I've heard of the /boot folder, where the kernel files are situated - Vmlinuz, strange name I expected it to be Linux something, since Linux is the name of the Kernel. However, Vmlinuz is not the only crucial file to boot the system, but there are so many, that I do not know which are essential and which just expendable.

ls /boot


abi-4.8.0-36-lowlatency         memtest86+.bin
abi-4.8.0-49-lowlatency         memtest86+.elf
abi-4.8.0-52-lowlatency         memtest86+_multiboot.bin
config-4.8.0-36-lowlatency      System.map-4.8.0-36-lowlatency
config-4.8.0-49-lowlatency      System.map-4.8.0-49-lowlatency
config-4.8.0-52-lowlatency      System.map-4.8.0-52-lowlatency
grub                            vmlinuz-4.8.0-36-lowlatency
initrd.img-4.8.0-36-lowlatency  vmlinuz-4.8.0-49-lowlatency
initrd.img-4.8.0-49-lowlatency  vmlinuz-4.8.0-52-lowlatency

I do not understand why there are so many files and why there are three files which starts with vmlinuz, I have not downloaded anything into the /boot folder.

uname -r shows


Does this mean I can delete all files which do not contain this release number?

  • 1
    You can delete everything in /boot and it won't "destroy your system"...
    – jasonwryan
    May 18 '17 at 20:46
  • 3
    @jasonwryan it would make it more of an adventure to reboot it though ;-). May 18 '17 at 20:51
  • @StephenKitt Well, a live medium. An adventure for some, granted. But still a far cry from a destroyed system.
    – jasonwryan
    May 18 '17 at 21:11
  • @jasonwryan yes, definitely, I agree about its not destroying the system! May 18 '17 at 21:14

Not quite, but I believe you can remove the other kernel versions, 4.8.0-36 and 4.8.0-52

Also, I'd strongly suggest removing them using your package manager so that uninstall scripts are run to remove the relevant entries from grub.cfg and other files.

If you indicate the distribution you're using, then I can be more specific.

  • 1
    I’d suggest only removing the older kernels; the newer one will be used the next time the system boots. May 18 '17 at 20:41
  • @StephenKitt If the kernel is removed using the package manager, then it will also be removed from the boot menu, so that's not the case, surely?
    – einonm
    May 18 '17 at 20:48
  • Yes, I didn’t mean that the system would be unbootable or anything, just that it would be a shame to remove a newer kernel than the currently-running one. May 18 '17 at 20:50
  • 2
    It's usually considered a good idea to remove any older kernels except the one you've currently booted and in this case the newer kernel. There may be some unforeseen problem with the new kernel that causes it to panic on boot so it's good to keep the current kernel as it's reasonable to assume it works.
    – bodgit
    May 18 '17 at 21:45

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