Unwanted kernels no longer automatically purged

Since the later versions of the 5.4 kernel, I’ve had to run zypper purge-kernels to delete unwanted kernels after zypper dup.

I saw the related bug https://bugzilla.opensuse.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1162353 on Bugzilla, and thought I’d wait to see if the problem would be resolved in an upcoming snapshot. But so far, it hasn’t been. I dup’d today to the 20200211 snapshot and kernel 5.5.2-1.

The multiversions line in my /etc/zypp/zypp.conf file is:

multiversion.kernels = latest,running

Yast → Services Manager shows no ‘purge kernel’ service available.

It was completely broken for a while. But now it is partially fixed.

Here’s the long version.

Originally, purge-kernels was handled by a script that was started at boot. But that never recorded the removal of the kernel in the history file. So they recently changed to make purge-kernels part of zypper.

You can run

zypper purge-kernels

to clean up your old kernels. And, for the present, maybe that’s the best way to do it.

There is also a new package “purge-kernels-service” which you can install if you want to automate it. But apparently that package causes problems for KDE. When you automate it, the package management is locked during boot, and stays locked until the service has completed the cleanup of old kernels. Apparently (based on messages in factory mailing list), this interferes with KDE which wants to start its update applet.

I have installed the “purge-kernels-service” package on one system. But I have the update applet disabled there, and that’s probably why it isn’t causing problems. It seems to work.

Originally, the “purge-kernels-service” package failed, because it ran “zypper purge-kernels” as an interactive command where no interaction was possible. But that has now been fixed.

When the problems with KDE are fixed, I expect that the new “purge-kernels-service” will become a dependence or at least a recommend of the base pattern for Tumbleweed. So it will be automatically installed.

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Thanks for the response, nrickert. Much appreciated, as always.

I’ll stick for zypper purge-kernels for now. After zypper dup brings in a new kernel, I always reboot to terminal to re-install the nvidia driver ‘the hard way.’ It only takes a few seconds to run the zypper command beforehand.