How do I disable loading of unnecessary kernel modules. Kernel 3.2.4


5 Answers 5


Note: blacklisting will not work for modules which are built into the kernel image (i.e. not loaded via a separate .ko file. The only way to disable such modules is via a kernel parameter (if available) or by recompiling the kernel.

Just open your /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file and add drivername using following syntax:

blacklist driver-name

EDIT: In later versions since 12.10 (12.04?) the file is /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

Reboot your box and use lsmod command to show the status of modules in the Linux Kernel

Note: here driver-name is the name of your desired blacklist driver. For example, If you wanted to disable the NIC card driver, you can find the name of kernel driver for your LAN card by using the command lspci -v command in a terminal.
For Example my output was :

6:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM5906M Fast Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02)
    Subsystem: Lenovo Device 3861
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 46
    Memory at b8000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
    Expansion ROM at  [disabled]
    Kernel driver in use: tg3
    Kernel modules: tg3

Here, I see the driver is tg3. so you need to write tg3(or your driver) in the place of driver-name.

Plenty of info can be found here.

  • 9
    in my case (Lubuntu 12.10), there is not a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file. There is a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf file
    – Abdull
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 11:27
  • 2
    It is better to keep modules blacklisted by a user in a separate file in order to avoid conflicts during upgrade (see this comment at serverfault). Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 6:41
  • 4
    The blacklist.conf file doesn't need to exist. You could put a file called my-mom-is-awesome there and it would work. Make up whatever name you like if you want to make a specific file just to blacklist a specific thing, like blacklist-nouveau or whatever.
    – doug65536
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 15:50
  • 5
    @LnxSlck I was addressing confusion voiced in previous comments. I did not want help. What is with the obsession with not posting to older content? Just leave it to rot? People still find this and others will have the same questions I addressed.
    – doug65536
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 9:41
  • 3
    I had to update initramfs with sudo update-initramfs -u to take changes in effect.
    – ks1322
    Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 20:11

You can also temporarily blacklist them on the grub command line (linux line) when you boot with the syntax

  • 2
    How long is this "temporary"? Until next boot?
    – Seth
    Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 20:49
  • 2
    Apparently this does not work for i915: i915: unknown parameter 'blacklist' ignored. Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 15:05
  • 2
    @bodhi.zazen - thanks, but I do not have any problem - I have just noted that this may not work for some particular modules :) Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 17:58
  • 5
    What is the difference between this and modprobe.blacklist=module_to_blacklist?
    – Zaz
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 22:20
  • 8
    or use the kernel parameter modprobe.blacklist=module_to_blacklist (see man modprobe for details) Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 11:29

Another way to blacklist modules in at least Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is by adding the following line to the kernel command line:


Using the /etc/modprobe system is the best way, but this is an alternative that can be used in a pinch by editing your GRUB command line at boot.

This can also be made permanent by editing /etc/default/grub and adding to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT variable. For example, in my /etc/default/grub I have:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash modprobe.blacklist=nouveau"

Then I run update-grub2, then update-initramfs -u. After a reboot, you'll be free of the module, so long as nothing loads it after boot.

This method also works in EL variants (RHEL, CentOS, SciLinux), but you'll have to use that distro's methods to update grub and the initrd.

(Note to those trying to blacklist nouveau: Make sure to not load X by running systemctl set-default multi-user.target, otherwise when X starts it'll load nouveau again!)


In more recent releases, you need to use the install directive in your blacklist file

install modulename /bin/false

Replace "modulename" above with the name of the module. This will forcibly prevent its loading.

You can find more info about the install directive in the manual for modprobe.conf

man modprobe.conf
  • 4
    This is very helpful. It turns out even with a blacklist entry in /etc/modprobe/blacklist.conf, the module can still be loaded manually with modprobe <module_name>. Using the install <module_name> /bin/false method makes this fail as desired.
    – RawwrBag
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 19:13

None of these solutions worked on 16.04 LTS for i915.ko.

The (dirty) solution I found was to rename


Unfortunately, external VGA screen is not recognised anymore :{

  • 10
    All you need is sudo update-initramfs -u after modifying /etc/modeprobe.d/ files
    – Ivan Black
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 22:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .