Alpine Install: from a disc to a old computer single only boot

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Overall description: Alpine Installation from a official disc/iso burned into DVD/CD to a older fresh computer without need to backup any files and will be single only boot.

This document will guide you to install Alpine into a older empty or deprecated hardware computer, use if you have a BIOS older based hardware and only wants Alpine Linux into it. Please take a shoot at the Alpine_newbie_install_manual for others options like the USB media way if you don't have optical drive input media.

Tip: This document recommend only versions 3.8 for desktops installations on very olders computers.. only 3.10 on less olders, due programs like Firefox will hang the computer in most newer releases.. newer releases dont have in count older hardware any more, so you will need to install those releases only or will suffer of hardware stress consecuenses


  • BIOS: it's a system into computer hardware machine laptop or desktops, embebed that will manage the early boot process, see more in the Alpine and UEFI page.
  • New machine: will be your real machine fresh and ready to install your new Alpine operating system, with a installed CD/DVD Rom optical drive where to put the burned downloaded disc media installation.
  • Optical drive: will be your hardware drive input to put the burned downloaded iso media with the operating system Alpine to install as source media; this drive are commonly named DVD/CD Rom unit.
  • Source media: will be the just burned/ disc from the downloaded iso file of Alpine operating system. Will be put into the optical drive or named DVD/CD Rom to property boot the source disc as media installation.
  • Target media: will be the storage medium device into the new computer target where the Alpine files for operating system will be installed, its one partition from the HardDisk of the new computer.


  • A blank disc (CD blank or DVD blank or BR blank) to just burn/record the source media file downloaded
  • In the new machine we need optical drive as input source media
  • In the new machine we need at least 512Gb of RAM, but required 2Gb of RAM for desktop/graphical applications
  • In the new machine we need target media with at least 2G of hard disk, but required 10G for desktops
  • Will need to previously downloaded and burned the Source media ISO file from

Preparing the source medium to install

Download the source medium to install and put into your home documents in any modern computer based machine. there's more hardware medium sources to download, like the arm and x64 but those are not recommend for older hardware.

The download URL will be as following format:<VERSION>/releases/<ARCH>/alpine-standard-<VERSION>.4-<ARCH>.iso where ARCH and VERSION could be:

  • <ARCH> will be
    • x86: The popular i586 compatible 32-bit x86 based machines, AMD64 are not recommended for older hardware.
    • s390x: For the Super powered IBM mainframes, especially IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE servers.
    • ppc64le: For the PowerPC devices with pure little-endian mode, mostly for POWER8 and POWER9
  • <VERSION> will be
    • 3.8 the most recommended for machines between 2010 to 2017, maybe 3.10

So using 3.8 recommended version the available links to download will be:

  • x86_:
  • s390x:
  • ppc64le:

Graphical download: Just point the web browser to that url and the download of the iso file will start. A file with .iso extension type, with name like "alpine-standard-3.8.4-x86_64.iso" (if amd64) or like alpine-standard-3.8.4-s390x.iso (if s390x); will be downloaded commonly into the Download directory of your home documents filesystem.

Command line method: in unix-like terminal execute: wget -c -t8 --no-check-certificate, and where you run the command, in that place/dir will be downloaded the file.

Burning the source medium to install

Once downloaded the source media file from Alpine download page put the blank disc into the input optical drive named DVD/CD Rom and open your CD/DVD recording program, choose to "burn from iso file" and wait the process will end.

In detail if you downloaded with Graphicall download (using a web browser), the source media file will be into the Download directory, analog, if you downloaded with Command line method your source file probably will are into your root document home (or just $HOME of your Linux install or MAC install filesystem).

In Linux the command to record/burn the downloaded source media file are just (assuming the blank disc are now put into the optical drive):

$ umount /dev/sr0;cdrecord -v -sao dev=/dev/sr0 alpine-standard-3.8.4-x86_64.iso

If your blank media are a DVD or BD disc the command will be then (assuming the blank disc are now put into the optical drive):

$ umount /dev/sr0;growisofs -dvd-compat -Z /dev/sr0=alpine-standard-3.8.4-x86_64.iso

Note: growisofs has a small bug with blank BD-R media. It issues an error message after the burning is complete. Programs like k3b then believe the whole burn run failed.

