Linux Mint: Low disk space on Boot

Linux Mint: Low disk space on Boot

There is a common warning message displayed after updates in Linux Mint:

Low disk space on "boot".

The full text of the warning and details will be repeated at the start of Linux Mint like:

The volume "boot" has only 0 bytes disk space remaining.
You can free up disk space by removing unused programs or files, or by moving files to another disk or partition.

or

The volume "boot" has only 14.6 MB disk space remaining.

If you prefer you can watch a short How to solve low disk space on boot

Below you can find the steps to analyze and fix Low disk space on boot:

Step #1 Analyze low disk space on boot cause

With two options:

  • Examine
  • Ignore

Both options are not very useful in my opinion. The first one opens the Disk Usage analyzer without much info about the problem.

the-volume-boot-has-only-disk-space

The message appear after connecting remote android device to my computer. Initially I thought that problem is related to the new added device. But after some investigation I found out that problem is related to the Linux Mint boot folder.

The original information from the examine button is not very useful. Instead of this you can use this command to find what is the current space under /boot:

df -h /boot

the result will be something like:

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/nvme0n1p2  705M  640M   14M  98% /boot

Then you can list all files under this folder by ( The command du is for disk usage.):

sudo du -sh /boot/*

result would be something like:

6,1M	/boot/efi
7,9M	/boot/grub
57M	/boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-20-generic
57M	/boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-32-generic
57M	/boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-33-generic
57M	/boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-34-generic
57M	/boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-36-generic
57M	/boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-38-generic
57M	/boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-39-generic
57M	/boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-42-generic
57M	/boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-43-generic

Or if you prefer the old ls command with sort by file size:

sudo ls -lhS /boot/*

result:

-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  57M Dec  3 18:12 /boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-42-generic
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  57M Dec 20 10:19 /boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-43-generic
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  57M Nov 19 16:51 /boot/initrd.img-4.15.0-20-generic
-rw------- 1 root root 7,9M Dec  6 15:56 /boot/vmlinuz-4.15.0-43-generic
-rw------- 1 root root 7,9M Nov 15 21:04 /boot/vmlinuz-4.15.0-42-generic
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 7,9M Jul 17 16:59 /boot/vmlinuz-4.15.0-20-generic
-rw------- 1 root root 3,9M Dec  6 15:52 /boot/System.map-4.15.0-43-generic

Step #2 Autoclean and Autoremove

Best option to solve the problem: low disk space on boot is by running next commands:

sudo apt-get autoclean && sudo apt-get autoremove

What these commands are doing:

  • apt/apt-get autoclean → cleans obsolete deb-packages, less than clean
  • apt/apt-get autoremove → removes orphaned packages which are not longer needed from

Step #3 Clean old kernel (not needed anymore)

Linux Mint keeps the old kernels which might help in future if you have problems after update of your system. This is really helpful. But some of the older kernels are not needed. In order to clean up those old not needed kernel images you use this command:

sudo apt autoremove --purge

after the execution of this command this is the new space allocation in boot:

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/nvme0n1p2  705M  219M  435M  34% /boot

Note: if you want to check what is your Linux Kernel Version you can use this command:

uname -r

result:

4.15.0-43-generic

Step #4 Back up or move files - manually

The last option is instead of auto clean of the old files/kernels to move some files manually with command like:

mkdir /home/archive/4.13.0-32/
sudo mv /boot/*4.13.0-32* /home/archive/4.13.0-32/

Step #5 Test the solution

No matter of the solution(step) you chose to deal with this problem you will need to verify that you have enough space on the boot device. This can be done by:

df -h /boot

expected result is:

Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/nvme0n1p2  705M  219M  435M  34% /boot
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