Alpine Linux:Glossary

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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

aarch64
  • aarch64 - 64-bit ARM v.8 architecture
  • armv7 - 32-bit ARM v.7
  • armhf - ARM v.7 + the additional floating-point hardware extension
  • x86-64 (amd64) - 64-bit version of the x86

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, used to install, query and remove software packages on a running Alpine 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 distribution are part of Busybox.

bash
bash is a command-line interpreter or "shell" that provides a command line user interface.

C

cgit
cgit (archive) provides an easy access to all git repositories hosted on the Alpine infrastructure.


E

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

F

Flatpak
Flatpak is a technology for distributing desktop applications on GNU/Linux.

G

git
The distributed version control system that Alpine uses. (category: Git)


I

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


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.

musl
musl is a C standard library implementation for GNU/Linux. Musl libc is not ABI compatible with uClibc.

N

NTP
Network Time Protocol (NTP) is a protocol for synchronizing the clocks of computer systems. Alpine provides setup-ntp for setting up.
(What's the easiest way to make Busybox keep correct time? 2014)

O

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


S

setup-*
Alpine contains a lot of scripts to configure a system. All those scripts start with setup-*. The most important one is setup-alpine.
(find / -name setup* -print | sort)

T

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

tmpfs
tmpfs is a 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.


X

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