Booting the Alpine ISO disc

When the machine start, you must be sure to choose the Optical drive (commonly named CD/DVD Rom drive), so the disc/iso will boot and after a while a command line shell will show you:

Tip: If your system are not configure to boot from a CD/DVD drive must be configure in the BIOS, ask to your vendor or technical support, most older computer can setup BIOS by hitting "DEL" key or "F1" key when computer power on and each configuration depends of each particular BIOS
Installation : setup-alpine : booting process until login prompt

Normal setup/install process

After boot up, you will see a command line shell of a complete ready to use Alpine

Note: This process WORKS BEST with recent versions of "STANDARD" file image downloads. Older alpine images (for Rpi, IBM etc) will have some issues, we recommend always use lasted

Login as root

Log in as root and press enter. No password will be asked for if you're running from the boot image.


Running setup alpine script

Run the setup-alpine script as shown in the image:

Select keyboard layout

Choose your keyboard layout. If you don't know your keyboard layout, choose us. Typically, for a Latin American environment, es is enough. For Russian (and maybe Cyrilic) ru is sufficient.


Select keyboard variant

Choose your keyboard variant. If you don't know your keyboard variant, choose the default from the list. For example, the typical Latin American keymap is es-winkeys.


Enter system hostname

Host name, which will be the name of your computer. using localhost is enough and recommended for testing purposes because permits apply mostly to how-tos and tutorials on the wiki pages.


Initialize network cards

Choose your network card. Typically, you can just go with the default (press enter), a second question will ask about any other configuration. Type "no" then press enter to bypass the step to property set up after installation finished property.


IMPORTANT NOTE: mostly in x86 and x64 ISO images we can let configurations for later, cos at the most modern the network card, the lest supported or still not well tested. Just type done and press enter. If you configured the wired interface, another question will be asked, use dhcp? Most people will use DHCP, so press enter again. If you have Internet connection from ISP, most settings are just DHCP, so all will be configured automatically.

Initialize network DNS

The DNS will be automatically detected, if not, you will be asked ask for the server addresses. Type "" (empty string) for domain, then press enter. Later you can change it to (or the DNS server address of your choice) as shown in the picture. Press enter to go to the next question:


Changing the root password

Next a root password must be defined. You'll need to type it twice for confirmation as the picture shows. If it's too short you will get a warning, but your password will still work. Just retype it and go.

Note: when you type, NO chars will be shown.


Which timezone to choose?

Select a timezone, just press enter to use UTC when perform a single installation.


Proxy chooser

Then setup script will ask for proxy chooser.. just type none and then press enter


Enter mirror number

Then setup script will ask for repository mirror chooser.. just type done and then press enter, this will be configure many times later during usage of the system. Almost any tutorial of newbie pages will explain detailed so lest bypass using "done".


Which ssh server?

Installing an SSH server enables you to manage your machine remotely. OpenSSH is what the big distros use. Dropbear is a tiny SSH replacement. Recommended to type openssh and then press enter, because you able to connect using command line from Unix-like systems also is the offline available in all alpine installer images. Installation-alpine-alpine-setup-9-setup-scripts-ssh.png

Which NTP client to run?

This is for time sync. Press enter to use the image offline. It can be changed after installation.


Setup Disk

This will setup the destination usage of the files

Witch disk choose to use?

To choose the disk destination .. commonly sda are the hard disk cos sdb the USB boot or CD/DVD image


How would be used?

Then choose type of installation .. those are described at Setup modes section at Alpine setup scripts wiki page. "sys" mode is the familiar install to disk well knowed for usage as main OS to computers.


After all a confirmation question will raised, type "y" if everything are ok and the setup will proceed to erase, format and copy the files to the destination disk choose!

Finishing the installation

After al the scripts setup ends, a "reboot" will be offered, just type "reboot" and press enter, remobe the boot media and new installed system will be booted.


For others ways to install see at the Alpine_newbie_install_manual

Documents series

Previous required What's next to read
Alpine newbie install manual Alpine newbie apk packages

See Also

  1. Newbie_Alpine_Ecosystem
  2. Alpine and UEFI
  3. Alpine newbie apk packages
  4. Alpine newbie desktops
  5. Alpine newbie developer
  6. Alpine newbie lammers

es:Alpine Instalar: de un disco a una nueva computadora arrancar un solo sistema