Please Explain How I Can Fix This Issue When I Receive On My Linux Ubuntu v.11.04 64-Bit A Window Message - Not enough free disk space - When Update Manager Runs? Please explain.

Hello. I have a question to ask you regarding my Linux Ubuntu v.11.04 64-bit operating system.

A couple of days ago from the date of this posting, I installed from a disc copy my Linux Ubuntu v.11.04 64-bit operating system on my computer. I have installed some software programs from the Ubuntu Software Center plus have had Update Manger install some updates a couple of instances successfully. Now, today, I received another Update Manager ready to installs some more Linux Ubuntu updates into my system. I have started this process only to receive a window message stating that “Not enough free disk space”. Please see the attached screen clipping attachment below.

I JUST installed Linux Ubuntu and I cannot believe at this point I am lacking some free space on my “/boot” partition. Yes I manually created the /boot partition when I manually setup this distribution of my Linux Ubuntu. I set the /boot partition to 50 MB. I received instructions on Linux Ubuntu distribution setup  from a reputable MagBook that is well written that includes the very Linux Ubuntu v.11.04 64-bit disk  I have used to install this Ubuntu distribution on my hard drive. Now I am not sure exactly what to do?


1. Do I need to clean out in some manner my /boot files? If so how do I do this? Please explain in detail since I am fairly new to the Linux Ubuntu operating system.

2. I set my /boot partition to 50 MB as stated by that MagBook on Linux Ubuntu setup procedures. Is this too small a space to setup (50 MB) or should it be MUCH GREATER for the /boot partition? How do I increase the size if you suggest I do now that I have the on my physical hard disk drive the /boot partition that is literally defined and 'wedged' with no space for expansion since it at the front of the hard drive and there is my /swap partition behind it? Please explain what I need to do? Is there a way to STILL EXPAND the /boot partition or not? Please explain the steps necessary to do this.

3. Are there any other solutions to my issue you can recommend or suggest? Please explain.

Please reply.

Thank you!
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Do not clean the /boot folder. you system will not boot as it holds the files required for booting.

Use this URL to resize your partition.

The recommended value for /boot is 200MB
Pierre FrançoisSenior consultantCommented:
Before expanding your boot partition, you can remove the older kernels installed in the boot partition.

There is a one line (big) instruction that you can copy and paste into a terminal, which is:
dpkg -l linux-* | awk '/^ii/{ print $2}' | grep -v -e `uname -r | cut -f1,2 -d"-"` | grep -e [0-9] | xargs sudo apt-get -y remove

Open in new window

You can do this also by clicking a lot of things in the Synaptic Packet Manager, but as new Linux user, keep the things simple, copy the line above and paste it into a terminal window: Applications > Accessories > Terminal

You will be asked to introduce your password once.

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nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
@pfrancois some explanation might be useful, otherwise to more or less demand blind faith in some "dark magick"
Just to understand what is done...
every command produces some output which is sent as input to the next command using a | character (creating a pipeline).

dpkg -l linux-* |                 # make listing of linux packages--
               awk '/^ii/{ print $2}' |         # filter the output to get package names
               grep -v -e `uname -r |       # remove the currently running kernel
               cut -f1,2 -d"-"` |                   #  the fields 1&2, where - is the separator
               grep -e [0-9] |                       # the line should ontain some number
               xargs sudo apt-get -y remove    # and this is fed to the "sudo apt-get -y remove " using the xargs command whcih reads its input and appends it the command prefix.
Pierre FrançoisSenior consultantCommented:
@noci: thanks.
BazingerooAuthor Commented:
@ torakeshb, pfrancois, & noci:

Hello. Nice to see you again! Nice to meet noci!

First, I need to apologize that I have not closed this question/thread sooner. However, I see why I never close question/thread because the circumstances changed for the worst -- but still no excuse to still close this...

I approached your solutions and acted on them after noci comment. I first tired from the answers I received, pfrancois simple because his answer was the simplest and easiest to do. From what I can recall, pfrancois answer did work well without any issues!!! Thank you!!! I recall the Update Manager updating without incident after pfrancois's answer!

Now, I could of stopped there and moved on and forget about doing anything more to my Linux Ubuntu's underpinnings. But I  figured I would still have Update Manger issues in the near future with such a small /boot partition. I needed TO STILL expand it in order to lessen the instances of another one of these issues happening again. I followed torakeshb's answer to expand the /boot partition to 200 MB with GParted. Now, I cannot recall everything that happened since it was over a week ago. I do know in the process of expanding the partition where I had to move the partitions after it since there was no free unallocated space right or left of the /boot partition, the process to moving the /boot partition failed miserably. it failed to boot when the first time I rebooted Ubuntu since I had made some progress moving some of the partitions to open up the /boot partition to expand it. I was unable to recover my Linux Ubuntu v. 11.04 from that point on. I have read that once you damage your /boot partition, you dead! I  figured it best to just re-install my Linux Ubuntu  v.11.04 64-bit again as a clean install. Actually, I have performed a distribution upgraded to v.11.10 since and added more programs/program packages since. ...and yes, I have a 1 GB /boot size partition this time!!!  I figured I would be going through a few clean installs of my Ubuntu early on with mistakes I accidently make. I didn't lose anything important. After the clean install, I found this question/thread not useful any longer, obviously neglecting it -- which is not nice at all. I am very sorry!

I have learned that I 'seem' I cannot do much to the /boot partition (and maybe the other Linux Ubuntu partitions setup too) once I have created it during the Linux Ubuntu clean installation. You are stuck with those partition sizes I guess. Maybe the GParted move and expand/contract partition sizes only applies to *OTHER NON-SYSTEM* partitions.

Oh, I appreciate noci's comment. I am a beginner of Linux Ubuntu and from noci's comment, I was lost in translation and to be honest confused in interpreting on noci describing the conditions for each part of pfrancois's text command line in pfrancois's previous comment. In time, I will begin to understand command line text functions because I want too.
So I am going to close this question/thread now.

I am awarding pfrancois the Accepted Solution and 400 points for this question/thread since it did work. I am giving torakeshb 50 points since the errors could of been an accident on my behalf, but it was not a answer/solution. I am giving noci 50 points for explaining the bringing awareness to pfrancois's comment -- even though I was overwhelmed by noci's explanation. That is why I need you experts more than ever right now!

Again, thank you all!
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