I have this weird issue since about 1 month ago.

I used to routinely apply dist upgrades with:

apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

but since 1 month ago I get an output similar to this:

apt-get dist-upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Calculating upgrade... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  apparmor console-setup grub kbd linux-image-3.2.0-23-generic
  linux-image-3.2.0-31-generic linux-image-3.2.0-49-generic
  linux-image-3.2.0-51-generic linux-image-3.2.0-52-generic
  linux-image-3.2.0-53-generic linux-image-server linux-server ntfs-3g
  plymouth-theme-ubuntu-text ubuntu-minimal
The following NEW packages will be installed:
The following packages have been kept back:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 15 to remove and 1 not upgraded.
Need to get 48.1 kB of archives.
After this operation, 904 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]?

That is, Ubuntu wants to (correctly) remove the old kernel image but does NOT install the new one, it does not even propose it.

Do you know what is wrong with this?

I do have some 3rd party repos installed but I need them and they are quite famous (and thus should work): php, nginx, varnish and mysql.

Thanks in advance.

Edit: I did want to see what would happen by pressing ENTER at the "Do you want to continue [Y/n]?" question. So I made a backup and then upgraded. Unsurprisingly enough, Ubuntu would not reboot any more.

  • Please check if linux-generic and linux-headers-generic are installed. – Danatela Sep 24 '13 at 8:26
  • Thank you, apparently they don't look like being installed: dpkg-query -l linux-generic No packages found matching linux-generic. dpkg-query -l linux-headers-generic No packages found matching linux-headers-generic. What should I do? Just apt-get install them both? – Dario Fumagalli Sep 24 '13 at 10:50
  • Yes. This will install about 5 packages. – Danatela Sep 25 '13 at 2:44

You have to install package linux-generic. This package will always depend on the latest complete generic Linux kernel and headers.

Some additional info:

# sudo aptitude show linux-generic
Dependencies: linux-image-generic (=, linux-headers-generic (=
#sudo aptitude show linux-image-generic
Dependencies: linux-image-3.8.0-30-generic, linux-image-extra-3.8.0-30-generic, linux-firmware
#sudo aptitude show linux-headers-generic
Dependencies: linux-headers-3.8.0-30-generic

Hint for newbies: use sudo apt-get install (package) to install packages in Ubuntu.

  • Hello, I have installed linux-generic and also the headers. However a subsequent apt-get dist-upgrade still rips everything off. So, I tried letting it remove the kernel and then installed linux-generic and headers and checked grub-pc was installed. When I rebooted... server completely dead, not even a message or anything. I don't know where to begin to make it run again, all I can do is to restore the imgage backup I created right before trying this fix. This is odd, as I recall dist-upgrade used to NOT remove all and did not require linux-generic reinstall. And most of all, the server booted – Dario Fumagalli Sep 25 '13 at 23:37

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