I have a problem with software updater on Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS which I have run today for the first time since updgrading.

I get the error: Software Updater: Not enough free disk space: The upgrade needs a total of 198 M free space on disk '/boot'. Please free at least an additional 5.542 k of disk space on '/boot'. You can remove old kernels using 'sudo apt autoremove', and you could also set COMPRESS=xz in /etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf to reduce the size of your initramfs.

I did sudo apt autoremove but it still fails. Now when I do... ~$ du -sh /boot ...I get...

du: cannot read directory '/boot/lost+found': Permission denied

249M /boot

...so I think I have enough space. Has anyone else come across this and how do I get around it, please?


~$ ls -lah  /boot
total 243M
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root 4,0K nov 21 09:43 .
drwxr-xr-x 24 root root 4,0K oct 25 16:30 ..
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 1,5M may  2  2018 abi-4.13.0-41-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 209K may  2  2018 config-4.13.0-41-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 233K oct 15 12:28 config-5.4.0-52-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 233K oct 21 11:00 config-5.4.0-53-generic
drwxr-xr-x  5 root root 1,0K nov 21 09:43 grub
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   27 nov 15 15:03 initrd.img -> initrd.img-5.4.0-53-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  33M nov 11 20:47 initrd.img-4.13.0-41-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  83M nov 15 15:04 initrd.img-5.4.0-52-generic
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  83M nov 15 15:04 initrd.img-5.4.0-53-generic
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   27 nov 15 15:03 initrd.img.old -> initrd.img-5.4.0-52-generic
drwx------  2 root root  12K abr 30  2017 lost+found
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 179K ago 18 12:46 memtest86+.bin
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 181K ago 18 12:46 memtest86+.elf
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 181K ago 18 12:46 memtest86+_multiboot.bin
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  255 may  2  2018 retpoline-4.13.0-41-generic
-rw-------  1 root root 3,8M may  2  2018 System.map-4.13.0-41-generic
-rw-------  1 root root 4,6M oct 15 12:28 System.map-5.4.0-52-generic
-rw-------  1 root root 4,6M oct 21 11:00 System.map-5.4.0-53-generic
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   24 nov 15 15:03 vmlinuz -> vmlinuz-5.4.0-53-generic
-rw-------  1 root root 7,6M may  2  2018 vmlinuz-4.13.0-41-generic
-rw-------  1 root root  12M oct 15 12:33 vmlinuz-5.4.0-52-generic
-rw-------  1 root root  12M oct 21 11:01 vmlinuz-5.4.0-53-generic
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   24 nov 15 15:03 vmlinuz.old -> vmlinuz-5.4.0-52-generic

lost+found is empty.

Thanks for the help.

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  • Ubuntu 20? Ubuntu releases that use the yy format (eg. Ubuntu Core 20) are different products to the 20.04 or yy.mm release you mention in the question. Please be specific. – guiverc Nov 21 at 20:56
  • You don't "get around it". You solve the problem head-on. You use sudo to look into the lost+found directory and see if anything is in there. You look at all the files on /boot and figure out which ones belong there and which ones don't belong there. My /boot is only 137M. Edit your question to include the complete output of ls -lah /boot, and we can help you. – user535733 Nov 21 at 21:05
  • Thanks user535733, after doing ls -lah /boot I see I had an old kernel (4.13.0-41-generic) hanging around taking up space. It was marked as manually installed so autoremove didn´t delete it. I followed the guidance here help.ubuntu.com/community/RemoveOldKernels to remove the"manual" flag and then autoremove cleared it up nicely and my problem is solved. Thanks for the help. – Mark yesterday

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