Difference between revisions of "Raspberry Pi"

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[[Category:Installation]]
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{{warning | 11 Feb 2021 - There is currently a known bug upstream <br />[https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware/issues/1529 kernel/initramfs cannot be loaded from subdirectory with same name as volume label] }}
 +
 
 +
{{TOC right}}
 +
 
 
This tutorial will help you install Alpine Linux on your Raspberry Pi.
 
This tutorial will help you install Alpine Linux on your Raspberry Pi.
  
 
== Preparation ==
 
== Preparation ==
  
This section will help you format and partition your SD card:
+
# [http://alpinelinux.org/downloads/ Download] the Alpine for Raspberry Pi tarball. You should be safe using the '''armhf''' build on all versions of Raspberry Pi (including Pi Zero and Compute Modules); but it may perform less optimally on recent versions of Raspberry Pi. The '''armv7''' build is compatible with Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. The '''aarch64''' build should be compatible with Raspberry Pi 2 Model v1.2, Raspberry Pi 3 and Compute Module 3, and Raspberry Pi 4 model B.
 +
# [[Create a Bootable USB#Format USB stick|Create a bootable FAT32 partition on your SD card.]] The partition type should be <code>W95 FAT32 (LBA)</code>. (The current type can be found in the "Type" column in the output of <code>fdisk -l</code>.) You can use a partitioning tool such as [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNOME_Disks gnome-disks] or [http://linux.die.net/man/8/fdisk fdisk].
 +
# Create a filesystem on the partition with <code>mkdosfs -F 32 /dev/sdX1</code> (Replace sdX1 with the correct reference to the partition you just created.)
 +
# Mount the partition and extract the tarball contents onto it.
  
# [http://alpinelinux.org/downloads/ Download] Alpine for Raspberry Pi tarball which is named as <code>alpine-rpi-<version>-armhf.rpi.tar.gz</code>.  You will need version 3.2.0 or greater if you have a Raspberry Pi 2.
+
Optionally create a '''usercfg.txt''' file on the partition to configure low-level system settings. Specifications can be found [https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/config-txt here]. However, note some settings can only be set directly in '''config.txt''', which may be overwritten after updates. In particular, <code>gpu_mem</code> will have no effect when specified in '''usercfg.txt''' ([https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware/issues/1332 source]). Some interesting values include:
# Mount your SD card to your workstation
+
* To enable audio: <code>dtparam=audio=on</code>
# Use [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNOME_Disks gnome-disks] or [http://linux.die.net/man/8/fdisk fdisk] to create a FAT32 partition. If you are using fdisk, the FAT32 partition type is called ''W95 FAT32 (LBA)'' and its ID is 0xC.
+
* If you see black edges around your screen after booting the Pi, you can add <code>disable_overscan=1</code>
# Mark the newly created partition as bootable and save
+
 
# Mount the previously created partition
+
Recent versions include Broadcom firmware files. If you're using an older Alpine version, see [[#Wireless_support_with_older_Alpine_images|section below]].
# Extract the tarball contents to your FAT32 partition
 
# Unmount the SD Card.
 
  
 
== Installation ==
 
== Installation ==
  
Alpine Linux will be installed as [[Installation#Installation_Handbook|diskless mode]], hence you need to use [[Alpine local backup|Alpine Local Backup (lbu)]] to save your modifications between reboots. Follow these steps to install Alpine Linux:
+
Alpine Linux will be installed in [[Installation#Installation_Handbook|diskless mode]], hence you need to use [[Alpine local backup|Alpine Local Backup (lbu)]] to save your modifications between reboots.
  
