By default Alpine uses Syslinux as bootloader. This page shows the basic steps you need to perform, if you for any reason want to switch bootloaders or apply some manual configuration.
If you want to switch from another bootloader back to Syslinux, or if you for some reason want to install yslinux manually, the following steps are required.
apk add syslinux
If you're using GPT partitions, install the GPT MBR onto the drive you want to install the bootloader on (in this case
dd bs=440 count=1 conv=notrunc if=/usr/share/syslinux/gptmbr.bin of=/dev/sda
Or if you're using DOS partitions, install the DOS MBR instead:
dd bs=440 count=1 conv=notrunc if=/usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sda
Next install the required Syslinux binaries. Despite being called
extlinux, Syslinux supports booting from FAT12/16/32, NTFS, ext2/3/4, Btrfs, XFS, and UFS/FFS filesystems.
extlinux --install /boot
The configuration file is located in
Alpine ships with a script called
update-extlinux which automatically (re)generates this file, for example on updates to Syslinux.
The settings for this script can be found in
/etc/update-extlinux.conf, including the option to disable automatic overwriting of
You can also place additional menu entries in the
/etc/update-extlinux.d/ directory, e.g. for dual boating.
To install GRUB in BIOS mode, (optionally) remove the Syslinux package and install the required GRUB packages:
apk del syslinux apk add grub grub-bios
Next install the MBR and GRUB binaries to disk:
GRUB ships with an automatic config generator, including some automatic detection of other operating systems installed on the device:
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
This script can be configured via the
See  for a list of available options.