any more information out of it that way.

  • Thanks Michael. I will give this a try. I plan to backup my entire system on Tue and hopefully give this a try then. Appreciate the suggestion. I'll post results here. – Dave H Nov 19 '18 at 4:49
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One easy strategy is to uninstall the kernel you're not using, thereby freeing up enough space for the release-upgrade. This WON'T resize your partitions, but WILL get you through the release-upgrade.

uname -r will tell you which kernel you are using. Let's assume you are running 4.15.0-38, so you can safely remove 4.15.0-36.

sudo apt remove linux-image-4.15.0-36-generic   // Remove the kernel image
sudo apt autoremove                             // Remove dependencies

Then run df -h again to check if you freed the 25MB you needed in /boot. If so, try the release-upgrade again.

  • Completed these steps, but still don't have any more free space in boot. See new df -h output above. – Dave H Nov 20 '18 at 22:16
  • Check that the -36 files were really removed using ls -la – user535733 Nov 20 '18 at 22:22
  • Posted the output here. I don't see those files. – Dave H Nov 20 '18 at 22:34
  • Er, ls -la should be in /boot, not your /home – user535733 Nov 20 '18 at 23:12
  • Yep, I'm a rookie. I see 36 in the boot directory still. I've issued the remove command from the boot directory and the message says "not installed, so not removed" however I see the files for 36 in that directory. – Dave H Nov 21 '18 at 0:30

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