# Insert the SD Card into the Raspberry Pi and turn it on
+
For users who will be using their Raspberry Pi in scenarios where there is not expected to be significant changes to disk after setup (like running a static HTTP server), this is likely preferable, as running the entire system from memory will improve performance (by avoiding the slow SD card) and improve the SD card life (by reducing the writes to the card, as all logging will happen in RAM). Diskless installations still allow you to install packages, save local files, and tune the system to your needs.
 +
 
 +
However, if you:
 +
* Expect there will be constant changes to the disk after initial setup (for example, if you expect people to login and save files to their home directories)
 +
* Need logs to persist after reboot
 +
* Plan to install packages which consume more space than can be loaded into RAM
 +
* Want to install kernel modules (such as ZFS or Wireguard)
 +
 
 +
Then you may be better served by a [[Classic install or sys mode on Raspberry Pi|sys-mode installation]].
 +
 
 +
Follow these steps to install Alpine Linux in Diskless Mode:
 +
 
 +
# Insert the SD card into the Raspberry Pi and power it on
 
# Login into the Alpine system as root.  Leave the password empty.
 
# Login into the Alpine system as root.  Leave the password empty.
 
# Type <code>setup-alpine</code>
 
# Type <code>setup-alpine</code>
# Once the installation is complete, commit the changes by typing <code>lbu commit</code>
+
# Once the installation is complete, commit the changes by typing <code>lbu commit -d</code>
  
 
Type <code>reboot</code> to verify that the installation was indeed successful.
 
Type <code>reboot</code> to verify that the installation was indeed successful.
Line 29: Line 45:
 
=== Update the System ===
 
=== Update the System ===
  
Upon installation, make sure that your system is up-to-date:
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After installation, make sure your system is up-to-date:
  
 
{{cmd|apk update
 
{{cmd|apk update
Line 36: Line 52:
 
Don't forget to save the changes:
 
Don't forget to save the changes:
  
{{cmd|lbu commit}}
+
{{cmd|lbu commit -d}}
 +
 
 +
Note: this does not upgrade the kernel. In order to upgrade the kernel, a full upgrade of the Alpine Linux version must be performed as described in [[Upgrading Alpine#Upgrading Alpine Linux on other removable media (such as CF/USB)|upgrading Alpine Linux for removable media]].
  
 
=== Clock-related error messages ===
 
=== Clock-related error messages ===
  
 
During the booting time, you might notice errors related to the hardware clock.  The Raspberry Pi does not have
 
During the booting time, you might notice errors related to the hardware clock.  The Raspberry Pi does not have
a hardware clock and therefore you need to disable the hwclock daemon and enable swclock:
+
a hardware clock, thus you need to disable the hwclock daemon and enable swclock:
  
 
{{cmd|rc-update add swclock boot    # enable the software clock
 
{{cmd|rc-update add swclock boot    # enable the software clock
 
rc-update del hwclock boot    # disable the hardware clock}}
 
rc-update del hwclock boot    # disable the hardware clock}}
  
Since Raspberry Pi does not have a clock, the Alpine Linux needs to know what the time is by using a
+
Since the Raspberry Pi does not have a clock, Alpine Linux needs to know what the time is by using a
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_Time_Protocol Network Time Protocol (NTP)] daemon.  Make sure that you a
+
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_Time_Protocol Network Time Protocol (NTP)] daemon.  Make sure you have a
NTP daemon installed and running.  If you are not sure, then you can install NTP client by running the following
+
NTP daemon installed and running.  If you are not sure, you can install an NTP client by running the following
 
command:
 
command:
  
 
{{cmd|setup-ntp}}
 
{{cmd|setup-ntp}}
  
Busybox NTP client might be the most lightweight solution.  Save the changes and reboot, once the NTP software is
+
The Busybox NTP client might be the most lightweight solution.  Save the changes and reboot, once the NTP software is
 
installed and running:
 
installed and running:
  
{{cmd|lbu commit
+
{{cmd|lbu commit -d
 
reboot}}
 
reboot}}
  
After reboot, make sure that the <code>date</code> command outputs the correct date and time.
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After reboot, make sure the <code>date</code> command outputs the correct date and time.
 +
 
 +
=== WiFi on boot ===
 +
If you have already [[Connecting_to_a_wireless_access_point|configured WiFi]] during the setup, the connection will not return on reboot.
 +
You will need to start up a service to automatically connect to the wireless access point.
 +
# Run <code>rc-update add wpa_supplicant boot</code> to connect to the wireless access point during bootup.
 +
# Run it manually with <code>/etc/init.d/wpa_supplicant start</code>.
  
