Alpine newbie install manual

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Alpine Linux can be installed via many ways, the most common ones are listed here, for more information see last section of this document.

  • Computer device like PC, laptop, or Raspberry, are forms or a name for machines that uses the software named "Operating System" like Alpine Linux, the target of a "install process" to property put the Alpine system.
  • Image file means it is a type of file that is downloaded and burned to a CD/DVD or dumped to a USB with popular programs (such as Nero, CloneCD, Brasero), although in the modern era it's not the only way (Raspberri's).
  • Boot or Booting means "Boot" (started from a media source) a disc recorded on DVD/CD or USB from the disc drive or from a USB port respectively, the computer boots this device and loads the Alpine operating system. Today that means involved with BIOS and UEFI systems.

Alpine Linux is an OS (Operating System) that runs on top of a machine, desktop, laptop, Virtual Machine, or Docker Container. Specifically, Alpine Linux is a [Linux OS Distribution] which provides the Linux kernel and a collection of userland programs and applications such as an internet web browser.

Setup_modes of Alpine operation: Alpine Linux is designed to run from RAM directly, which means the download image is already a fully installed, but a minimally configured system. Review the Setup_modes of Alpine operation for permanent installation options on most devices.

Additional Details

1. About Media download of image sources: When download image sources to install, take note of the "architecture" namestring in each green button. Most common cases just download x86 or x86_64 types.. for further information check Architectures section and then Media Downloadable section of requirements wiki page. Optionally you can perform a sha256 checksum as described in Checksum section of Requirements wiki page but is not necessary in general cases.
2. About Media sources to dump image sources: When download image sources to install, this depends of your hardware, for some like ARM or PowerPC you could check Ways_to_install_Alpine_listed_by_architectures wiki page if you have special cases like ARM, PPC or s390 machines.
3. About boot install process: The boot process depends on each computer device, need to specify which device to boot, refer to the Booting section. The boot process copies and runs the entire system from RAM, so the command line environment does not depend on the slower, initial boot media. After that a prompt for "login" are displayed, input the "root" as user and just enter. So there's no need to ask for password at first boot.
4. About running mode of the media source: However, even though it is not installed on your device it is working as if it were, Setup_modes of Alpine operation described how; all the setup-scripts and the apk package manager are available to direct use, and all the general command line tools. All of this is from the media you boot, this mode is called "diskless mode", for further information check Setup_modes section for "alpine running modes". All the media Alpine images are already Alpine running live systems

Requirements

Alpine Linux has low system requirements. Nowadays almost hardware is supported, More requirements documentation can be found on the Requirements wiki page:

Memory

  • At least 128 MB of RAM for a server without a GUI.
  • At least 1.6 GB for graphical desktop
  • At least 4 GB for heavy Firefox or Chromium usage!

More documentation is available on the Memory requirements section wiki page.

Storage

  • At least 1 GB storage device for a server without a GUI
  • At least 10 GB for graphical desktop, or 80 GB overall

More documentation regarding requirements is available on the Storage requirements section wiki page

GPU

The majority of GPUs are supported, but for advanced features, 3D acceleration is managed by the MESA project:

  • Intel: mostly any Intel with one exception, intel i810/i815 will lack features because of its 4Mb memory, Mesa and Linux have dropped their support.
  • ATI/AMD: Only Radeon series with the exception of the last two years with respect to the Alpine release, Rage r128/match64 series has limited support.
  • Nvidia: Limited. Only a few are completly supported. Not all features are enabled.
  • Matrox: Not all features are supported. Just because they are shipped on most servers.
  • Sis: Limited features are supported. Code not updated on Xorg and Linux kernel.
  • Via: Limited features are supported. Openchrome code not updated on Xorg and Linux kernel.

More documentation available on the Peripheral requirements section wiki page.

