I had this issue with sound Only "Dummy output" (sound) in Ubuntu 20.04 after reboot - Broken driver / module after a reboot. I was missing package linux-modules-extra-5.4.0-40-generic.

Now I rebooted again (I am not sure think I know if I also rebooted at some point in between), and I had no sound or wifi. I checked and now I have kernel 5.4.0-42.46, and I didn't have linux-modules-extra-5.4.0-42-generic. So I guessed there was an automatic kernel update (I don't recall doing it myself), without installing that package, waiting for me to reboot and suffer from the missing package.

My questions are:

  1. Why would an automatic kernel update not install linux-modules-extra?
  2. Can I configure my system to have the package installed whenever an update takes place?


Kernel modules missing after update to 5.4.0-37

What is the linux-image-extra package for and do I need it?

  • is package linux-generic on your system? apt list --installed | egrep '^linux'
    – nobody
    Aug 7, 2020 at 19:15
  • @nobody - I have no package linux-generic. It seems to have only two doc files: changelog.gz, copyright. Why do you ask? Aug 8, 2020 at 10:07

2 Answers 2


You need to have linux-generic meta package installed.

It will pull all other necessary kernel packages including modules, modules-extra, headers, etc.

This package may be missing if you manually removed some kernel packages.

To fix issues with missing kernel packages run in a terminal:

sudo apt install linux-generic
  • Do I also need linux-generic-hwe? Aug 8, 2020 at 11:41
  • 1
    At the moment there is no difference between linux-generic and linux-generic-hwe-20.04. It will make difference in the future when HWE kernels appear.
    – Pilot6
    Aug 8, 2020 at 12:10
  • 2
    It makes a difference with kernel 5.8.0 - without linux-generic-hwe-20.04 one needs to manually install linux-modules-extra after each kernel upgrade. Jan 25, 2021 at 13:06
  • With kernel 5.8.0-43, I have now installed linux-generic and linux-generic-hwe-20.04. I will wait until the next update to confirm whether everything gets updated automatically. Feb 18, 2021 at 10:49
  • I confirm I need linux-generic-hwe-20.04 as discussed. I wonder if the answer should be edited, but I feel this package is specific to 20.04 so maybe a more generic answer is required. Without this metapackage, Kernel updates break my networking, which means I can't get online to read this post nor download the required packages. It seems that Ubuntu's it should just work mantra is becoming a more and more distant memory.
    – Rodney
    Feb 25, 2021 at 4:48

This problem happens when a system that was upgraded, but the hardware modules got moved to the HWE layer. APT will keep the auto-install marked for the linux-generic meta package, but you need it to instead use linux-generic-hwe-20.04 meta, so that linux-modules-extra-... and linux-headers-generic-hwe... are installed automatically.

Fix it by running

sudo apt install linux-generic-hwe-20.04

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