=== X11 Setup ===
+
=== Enable OpenGL (Raspberry Pi 3/4) ===
Here are what you need if you want to try and run a single X11 application like a browser kiosk or maybe even a desktop: ​{{cmd|setup-xorg-base
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Remount the boot partition writeable (i.e. <code>/media/mmcblk0p1</code>):
​apk add xf86-video-fbdev xf86-input-mouse xf86-input-keyboard dbus ​set​xkbmap
 
rc-update ​​add dbus}}
 
  
Also edit the default X11 module config: /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-modules.conf
+
{{cmd|mount /media/mmcblk0p1 -o rw,remount}}
{{cmd|Section "Module"
 
    Load "fbdevhw"
 
    Load "fb"
 
    Load "shadow"
 
    Load "shadowfb"
 
    Load "dbe"
 
    Load "glx"
 
    Disable "dri"
 
EndSection}}
 
  
Commit your changes:
+
Add the following lines to <code>/media/mmcblk0p1/config.txt</code>:
{{cmd|lbu_commit}}
 
  
Now you should be able to run a browser or desktop. (Guides may follow)
+
gpu_mem=128
 +
# Raspberry Pi 3:
 +
dtoverlay=vc4-kms-v3d
 +
# Raspberry Pi 4:
 +
dtoverlay=vc4-fkms-v3d
  
If setup-xorg-base gives you an error regarding rc-update that fails to add mdev to sysinit just run:
+
256MB (and more on the Raspberry Pi 4) <code>gpu_mem</code> is also possible.
{{cmd|rc-update mdev sysinit}}
+
 
to add it manually. If you skip this the next time you reboot your Raspberry Pi the screen maybe will not display anything on screen.
+
Install the Mesa drivers:
 +
 
 +
{{cmd|<nowiki># Raspberry Pi 3:
 +
apk add mesa-dri-vc4
 +
# Raspberry Pi 4:
 +
apk add mesa-dri-gallium</nowiki>}}
 +
 
 +
Then reboot:
 +
 
 +
{{cmd|lbu_commit -d; reboot}}
 +
 
 +
=== WiFi drivers ===
 +
As of Alpine 3.14, the WiFi drivers for the Raspberry Pi were moved from <code>linux-firmware-brcm</code> to the <code>linux-firmware-cypress</code> package (source?). Since the images seem to be an outdated version of the former, Wi-Fi will work during installation, but after the first update it will break.
 +
Use the ethernet interface to download the required packages:
 +
 
 +
{{cmd|apk add linux-firmware-cypress}}
 +
 
 +
And reboot.
  
 
== Persistent storage ==
 
== Persistent storage ==
 
 
=== Loopback image with overlayfs ===
 
=== Loopback image with overlayfs ===
  
The install is in disk-less mode and forces everything into memory, if you want additional storage we need to create loop-back storage onto the SD mounted with overlayfs.
+
When you install Alpine in diskless mode, the entire system is loaded into memory at boot. If you want additional storage (for example, if you need more space than offered by your RAM) we need to create loop-back storage onto the SD card mounted with overlayfs.
  
First make the sd-card writable again and change fstab to always do so:
+
First, make the SD card writable again and change fstab to always do so:
 
{{cmd|mount /media/mmcblk0p1 -o rw,remount
 
{{cmd|mount /media/mmcblk0p1 -o rw,remount
sed -i 's/vfat\ ro,/vfat\ rw,' /etc/fstab}}
+
sed -i 's/vfat\ ro,/vfat\ rw,/' /etc/fstab}}
  
 
Create the loop-back file, this example is 1 GB:
 
Create the loop-back file, this example is 1 GB:
Line 114: Line 146:
 
mount -a}}
 
mount -a}}
  
Make the overlay folders, we are doing /usr here, but you can do /home or anything else:
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Make the overlay folders, we are using the /usr directory here, but you can use /home or anything else.
 +
{{Warning|Overlay workdir needs to be an empty directory on the same filesystem mount as the upper directory. So each overlay must use its own workdir.}}
 +
 
  
 
