Install Alpine on VirtualBox

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This guide describes a standard install of Alpine within a virtual computer created by Virtual Box.

Oracle VM VirtualBox runs one or more virtual x86 or AMD64/Intel64 computer (guest) within another computer (host). This allows you to install and test Alpine on your main computer almost as you would any other program.

Preparation

Install Virtual Box on host

First of all, you need to download and install Virtual Box on your host computer, either from the official homepage (for Windows, OS X or Solaris) or from your distribution’s repository (for Linux).

Virtual Box consists of two components:

  • VirtualBox platform package
  • Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack

Install both and start VirtualBox, to see whether it works. If it does not, consult the VirtualBox user manual or one of the support sites for Virtual Box.

Download Alpine

Download the Virtual Alpine ISO, which is optimized for virtual systems, from the Alpine Download section. Save it in a folder where you can find it easily.

Setting up virtual PC

Start Virtual Box. You will see a mostly empty window with a couple symbols in the upper left corner. The leftmost icon is a multi jagged star, if you hold your mouse over it, the tooltip will say “New”.

Press the multi-jagged star to create a new machine. A window will pop up, asking you some questions about the virtual (guest) computer you want to run.

  1. Name: Choose any you like, for example “Alpine”.
  2. Type: Linux
  3. Version: Other Linux, either 64 bit or 32 bit. Choose 64 bit if you downloaded the x86_64 Alpine-ISO, or 32 bit if you downloaded the x86 Alpine-ISO.
  4. Use the default values for the other questions, simply click “next” or “create” till the dialogue finishes.

You will see a new entry in Virtual Box, called Alpine (or whatever name you chose during step 1 in the dialogue above). Click on it to see further information on your guest.

One of the entries should read Mass storage, and offer an IDE controller with a primary master (the virtual hard disc) and a secondary master (the virtual optical drive).

Click on the secondary master, a context menu will pop up. Choose the entry “choose image” and open the Alpine ISO you downloaded earlier.

Once that is done, click on the green start arrow on the menu bar.

Install Alpine on the virtual computer

Follow the steps described in the Installation Handbook, just as if you installed Alpine on a real PC.

Tip:
Tip: Do not reboot your virtual box after the installation. Rather, shut the virtual machine down, remove the Alpine ISO from the virtual optical drive, and then restart the virtual machine.

Install drivers for Virtual Box

Once you successfully rebooted into the installed Alpine, there are two steps left:

  1. Enable the Community Respository
  2. Enable VirtualBox shared folders

These two steps install all drivers that other programs might request, and also activate several comfort functions.