The 3 most recent kernels will not boot and I don't know why. My concern is that my only remaining old kernel will soon be automatically removed and then I have nothing. How can I remove the new kernels and more importantly, prevent the one older kernel from being removed automatically? Or, ideally, why are the new kernels failing? I have a blank screen. No error whatsoever. Where do I even start to investigate that?

Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS Kernel (working) 4.15.0-20-generic x86_64 Asus E402M

Is it possible to prevent new kernels being installed? I keep the to LTS versions to avoid these failures!

lspci -knn | grep -EA3 'VGA|3D|Display'
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Graphics & Display [8086:0f31] (rev 0e)
    Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Graphics & Display [1043:1aad]
    Kernel driver in use: i915
    Kernel modules: i915
00:14.0 USB controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx, Celeron N2000 Series USB xHCI [8086:0f35] (rev 0e)
  • What is your video adapter? Did you install drivers for it? Which and how?
    – Pilot6
    Sep 17, 2019 at 7:23
  • Use apt-mark to put a 'hold' on the kernel you want to keep (it can be re-installed if removed; but marking for hold is the easier path).
    – guiverc
    Sep 17, 2019 at 7:31
  • apt-mark should be done on the meta package. But I am sure that the problem is not with kernel "failing", but with wrongly installed graphics drivers that don't build on kernel upgrade.
    – Pilot6
    Sep 17, 2019 at 7:37
  • Goodness me! What? How do I find the video adapter? Is it i915? Sep 17, 2019 at 7:42
  • Please add output of lspci -knn | grep -EA3 'VGA|3D|Display'
    – Pilot6
    Sep 17, 2019 at 7:46

1 Answer 1


Instead of freezing an old kernel I would suggest to move to a NEW major kernel by running:

sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-18.04 xserver-xorg-hwe-18.04

That will install kernel 5.0 to your system and new graphics stack.

You will still be able to boot with the old kernel using grub.

If this doesn't help, most likely the problem is not with kernels, but with something else in your system thet prevents new kernels from installing properly.

  • I installed kernel 5.3 and it is booting but it is slow and things are missing. Sensors for the temperature for example. What a mess! I have to walk away from it now because I just don't have the time. I need a working machine and sadly Ubuntu is just a toy now. Sep 17, 2019 at 7:58
  • Installing a mainline kernel wasn't the best idea.
    – Pilot6
    Sep 17, 2019 at 7:59
  • Nope! The updater is now broken! What a mess. I don't have the time to play with it. I need it to work. Reliably. It is a tool. Not a toy! I'll have to do another fresh install later and refuse updates until the next LTS is released and hopefully that will work. Sep 17, 2019 at 8:11
  • Do a fresh install of 18.04.3, not 18.04 and all should work out of the box. You did some wrong things.
    – Pilot6
    Sep 17, 2019 at 8:13
  • 1
    Pilot6 - thanks very much for this. It worked! I've removed the three non-booting kernels and so have two booting kernels though I do get some errors with 5. I was also able to remove 5.3 and run "sudo apt --fix-broken install" as requested through terminal feedback so the updater is now also working. I'm happy enough! Sep 17, 2019 at 10:11

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