OS: Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Server Edition

We just rolled back an kernel update using the following command:

sudo apt-get remove linux-image-2.6.24-24-server

The uninstallation was successful, but it had the following message before apt-get exited:

The link /vmlinuz is a damaged link
Removing symbolic link vmlinuz
 you may need to re-run your boot loader[grub]
The link /initrd.img is a damaged link
Removing symbolic link initrd.img
 you may need to re-run your boot loader[grub]

Should we be worrying about this message? Do we need to re-run GRUB? How do we go about doing this if we have to re-run GRUB?

Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


Those messages are nothing to worry about. The symlinks that are being complained about are only needed if you're using lilo as your bootloader, because it uses those symlinks to find your "current" kernel. Grub, being more flexible, has it's own way of doing things, and doesn't need the symlinks.

  • It would be nice if worrying sounding error messages could be avoided in circumstances where they are irrelevant, or at least come with a brief explanation of the circumstances in which you should worry.
    – mc0e
    Jan 31, 2018 at 11:24
  • Yeah, well, I want a pony, too. (grin)
    – womble
    Feb 1, 2018 at 0:02
  • They are, however, used by kexec-tools if you're trying to use fast kernel reloads. It has a GRUB option but I've found that didn't load my initrd and so couldn't boot. You can update symlinks with e.g. linux-update-symlinks upgrade 4.19.39 /boot/vmlinuz-4.19.39 if whatever you're doing (e.g. dpkg -i) doesn't do it automatically. Jul 4, 2019 at 23:09

You shouldn't need to re-run grub. You would, but after a kernel change you may need to run /usr/sbin/update-grub.

Those messages probably do not indicate an issue. The real test would be to simply reboot the computer. If it boots fine, then nothing bad happened.

You may want to update your /etc/kernel-img.conf and disable the do_symlinks option, and you shouldn't see this message again.

  • 8
    I am sorry but rebooting the computer to check whether it can reboot is not good advice. What if it can't?
    – Cookie
    Feb 4, 2016 at 11:03
  • If you can't schedule a reboot of a system to test if you have broken the boot setup, then it almost certainly means you have a single point of failure in your network, that you should be fixing. I have no idea how you expect test if your computer boots properly, without testing that it boots properly. Obviously you should be prepared when you do this to fix your system, if it fails.
    – Zoredache
    Feb 4, 2016 at 19:21
  • If for some reason it doesn't boot, you should use a live DVD/CD that matches your release and mount/repair it. (Many articles on this) And as @Zoredache says you won't know till you do it.
    – B. Shea
    Oct 18, 2016 at 17:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.