Alpine Linux
Alpine Linux.svg
DeveloperAlpine Linux development team
OS familyLinux (Unix-like)
Working stateActive
Source modelOpen source
Initial releaseAugust 2005; 16 years ago (2005-08)[1]
Latest release3.16 / 23 May 2022[2]
Repository
Marketing targetDevelopers, power users
Available inMultilingual
Package managerapk-tools
Platformsx86, x86-64, ARMhf, ARMv7 AArch64, ppc64le, s390x
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
UserlandBusyBox
Default
user interface
Ash
Official websitealpinelinux.org

Alpine Linux is a Linux distribution designed to be small, simple and secure.[3] Unlike most other Linux distributions, Alpine uses musl and BusyBox instead of the more commonly used Glibc and GNU Core Utilities [4][5][6][7] and OpenRC for its init system instead of systemd.[8] For security reasons, Alpine compiles all user-space binaries as position-independent executables with stack-smashing protection.

Because of its small size, it is commonly used in containers providing quick boot-up times.[9][10]

Mobile Linux distribution postmarketOS is based on Alpine Linux.[11]

History

Originally, Alpine Linux began as a fork of the LEAF Project.[1] The members of LEAF wanted to continue making a Linux distribution that could fit on a single floppy disk, whereas the Alpine Linux wished to include some more heavyweight packages: Squid and Samba. They also added security features and a newer kernel.

Alpine's package management system, apk-tools,[12] was originally a collection of shell scripts[13] but was later rewritten in C.[14]

As of 4 June 2014, Alpine Linux switched from uClibc to musl as its C standard library[15]

A hardened kernel was included in the default distribution for up to and including Alpine 3.7, which aided in reducing the impact of exploits and vulnerabilities.[16]

Features

Alpine Linux can be installed as a run-from-RAM operating system. The LBU (Alpine Local Backup)[17] tool optionally allows all configuration files to be backed up to an APK overlay file (usually shortened to apkovl), a tar.gz file that by default stores a copy of all changed files in /etc (with the option to add more directories). This allows Alpine to work reliably in demanding embedded environments or to (temporarily) survive partial disk failures as sometimes experienced in public cloud environments.

By default, Alpine includes patches that allow using efficient meshed VPNs using the DMVPN standard.

Alpine has reliably had excellent support of Xen hypervisors in up-to-date versions, which avoids issues as experienced with Enterprise Distributions. (The standard Linux hypervisor KVM, is also available.)

Alpine Configuration Framework (ACF): While optional, ACF is an application for configuring an Alpine Linux machine, with goals similar to Debian's debconf. It is a standard framework based on simple Lua scripts.[18]

References

  1. ^ a b "linux.leaf.devel - Re: [leaf-devel] 2.6.x kernel support? - msg#00039 - Recent Discussion OSDir.com". Archived from the original on 14 May 2016.
  2. ^ ""ALPINE LINUX 3.16.0 RELEASED"".
  3. ^ "about | Alpine Linux". alpinelinux.org.
  4. ^ says, GigaTux (24 August 2010). "Alpine Linux 2 review | LinuxBSDos.com".
  5. ^ Security-Oriented Alpine Linux 3.7 Has UEFI Support, GRUB Support in Installer, Softpedia News
  6. ^ 10 Most Secure Linux Distros For Complete Privacy & Anonymity | 2017 Edition, FossBytes
  7. ^ Noyes, Katherine (9 February 2016). "Is Docker ditching Ubuntu Linux? Confusion reigns". Network World.
  8. ^ "OpenRC - Alpine Linux". wiki.alpinelinux.org.
  9. ^ "Meet Alpine Linux, Docker's Distribution of Choice for Containers". 28 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Review: Alpine Linux is made for Docker". InfoWorld. 10 July 2017.
  11. ^ "postmarketOS // real Linux distribution for phones". postmarketos.org. 28 April 2022.
  12. ^ "Alpine Linux package management - Alpine Linux". wiki.alpinelinux.org.
  13. ^ "apk-tools". SourceForge.
  14. ^ "apk-tools - Alpine package manager". git.alpinelinux.org.
  15. ^ "Release notes". alpinelinux.org. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Alpine 3.8.0 released | Alpine Linux". alpinelinux.org. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  17. ^ "Alpine local backup - Alpine Linux". wiki.alpinelinux.org.
  18. ^ "Alpine Configuration Framework Design - Alpine Linux". wiki.alpinelinux.org.