Ways to install Alpine into machines listed by user cases

We have here many ways listed how you can put Alpine Linux in your computer device, PLEASE CHOOSE A USE CASE MOST CLOSE TO YOUR SETUP:

by booting a source downloaded file ISO on USB or CD/DVD/BR

  1. Alpine Install: from a disc to a virtualbox machine single only, install Alpine into VirtualBox virtual machine, use if you have a VirtualBox virtual machine and only want to test it out
  2. Alpine Install: from a disc to a any computer single only boot, install Alpine into a real modern machine by burning a disc that will boot if you have

UEFI or BIOS hardware and will be installing Alpine via a CD/DVD drive.

  1. Alpine Install: from a usb to a any computer single only boot, install Alpine into real modern machine by creating a USB drive unit that will boot if you have UEFI or BIOS hardware and will be installing Alpine via a USB drive.
  2. Alpine Install: from a usb to any computer dual boot linux Debian, install Alpine into most machines by creating a USB drive unit that will boot if you have common hardware and want another Linux distro as your main OS via USB boot.
  3. Alpine Install: from a usb to any computer dual boot linux Alpine, install Alpine into most machines by creating a USB drive unit that will boot if you have common hardware and want Alpine Linux as your main OS via USB boot.
  4. Alpine Install: from a disc to a old computer single only boot, (special case for very very old PC or laptop hardware) by burning a disc that will boot if you have BIOS only hardware and will be installing Alpine on it via CD/DVD drive.
  5. Alpine Install: from a disc to PC Engines APU: to install Alpine onto a second generation PC Engines APU system. Tested with an apu2d4 using latest alpine.

by using from linux already started to new partition

  1. Alpine Install: from alpine mirror to a new computer by chroot, install Alpine on a real (i.e. not virtual) modern machine directly using the Alpine mirror sources if you will be using Alpine inside another Linux installation via chroot.
  2. Alpine Install: from alpine mirror to an external disc by chroot, install Alpine on a real (i.e. not virtual) modern machine directly using the Alpine mirror sources if you extracted the disc for use with an existing instance of Linux.
  3. Alpine Install: from a iso to a virtualbox machine with external disc, install Alpine on a VirtualBox external disc machine. Use if you have an older computer that doesn't boot, but need to extract the disc to prepare it for use.

by booting through network install media

  1. Alpine Install: from a tarball to a bootable ARM device, install Alpine on an ARM based device. Use if you have a ARM based network capable install device.

  2. Alpine on ARM for those who need to dump to ARM based hardware

by booting from external devices

If the computer does not automatically boot from the desired device, one needs to bring up the boot menu selection for choosing the media to boot from. Depending on the computer the menu may be accessed by quickly pressing pressing a key repeatedly when booting starts. Sometimes you need to press the button before starting the computer and hold it down during bootup. Typical keys are: `F9`-`F12`, sometimes `F7` or `F8`. If these don't bring up the boot menu, it may be necessary to enter the BIOS configuration and adjust the boot settings. Typical keys are: `Del` `F1` `F2` `F6` or `Esc.`

Ways to install Alpine listed by architectures

x86_64 x86_32 x86

The all popular 32 bit intel (i386 pc 32bit) and x86_64 (i686 pc 64bit and amd64)compatible (both)

ppc64le

For the PowerPC devices with pure little-endian mode, mostly for POWER8 and POWER9

armhf armv7

ARM based hardware that does not have CD/DVD/BR boot support, only execution state of the ARMv7 devices machines. Including video game consoles; the newer ARM hard-float for newer, more powerful, 32-bit as well as 64-bit devices.

aarch64

The 64-bit ARM only execution state of the ARMv8 device machines.

s390x

For the Super powered IBM mainframes, especially IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE servers

Ways to use Alpine Linux without install

  1. Alpine Install: from a usb disc to a machine single only, dump Alpine onto a usb/mmc card and live boot it on your machine without modifying any of your installed files or operating system.

Documents series

Previous required What's next to read
Alpine newbie Alpine Install: from a disc to a virtualbox machine single only


See Also

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