Alpine Install: from a disc to a virtualbox machine single only

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Alpine Installation from a disc to a VirtualBox machine, where will be single OS only.

This document will guide you to install Alpine into VirtualBox virtual machine, use if you have a VirtualBox virtual machine and only wants to take a shoot into it.


  • Host machine: will be your real machine with installed operating system that have installed the VirtualBox software and "will host" the target operating system, in that case Alpine.
  • Guest machine: will be your target machine where Alpine will be installed, emulated by the host operating system using the VirtualBox software installed in the real machine.
  • Reserved RAM: will be the amount of RAM that will be need to share exclusively to the virtual machine created by the VirtualBox software in the host machine, stolen from the real RAM.
  • Virtual disc: will be the storage medium device emulated as target for the emulated machine or "guest machine", where the Alpine will be installed.


  • In the host machine we need installed virtualbox package
  • In the host machine we need at least 1Gb of RAM, recommended 2Gb of RAM installed
  • The guest machine need 512Mb RAM, but recommended 1Gb reserved if desktop software will be installed
  • In the host machine we need installed wget or a web browser to download iso medium

Preparing the medium to install

Download the source medium to install and put into your home

The source medium to install will be as following format:<VERSION>/releases/<ARCH>/alpine-extended-<VERSION>.0-<ARCH>.iso where ARCH and VERSION could be the following for VirtualBox virtual machines:

  • <ARCH> can be
    • x86: The most and well know i386 to i686 of 32-bit machines.
    • x86_64: The popular AMD64 compatible 64-bit x86 based machines.
    • armhf: The newer ARM hard-float for newer, more powerful 32-bit devices alongside 64-bit
  • <VERSION> can be
    • latest-stable for a more up to date without taking care of numbered
    • 3.10 where the UEFI started to become a option supported
    • 3.8 the most recommended for machines between 2012 to 2016
    • 3.6 the most recommended for machines very older

The most common option to use in a virtual box obviously must be x86 due are more cheap to test and does not consumes lot of memory due the address bus are more small respect 64-bit flavor, so the downloaded iso can be a url as:

  • For "x86" <ARCH> and "3.8" <VERSION> will be:

  • For "x86_64" <ARCH> and "3.10" <VERSION> will be:

Just point the web browser to that url and the download of the iso file will start. A file with .iso extension type names "alpine-extended-..." will be downloaded.

Preparing the virtual machine to install

Start the VirtualBox software program.

  1. In the main window create a new virtual machine by clicking the blue spark New button. Will open a new window with the following questions:
    1. Will ask for a name for the virtual like "alpine-desktop-try1".
    2. The Type of the Operating system choose "linux"
    3. The version choose "other linux" and must match with the <ARCH> choosed (like x86)
    4. By push "Next" button to continue to create the machine
  2. Second are RAM of the virtual machine, choose memory as 512MB minimum amount of. and push "Next" button.
  3. A new windows with a Hard disk assistant will opened
    1. First choose the option "Create a virtual hard disk now" and push "Create" button.
    2. Next choose the option for hard disk type: VDI and push "Next" button.
    3. Choose the dynamically allocated and push the "Next" button.
    4. Next window will offer the size of virtual disk, not so much due 4GB are far enough, use as you desire
    5. By push on "Create" the virtual machine will be ready to use
  4. Now the main window show you the "alpine-desktop-try1" created virtual machine, select them
    1. By push on "Configuration" yellow button go to the storage part and push it over
    2. Select the disc drive icon for CD/DVD rom and push on the again CD/DVD drive icon at the right
    3. Mini menu will opened, choose to select and external file event the host CD/DVD drive
    4. A file open dialog will open.. search to the downloaded iso of Alpine and select it
    5. Once defined the iso file to boot, push on the "Ok" button and virtual machines are finished.
  5. Push on the green arrow that said "Start" to start the virtual machine and boot up the iso
Alpine configuration commonly used of a virtual machine on virtual box virtual machine

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
After boot up.. a command line shell of a complete ready to use Alpine will show you

The setup install process

  • At the login: to appear, type root and press enter.
  • Run the setup-alpine script
    • Choose your keyboard layout. If you don't know your keyboard layout choose us. By example for most Latin American a es are enought, for Russian (an maybe Cirilyc ones) ru are enought.
    • Host name, which will be the name of your computer, a goo format are pcv-alp32-virtual1 where "pcv means "PC virtual", "alp32" means "Alpine 32bit" and "virtual1" means the first virtual machine to try.
    • Choose your network card, most people can just go with the default (press enter), take in consideration that Wired connections are more stable and faster rather than Wireless connections, also at the most modern the Wireless card, the lest supported or still not well tested.
      • Most people will use DHCP, so press enter again, if you have Internet connection fro ISP most settings are just DHCP so all will be configured automatically
      • You will be asked if you want to do any manual network configuration, press enter for no
    • Type in your root password twice.
    • Choose a time zone, you can get a list by pressing ?. If you want a sub zone, e.g. Africa, type in Africa and press enter, if again you type ? and enter, it will give you a list of sub zones in Africa. By example for Venezuela the zone are "America/Caracas" .
    • Press f to choose the fastest mirror; those mirrors something for strange reason are not available in some countries. (WIP put here a good mirror that never fail)
    • Choose an SSH server, this allows you to remotely manage your machine. OpenSSH is what the big distro's use, Dropbear is a tiny SSH replacement. Choose openssh for able to connect using command line from unix-like systems.
    • Choose an NTP client, this keeps your machine's time accurate using an Internet time server. Openntpd is what the big distro's use, while Chrony is a tiny replacement.
    • Choose a disk you want to install Alpine onto, as an example, sda is the first disk in your computer.
      • Now choose how you would like to use it, for this guide, choose sys, this will install the entire OS onto your hard drive
      • You are given a final chance to back out, type in Y to continue
  • The installation is now complete and you will be asked to reboot. Type in reboot and press enter
Alpine Install from a disc to a virtualbox machine single only-02-0.png

Finishing the installation

You cannot see a graphical window system? take easy and get calm down.. in Alpine all are made by the right way.. so if user need a desktop.. user can install a desktop following the next document named Alpine newbie apk packages or bypass and go directly to Alpine newbie desktops

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 newbie apk packages
  3. Alpine newbie desktops
  4. Alpine newbie developer
  5. Alpine newbie lammers