Warning: Ignoring kernel upgrades makes the system more vulnerable due to the lack of the latest security fixes.

Ignore Temporarily

Pacman’s --ignore option is used to ignore package upgrades. You can ignore multiple packages, separated by commas. This command upgrades the system but ignores three kernels.

sudo pacman -Syu --ignore linux,linux-header,linux-lts,linux-lts-headers,linux-zen,linux-zen-headers

Ignore Permanently

Typing --ignore packages takes some time1. Sometimes, you might forget to type it. You can permanently ignore kernel upgrades by adding this to /etc/pacman.conf in the [options] section.

IgnorePkg = linux linux-headers linux-lts linux-lts-headers linux-zen linux-zen-headers

Note that packages in IgnorePkg are separated by spaces. If you want to upgrade kernels after configuring IgnorePkg, install them explicitly:

sudo pacman -Syu --needed linux linux-headers linux-lts linux-lts-headers linux-zen linux-zen-headers
# or use brace expansion
sudo pacman -Syu --needed linux{,-lts,-zen}{,-headers}

About Partial Upgrades

Partial upgrades are unsupported on Arch Linux. That means if you install or upgrade some package(s) without upgrading other packages, the system might break. For example, these commands might break the system.

pacman -Sy; pacman -S package
pacman -Sy package

I think ignoring kernel upgrades does not break the system because Linux software works with different versions of the kernel. Sometimes, I ignore kernel upgrades for a week and have no problems at all.

Why I Ignore Kernel Upgrades

❯ head -n 1 /var/log/pacman.log
[2021-09-30T11:37:30+0000] [PACMAN] Running 'pacman -r /mnt -Sy --cachedir=/mnt/var/cache/pacman/pkg --noconfirm base base-devel linux linux-firmware dhcpcd iwd vim nano sudo bash-completion'

I have been using Arch Linux since September 30, 2021. I am a happy user most of the time. I love its update-to-date packages. The only thing annoying me is kernel upgrades. I installed three Linux kernels (stable, longterm, and zen kernel). I usually use zen kernel. It is updated frequently, about every 3 days. Upgrading the current kernel without rebooting breaks some functionalities such as USB and virtualization2. Rebooting interrupts my work because I have to close the software and open it after rebooting. Upgrading the kernel is also much slower than upgrading other packages3. Thus, I dislike upgrading kernels. I would like to do it when I am free.


I shared this post on Arch Linux subreddit. People corrected my wrong opinions. I learned a lot from the comments. Thank you.


pacman - Skip package from being upgraded - ArchWiki

  1. If you use fish or zsh-autosuggestions, that should not be a problem. ↩︎

  2. This problem is caused by missing kernel modules and can be solved by kernel-modules-hook↩︎

  3. Upgrade time can be reduced by uninstalling extra Dynamic Kernel Module Support (DKMS) modules and kernels. It also saves time installing packages by pacman -S <package> instead of pacman -Syu <package>↩︎