Alpine Linux is a community-developed operating system designed for x86 routers, firewalls, virtual private networks, IP telephones, and servers. It is designed to implement the concept of security, including a number of active security features such as PaX and SSP, they can prevent the software vulnerabilities are used by rivals. The system uses the C language library is musl, the basic tools are in BusyBox. They are common in embedded systems and are smaller than tools in GNU / Linux systems.
Alpine Linux is built around musl libc and busybox. This makes it smaller and more resource efficient than traditional GNU/Linux distributions. A container requires no more than 8 MB and a minimal installation to disk requires around 130 MB of storage. Not only do you get a fully-fledged Linux environment but a large selection of packages from the repository.
Binary packages are thinned out and split, giving you even more control over what you install, which in turn keeps your environment as small and efficient as possible.
Alpine Linux is a very simple distribution that will try to stay out of your way. It uses its own package manager called apk, the OpenRC init system, script driven set-ups and that’s it! This provides you with a simple, crystal-clear Linux environment without all the noise. You can then add on top of that just the packages you need for your project, so whether it’s building a home PVR, or an iSCSI storage controller, a wafer-thin mail server container, or a rock-solid embedded switch, nothing else will get in the way.
Alpine Linux was designed with security in mind. The kernel is patched with an unofficial port of grsecurity/PaX, and all userland binaries are compiled as Position Independent Executables (PIE) with stack smashing protection. These proactive security features prevent exploitation of entire classes of zero-day and other vulnerabilities.
Alpine Linux 3.13 has been released.
NEW FEATURES AND NOTEWORTHY NEW PACKAGES
- Official cloud images.
- Introduction of ifupdown-ng, a replacement for busybox ifupdown.
- Improved wifi support in setup scripts
- PHP 8.0 is available now (next to PHP 7.4).
- Node.js (LTS) is compiled with -O2 instead of -Os which noticeably improves performance. It can also use full ICU data if new package icu-data is installed alongside.
- Initial support for cloud-init
- Linux 5.10.7
- musl 1.2
- Busybox 1.32.1
- GCC 10.2.1
- Git 2.30.0
- Knot DNS 3.0.3
- MariaDB 10.5.8
- Node.js 14.15.4
- Nextcloud 20.0.4
- PostgreSQL 13.1
- QEMU 5.2.0
- Xen 4.14.1
- Zabbix 5.2.3
- ZFS 2.0.1
- The musl-1.2 upgrade changed the definition of
time_tto 64-bits on all arches. This affects armhf, armv7 and x86. See the musl time64 release notes and the wiki for more information.
- Berkley DB has been deprecated due to licensing issues. For postfix, this means all tables in
/etc/postfix/main.cfmust be converted to a different format before upgrading, for example,
- xorg-server and related packages have been moved to community. Make sure you have the community repository enabled in
- Some rarely used busybox applets have been disabled. See the wiki for more information.