I need to delete older kernels from a server to make room for updating to a new one. I can't really use GUI-based methods like synaptic, and apt-get remove --purge didn't work.

What to do?

  • 3
    What do you mean by “apt-get remove --purge didn't work”? What command did you run, what happened? Be sure to copy-paste the command and any error message. May 16, 2012 at 20:08
  • Can i know if your GUI is not at all working??(meaning you cant use my solution of an alternate gui tool) or is it that you are not able to use GUI tools like synaptic??
    – Nirmik
    May 17, 2012 at 6:27

4 Answers 4


Create a shell script with this content:

dpkg -l linux-*  | \
awk '/^ii/{ print $2}' | \
grep -v -e `uname -r | cut -f1,2 -d"-"` | \
grep  -e '[0-9]' | xargs sudo apt-get -y purge

This script will remove old kernels, headers and sources.

  • You, Sir, are the king ! :) ...Freed up 70% of my diskspace on server thx to this Jan 28, 2015 at 17:16
  • works :) im on ubuntu server, cant install gui tool
    – Superbiji
    Feb 6, 2015 at 8:54

Did you try to run

apt-get --purge autoremove

? That does the trick for me.


This Article details for remove old kernel linux http://www.ibotme.com/knowledgebase/linux-existe-alguna-manera-de-ocultar-o-eliminar-las-versiones-anteriores-de-kernel/

  • Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – fossfreedom
    May 16, 2012 at 20:16

Download and install either of these from software center:

  • Janitor

  • Ubuntu Tweak(it has the janitor built in it)

Open Janitor(direct janitor or tweak), you will find "Old Kernel Packages" under "System". Tick mark on it and click 'Clean'

Enter the password and the old ones will be removed


You must log in to answer this question.

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