I am using debian and when I was just checking my filesystem there was no vmlinuz file and after a bit of googling many user with no vmlinuz were having trouble to boot but my computer is booting well. Also there is a broken symbolic link that points to /boot/vmlinuz that makes me pretty sure that it was there previously when I had installed debian. Is it normal or something going wrong? I had once deleted boot partition but I thought that I fix it(after that I had done nothing related to kernel).Is that the reason? How can I bring it back. And also my initrd.img has size of 72MB isn't that big?

2 Answers 2


This is normal; Debian kernels are stored in files whose names contain the base version, e.g. /boot/vmlinuz-4.19.0-9-amd64.

The /boot symlinks are no longer maintained by default; that can be controlled in /etc/kernel-img.conf (using the do_symlinks setting).

A 72MiB initrd is larger than it could be, but not outlandishly so. This is largely controlled by the MODULES setting in /etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf file.

  • Just a note that oversized initramfs can also be the result of custom tools bringing oversized libraries. I think I saw this a long time ago when attempting to include cryptsetup in initramfs. Jun 23, 2020 at 14:41
  • Yes, I suspect Plymouth in the default setups (I haven’t checked, I don’t have a default setup handy). Jun 23, 2020 at 14:42
  • 1
    @PhilipCouling: I miss the days when the didn't put glibc in initramfs.
    – Joshua
    Jun 23, 2020 at 19:38
  • I dont have vmlinuz nowhere. is that ok too. I dont know how my system is booting now but if someday i have to do grub rescue then i can't do that without vmlinuz isn't it? if my initrd is larger then why it is so? can i do something to reduce it. Jun 23, 2020 at 20:57
  • You mean that ls /boot/vmlinuz* doesn’t list anything? Jun 24, 2020 at 7:03

I don't have a Debian grub at hand but surely @Stephen Kitt 's answer concerning symlinks run true on Ubuntu vis a vis :

ll /boot/init*59*
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 67558713 Jun 20 02:49 /boot/initrd.img-5.3.0-59-generic
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 39420228 Jun 28 03:37 /boot/initrd.img-5.3.0-59-lowlatency
~ # ll /boot/vmlinuz*59*
-rw------- 1 root root 9158912 Jun  4 15:23 /boot/vmlinuz-5.3.0-59-generic
-rw------- 1 root root 9220352 Jun  4 15:23 /boot/vmlinuz-5.3.0-59-lowlatency
~ # ll /vmlinuz*
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 32 Jun 20 14:16 /vmlinuz -> boot/vmlinuz-5.3.0-59-lowlatency
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 29 Jun 28 03:36 /vmlinuz.old -> boot/vmlinuz-5.3.0-59-generic
~ # ll /init* 
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 35 Jun 20 14:16 /initrd.img -> boot/initrd.img-5.3.0-59-lowlatency
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 32 Jun 28 03:36 /initrd.img.old -> boot/initrd.img-5.3.0-59-generic

Take note I removed bloatware in my lowlatency kernel so size is what you get, but your /boot/grub/grub.cfg or /boot/grub/grub.list will find it wherever it is.

After a fresh reboot : dmesg|head -10 will tell you what is loaded. Here's my Ubuntu:

dmesg |head -10
[    0.000000] Linux version 5.3.0-59-lowlatency (buildd@lcy01-amd64-025) (gcc version 7.5.0 (Ubuntu 7.5.0-3ubuntu1~18.04)) #53~18.04.1-Ubuntu SMP PREEMPT Thu Jun 4 16:09:34 UTC 2020 (Ubuntu 5.3.0-59.53~18.04.1-lowlatency 5.3.18)
[    0.000000] Command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/vmlinuz-5.3.0-59-lowlatency root=UUID=51e6fcad-3f35-d601-5040-fcad3f35d601 ro acpi=off quiet splash vt.handoff=1
[    0.000000] KERNEL supported cpus:
[    0.000000]   Intel GenuineIntel
[    0.000000]   AMD AuthenticAMD
[    0.000000]   Hygon HygonGenuine
[    0.000000]   Centaur CentaurHauls
[    0.000000]   zhaoxin   Shanghai  
[    0.000000] x86/fpu: Supporting XSAVE feature 0x001: 'x87 floating point registers'
[    0.000000] x86/fpu: Supporting XSAVE feature 0x002: 'SSE registers'

See Debian boot process . To be honest I didn't know it differed so much!

Otherwise , you wouldn't boot.

Edit 1: I presume you ran : `sudo find / -name '*vmlinuz*' !

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