delete_module - Linux


delete_module is a Linux command that dynamically unloads a specified kernel module from the running kernel. Kernel modules are used to extend the functionality of the kernel without the need to recompile and reboot the system. Removing a module can free up memory or resolve conflicts with other modules.


delete_module [options] <module_name>


  • -f, --force: Force unload the module, even if it is in use.
  • -v, --verbose: Print detailed information while unloading the module.
  • -V, --version: Print version information and exit.


Simple Unloading:

delete_module vfat

Force Unloading:

delete_module -f usb_storage

Verbose Output:

delete_module -v snd_pcm_oss

Common Issues

Module Not Found:
If the specified module is not loaded, the command will fail with an error. Ensure the module is present in /proc/modules before attempting to unload it.

Module In Use:
Unloading a module that is still actively used can cause system instability. Use the -f option only if you are sure the module is no longer needed.


delete_module can be used in combination with other commands, such as:

  • lsmod: To list loaded kernel modules.
  • modprobe: To load kernel modules (used if you need to reload the module after unloading).

Related Commands

  • insmod: Loads a kernel module into the running kernel.
  • modprobe: Automatically loads required kernel modules.