Enable Community Repository

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Alpine software repositories have main packages and contributions made. Each Alpine release has two branches of repositories. The /community repository of each Alpine release contains community supported packages that were accepted from the /testing repository. Only /main repository of each version of Alpine release are supported for some Main Alpine Developers and Man Powers.

  • Main packages are the Alpine package software that have direct support and updates from the Alpine core and main team, also have official documentation. Are always available for all releases and will have substitutions if some are not continued from upstream. Commonly those packages are selected due their responsibility and stability respecting upstream availability. Packages from testing that performs well or are mature goes to main branch.
  • Community packages are those made by users in team with the official developers and well near integrated to the Alpine packages. Those have supported by those user contributions and could end if the user also ends respect with Alpine work, but may be removed in a future release due lack of support by upstream author. Packages from testing that are accept goes to community branch.
  • Testing packages come into testing or edge repositories and are those made by any contributor on Alpine, the edge, this branch of repository has no release linked or related of Alpine. Those are in edge and when accepted goes to testing.

Using community repositories

The community repository was introduced with Alpine Linux version 3.3.

To enable the repository, edit the file /etc/apk/repositories and add (or uncomment) a line that points to the "community" directory.

Its format is:


Tip: A usable editor is nano, and it can be installed with apk add nano.

After enabling the community repository, one needs to update the index of available packages with:

apk update

And then it's possible to install packages from the community repository.

Adding community repositories with a script

The following commands will add the main and community repositories for the Alpine version you're using. It will overwrite your existing repository settings.

cat > /etc/apk/repositories << EOF; $(echo) https://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v$(cut -d'.' -f1,2 /etc/alpine-release)/main/ https://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v$(cut -d'.' -f1,2 /etc/alpine-release)/community/ https://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/edge/testing/ EOF

Dont forget to run this after:.

apk update

Using specific package versions

You can specify or pin "sticky" package versions like this:

  • apk add packagename=1.2.3-suffix
  • apk add 'packagename<1.2.3-suffix'

That will upgrade these packages only until the specified version.

It's then safe to use apk upgrade to upgrade all packages, while packages with versions will remain on the specified version.

To set a minimum version just add .

Warning: Pinning a package to an exact version carries the risk that the package will be dropped from the repo, and at some time can't be downloaded anymore (e.g. during boot or Dockerfile build).

The official recommendation can be read here, citation below.

Alternately, you could simply set a minimum package version
instead of an exact version.

We don't at the moment have resources to store all built packages
indefinitely in our infrastructure. Thus we currently keep only
the latest for each stable branch.

Using testing repositories

The testing repository was introduced with Alpine Linux edge development. To enable the repository, edit the file /etc/apk/repositories using an editor (nano for instance) and add a line that points to the "testing" directory, formatted as in:


After enabling the testing repository, one needs to obtain the latest index of available packages with:

apk update

Inexperienced users should not enable this.

Using packages from testing (edge)

Never pin packages from the "edge" branch of the alpine package repo, as these are in test and may be revoked. (At pkgs.alpinelinux.org/packages, click "edge" and change it to the alpine image version you use, and click "search" again.)

Inexperienced users should not enable this.

See also