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A Knowledge Worker's Notebook

I used to be a technical writer when I created this website. I have moved on now.

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How to Get Rid of yum Errors by Removing Old Kernels

Occasionally, I have encountered a yum unpacking error when trying to install a new kernel on my Fedora computer:

Running Transaction error: unpacking of archive failed on file /boot/System.map-2.6.16-1.2111_FC5; 44730661: cpio: write

This error can occur when the /boot partition gets too full.

Solution

  1. Open a root shell.
  2. Check which kernels are installed on your computer:

    rpm -qa | grep kernel
    kernel-2.6.16-1.2122_FC5
    kernel-2.6.16-1.2111_FC5
    kernel-2.6.16-1.2080_FC5
    kernel-2.6.16-1.2133_FC5
    kernel-2.6.17-1.2139_FC5
    kernel-2.6.16-1.2096_FC5
  3. Check which kernel you are currently running:

    uname -a
    Linux mycomputer.mynetwork 2.6.17-1.2139_FC5 #1 Fri Jun 23 12:40:16 EDT 2006 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
  4. Remove all unused kernels, for example all 2.6.16-* kernels:

    yum remove kernel-2.6.16-*

    I prefer to use yum instead of rpm to remove packages because for me it's much easier to remember how to remove multiple packages with yum.

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