Can I remove linux kernel if its an optional dependency?

I use linux-lts. When I installed it, I didn’t care to remove the linux package. However I see that I’m regularly updating linux kernel even though I don’t use it. So i decided to remove linux altogether. Here’s the output:

$ yay -Rns linux                                                                                                                                                                         
[sudo] password for snehit:
checking dependencies...
:: base optionally requires linux: bare metal support

Packages (1) linux-5.6.10.arch1-1

Total Removed Size:  74.60 MiB

:: Do you want to remove these packages? [Y/n] n

It says that base requires linux package. It was an optional dependency, so I thought that linux-lts would also provide the required functionalities. I checked dependencies for base package:

$ yay -Qi base | grep -i "dep"                                                                                                                                                          
Depends On      : filesystem  gcc-libs  glibc  bash  coreutils  file  findutils  gawk  grep  procps-ng  sed  tar  gettext  pciutils  psmisc  shadow  util-linux  bzip2  gzip  xz  licenses  pacman  systemd  systemd-sysvcompat  iputils  iproute2
Optional Deps   : linux: bare metal support [installed]

It does not list linux-lts as a dependency/optional dependency. I naturally think there must be some functionality which only the current kernel can provide, which lts kernel doesn’t have.

Am I interpreting it correctly? Can I remove the linux kernel package.

(I know I can add linux to IgnorePkg. But if I don’t have to use the package, removing it will be a better option than ignoring updates. Especially when I have EOS installed on a 50GB partition)

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Perhaps you should just hang on to both. It’s not a very big package. It’s always good practice to have more than 1 kernel installed in case there is an upstream update that does not agree with your hardware (I use three). This way if your system ends up in a non booting state you can simply choose an alternate kernel. Way easier and less time consuming then chrooting in and then installing another kernel just to get your system running. But to each their own. Lastly I am not sure yay is the best way to go about kernel management. That function is usually recommended to be handled my pacman :stuck_out_tongue:


Sound like a good option to keep multiple kernels. Thanks!

Out of curiosity, I’d still want to know if it is safe to remove the linux package. (learning should go on!). If somebody could explain me whats going on with base, I’d be glad :smile:

It should be fine to remove the Linux kernel if lts is installed. I think those base packages are the ones used to boot arch to a command prompt prior to the kernel actually being installed. If you have ever installed arch the arch way basically it boots the iso to a tty. It has to get there somehow :grinning: anyway I believe the command you are looking for is ‘’’sudo pacman -R linux linux-headers’’’ assuming you have the headers installed.


base only optionally requires linux. Also, base is just a meta package that describes what it takes to maintain a minimal system.


That being said, I agree with @Elloquin that it is worth keeping around. Kernels can and do break so it is always good to have a backup around. Of course, it does update frequently and use a lot of bandwidth so if your bandwidth is metered it might make sense to risk it.


I have installed arch the arch way multiple times before hopping on to EOS. (and realizing I always mess up something or the other. Thankfully I haven’t yet been able to accidentally wipe my hard disk :laughing: )

Correct me if I’m wrong, doesn’t the arch iso have a kernel? The kernel may not be the very latest one because of obvious reasons, but there must be a kernel.

Edit: decided to not remove linux kernel. Updating is not a problem.

Of course it does.

Although, I am not sure I understand the direction of the question.

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Okay Thanks everyone. I understand now! :smiley:

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That includes the reason you prefer to download the current Arch ISO each time before installing it the Arch way. If you don’t, you will be suffocated under updates :grin:

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