How to fix: At least xMB more space needed on the /boot filesystem

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While updating a client’s CentOS 6 server using “yum update” I ran into the following error:

Transaction Check Error: installing package kernel-2.6.32-358.2.1.el6.x86_64 needs 11MB on the /boot filesystem
Error Summary
Disk Requirements: At least 11MB more space needed on the /boot filesystem.

To check the free space on /boot I ran the following command: df -h

Which gave the following output:

Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/vda3 136G 60G 70G 46% /
tmpfs 5.3G 0 5.3G 0% /dev/shm
/dev/vda1 99M 77M 17M 82% /boot
/usr/tmpDSK 1.3G 35M 1.2G 3% /tmp

As you can see the boot partition is 82% full.

To list installed kernels use this command:

The result:

kernel-2.6.32-220.7.1.el6.x86_64
kernel-headers-2.6.32-358.2.1.el6.x86_64
dracut-kernel-004-303.el6.noarch
kernel-2.6.32-279.19.1.el6.x86_64
kernel-firmware-2.6.32-358.2.1.el6.noarch
kernel-2.6.32-279.9.1.el6.x86_64

So to remove the oldest kernel, I ran:

Then: df -h

Output:

Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/vda3 136G 60G 70G 46% /
tmpfs 5.3G 0 5.3G 0% /dev/shm
/dev/vda1 99M 52M 42M 56% /boot
/usr/tmpDSK 1.3G 35M 1.2G 3% /tmp

As you can see that freed up more than the 11MB needed. So I retried yum -y update kernel and this time it works. Finally I deleted the old ones again:

rpm -e kernel-2.6.32-279.9.1.el6.x86_64 kernel-2.6.32-279.19.1.el6.x86_64

Final result, 70M free!.

/dev/vda1 99M 25M 70M 26% /boot

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