Troubleshooting kernel updates under Linux Mint: A case study

In the world of Linux, updating the kernel is a common practice to benefit from improvements in performance, security and hardware support. However, sometimes this process can lead to unexpected challenges. In this blog article, we look at one such situation experienced by a user with Linux Mint.


A reader experienced the following problem when updating his Linux Mint system to kernel 6.6.4:

“The install worked, but I can’t use the latest kernel 6.6.4; it says something about not shim compliant, also probably has something to do with the BIOS? In the mainline kernel list there are these penguin icons in front of the number, the kernels that are running have an Ubuntu icon, what is still not running properly? I use Linux Mint with the kernel 6.2.37,38-22.04,1.”


The problem seems to be related to the ‘shim’ compliance of the kernel and possibly the secure boot setting in the BIOS. Here are some troubleshooting steps and things to keep in mind:

  1. Check Secure Boot: Secure Boot in the BIOS should be checked. If enabled, this could prevent an unsigned kernel from booting.
  2. Compatibility with Linux Mint: It is important that the kernel version is compatible with the Linux Mint version.
  3. Meaning of the kernel icons: The icons in the mainline kernel list indicate the origin of the kernel. Ubuntu-specific kernels may be more compatible with Linux Mint.
  4. Error messages and logs: Attention should be paid to specific error messages and system logs to obtain information about the problem.
  5. Caution with mainline kernels: Mainline kernels may be experimental and may not include all security features.
  6. Community support: If you have further problems, you should contact the Linux Mint community.
  7. Security aspects of disabling Secure Boot: This may have an impact on system security.


Updating the kernel on Linux Mint can be complex, especially when it comes to newer or less common versions. Paying attention to Secure Boot, checking kernel compatibility and understanding the system logs are crucial for a successful update. If in doubt, it is always advisable to seek help from the Linux community.

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