Alpine Linux:Glossary

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Contents

The Glossary is an extensive list of terms and Alpine Linux features with definitions and considerable explanations. A great place for reference and general browsing.

A

abuild
The tool to build packages from sources using APKBUILD is abuild.

ACF
Alpine Linux Configuration Framework is an mvc-style application for configuring an Alpine Linux device. The primary focus is for a web interface - ACF's main goal is to be a light-weight MVC "webmin".

apk
Alpine Linux Package Keeper - A) The package manager for Alpine Linux, used to install, query and remove software packages on a running Alpine Linux system. Also the suffix of the binary packages, even if those basically are gzipped tar files.

APKBUILD
A build recipe that is used to build Alpine packages for apk. It holds information of package name, version, license, dependencies, sources etc and how to compile the sources and package the binaries.

apkovl
Apkovl is a file storing configuration files that have changed from the default ones. It is used when running from ram. The contents are overlaid on top of the contents of the apks that are loaded on boot. The filename is <hostname>.apkovl.tar.gz and is stored on removable media whose path is defined in /etc/lbu/lbu.conf.

B

Busybox
Busybox is a utility that combines many common Linux tools into a single program. Most of the command-line tools in the core Alpine Linux distribution are part of Busybox.

BSD
Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) is a Unix operating system derivative developed and distributed from 1977 to 1995 by members of the University of California, Berkeley.

C

cgit
cgit provides an easy access to all git repositories hosted on the Alpine Linux infrastructure.

D

E

edge
edge is the name of the development tree of Alpine Linux.

F

G

git
The distributed version control system that Alpine Linux uses.

H

I

IRC
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a protocol for Internet text messaging in real-time. Alpine-specific details can be found here.

J

K

L

lbu
Local Backup Utility. A tool to make backups of user configuration. Since the system typically runs from RAM, lbu is used to save the state of the system to a file that is restored to bring the system back to its previous state.

LEAF
Linux Embedded Appliance Framework. Alpine Linux started as a fork of the LEAF project. A secure, feature-rich, customizable embedded Linux network appliance for use in a variety of network topologies. Although it can be used in other ways; it's primarily used as a Internet gateway, router, firewall, and wireless access point.

M

main
The so-called main repository contains software. Those packages are mature.

MVC
The MVC design pattern is used in ACF to separate presentation information from control logic. By MVC we mean:
  • Model - code that reads / writes a config file, starts / stops daemons, or does other work modifying the router.
  • View - code that formats data for output
  • Controller - code that glues the two together

mkinitfs
Tool to generate the initramfs image for the kernel.

modloop
Loopback cramfs image where kernel modules are stored for tmpfs installs.

N

NTP
Network Time Protocol (NTP) is a protocol for synchronizing the clocks of computer systems. Alpine Linux provides setup-ntp for setting up.


O

OpenRC
OpenRC is a dependency based universal init system that works with the system provided init program.

P

Q

R

S

setup-*
Alpine Linux contains a lot of scripts to configure a system. All those scripts start with setup-*. The most important one is setup-alpine.

T

testing
The so-called testing repository contains software packages which are new/untested/experimental.

tmpfs
Linux filesystem that exists in (virtual) memory only, like a RAM disk.

U

uClibc
uClibc (aka µClibc/pronounced yew-see-lib-see) is a C library for developing embedded Linux systems. It is much smaller than the GNU C Library, but nearly all applications supported by glibc also work perfectly with uClibc.

V

vServer
Linux VServer provides virtualization for GNU/Linux systems by kernel level isolation. This way it's possible to run multiple virtual units at once.

W

X

XFCE
XFCE is a lightweight desktop environment that is included with Alpine Linux.

Y

Z