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Took over an older system and found that the /boot partition was 90% full.

After some searching on the net I found that there are older kernels installed that's taking up disk space.

Doing rpm -qa | grep ^kernel | sort shows:

kernel-2.6.9-67.0.15.EL
kernel-2.6.9-67.0.20.EL
kernel-2.6.9-67.0.22.EL
kernel-2.6.9-67.EL
kernel-2.6.9-78.0.13.EL
kernel-2.6.9-78.0.17.EL
kernel-2.6.9-78.0.1.EL
kernel-2.6.9-78.0.22.EL
kernel-2.6.9-78.0.5.EL
kernel-2.6.9-78.0.8.EL
kernel-2.6.9-89.0.11.EL
kernel-2.6.9-89.0.9.EL
kernel-2.6.9-89.31.1.EL
kernel-2.6.9-89.33.1.EL
kernel-2.6.9-89.35.1.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-67.0.15.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-67.0.20.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-67.0.22.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-67.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-78.0.13.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-78.0.17.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-78.0.1.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-78.0.22.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-78.0.5.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-78.0.8.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-89.0.11.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-89.0.7.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-89.0.9.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-89.31.1.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-89.33.1.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-89.35.1.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-67.0.15.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-67.0.20.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-67.0.22.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-67.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-78.0.13.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-78.0.17.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-78.0.1.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-78.0.22.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-78.0.5.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-78.0.8.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-89.0.11.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-89.0.7.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-89.0.9.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-89.31.1.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-89.33.1.EL
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-89.35.1.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-67.0.15.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-67.0.20.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-67.0.22.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-67.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-78.0.13.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-78.0.17.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-78.0.1.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-78.0.22.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-78.0.5.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-78.0.8.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-89.0.11.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-89.0.9.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-89.31.1.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-89.33.1.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-89.35.1.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-67.0.15.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-67.0.20.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-67.0.22.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-67.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-78.0.13.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-78.0.17.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-78.0.1.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-78.0.22.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-78.0.5.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-78.0.8.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-89.0.11.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-89.0.7.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-89.0.9.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-89.31.1.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-89.33.1.EL
kernel-smp-devel-2.6.9-89.35.1.EL
kernel-utils-2.4-20.el4

It seems to be a consensus that I remove/uninstall the older kernels, but as a non-sysadmin I'm not quite sure how to do this. How do I know which ones to uninstall, and do I use rpm to do it?

uname -a shows:

Linux 2.6.9-89.0.11.ELsmp #1 SMP Tue Sep 15 07:16:37 EDT 2009 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Probably the safest thing to do would be to use yum erase <package>-<version>. Basically, what you have up there, but the .EL is not necessary to be included. You can use rpm -e if for some reason yum is unavailable.

You want to be very careful not to remove the currently running kernel. I notice that there are devel packages, too. It sounds like those might be entirely unnecessary for you but I'd start with just removing the oldest versions until you are satisfied with the amount of space freed up.

Yum should take care of it, but also confirm that the boot entries are removed from /etc/grub.conf.

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I ran into this this week. I found a system that had yum auto-updates enabled. Over the years, multiple kernel updates were applied and eventually filled /boot. Note your kernel version with uname -a. Run an rpm -qa | grep kernel to list the various kernel packages installed. Perform a yum erase on the versions/packages you want to erase.

[root@xxxx ~]#  rpm -qa | grep kernel
kernel-devel-2.6.9-42.0.8.plus.c4
kernel-smp-2.6.9-42.0.10.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-67.0.15.plus.c4
kernel-smp-2.6.9-67.0.20.plus.c4
kernel-devel-2.6.9-89.0.28.plus.c4
kernel-module-xfs-2.6.9-42.0.3.plus.c4smp-0.2-1
kernel-smp-2.6.9-55.plus.c4
kernel-devel-2.6.9-55.0.2.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-55.0.2.plus.c4
kernel-smp-2.6.9-55.0.9.plus.c4
kernel-smp-2.6.9-55.0.12.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-67.0.1.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-67.0.1.EL.plus.c4
kernel-smp-2.6.9-67.0.4.plus.c4
kernel-smp-2.6.9-67.0.7.plus.c4
kernel-devel-2.6.9-67.0.22.plus.c4
kernel-devel-2.6.9-42.0.10.plus.c4
kernel-devel-2.6.9-67.plus.c4
kernel-smp-2.6.9-78.0.13.plus.c4
kernel-smp-2.6.9-89.0.25.plus.c4
kernel-hugemem-devel-2.6.9-89.0.28.plus.c4
kernel-smp-2.6.9-42.0.3.EL
kernel-smp-2.6.9-42.0.3.plus.c4
kernel-smp-2.6.9-42.0.8.EL
kernel-devel-2.6.9-42.0.10.EL

Erasing a few versions...

yum erase kernel-devel-2.6.9-67.0.4.plus.c4 kernel-devel-2.6.9-67.0.1.EL

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