{{cmd|mkdir /media/persist/usr  
 
{{cmd|mkdir /media/persist/usr  
mkdir /media/persist/.work
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mkdir /media/persist/.work_usr
echo "overlay /usr overlay lowerdir&#61;/usr,upperdir&#61;/media/persist/usr,workdir&#61;/media/persist/.work 0 0" >> /etc/fstab  
+
echo "overlay /usr overlay lowerdir&#61;/usr,upperdir&#61;/media/persist/usr,workdir&#61;/media/persist/.work_usr 0 0" >> /etc/fstab  
 
mount -a}}
 
mount -a}}
  
Line 126: Line 160:
 
/dev/mmcblk0p1 /media/mmcblk0p1 vfat rw,relatime,fmask&#61;0022,dmask&#61;0022,errors&#61;remount-ro 0 0
 
/dev/mmcblk0p1 /media/mmcblk0p1 vfat rw,relatime,fmask&#61;0022,dmask&#61;0022,errors&#61;remount-ro 0 0
 
/media/mmcblk0p1/persist.img /media/persist ext4 rw,relatime,errors&#61;remount-ro 0 0
 
/media/mmcblk0p1/persist.img /media/persist ext4 rw,relatime,errors&#61;remount-ro 0 0
overlay /usr overlay lowerdir&#61;/usr,upperdir&#61;/media/persist/usr,workdir&#61;/media/persist/.work 0 0}}
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overlay /usr overlay lowerdir&#61;/usr,upperdir&#61;/media/persist/usr,workdir&#61;/media/persist/.work_usr 0 0}}
  
 
Now commit the changes: (optionally remove the e2fsprogs, but it does contain repair tools)
 
Now commit the changes: (optionally remove the e2fsprogs, but it does contain repair tools)
{{cmd|lbu_commit}}
+
{{cmd|lbu_commit -d}}
  
Remember with this setup, if you install things and you have done this overlay for /usr, you must not commit the 'apk add', otherwise while it boots it will try and install it to memory and not to the persist storage.
+
Remember, with this setup if you install things and you have done this overlay for /usr, you must not commit the 'apk add', otherwise, while it boots it will try and install it to memory, not to the persistent storage.
  
If you do want to install something small at boot you can use `apk add` and `lbu commit`.
+
If you do want to install something small at boot, you can use `apk add` and `lbu commit -d`.
  
If it is something a bit bigger then you can use `apk add` but then not commit it, it will be persistent (in /user), but do check everything you need is in that directory and not in folders you have not made persistent.
+
If it is something a bit bigger, then you can use `apk add` but then not commit it. It will be persistent (in /user), but be sure to check everything you need is in that directory and not in folders you have not made persistent.
  
 
=== Traditional disk-based (sys) installation ===
 
=== Traditional disk-based (sys) installation ===
 +
{{Merge|Classic install or sys mode on Raspberry Pi|There's an existing page for sys-installations on RasPi.}}
  
{{Warning|This isn't yet supported by the Alpine setup scripts for Raspberry Pi. It requires manual intervention, and might break.}}
+
It is also possible to switch to a fully disk-based installation. This is not yet formally supported, but can be done somewhat manually. This frees all the memory otherwise needed for the root filesystem, allowing more installed packages.
 
 
It is also possible to switch to a fully disk-based installation: this is not yet formally supported, but can be done somewhat manually. This frees all the memory otherwise needed for the root filesystem, allowing more installed packages.
 
  
 
Split your SD card into two partitions: the FAT32 boot partition described above (in this example it'll be <code>mmcblk0p1</code>) , and a second partition to hold the root filesystem (here it'll be <code>mmcblk0p2</code>). Boot and configure your diskless system as above, then create a root filesystem:
 
Split your SD card into two partitions: the FAT32 boot partition described above (in this example it'll be <code>mmcblk0p1</code>) , and a second partition to hold the root filesystem (here it'll be <code>mmcblk0p2</code>). Boot and configure your diskless system as above, then create a root filesystem:
Line 148: Line 181:
 
mkfs.ext4 /dev/mmcblk0p2}}
 
mkfs.ext4 /dev/mmcblk0p2}}
  
Now do a disk install via a mountpoint. The <code>setup-disk</code> script will give some errors about syslinux/extlinux, but you can ignore these: the Raspberry Pi doesn't need this to boot anyway.
+
Now do a disk install via a mountpoint. The <code>setup-disk</code> script will give some errors about syslinux/extlinux, but you can ignore them.
 +
The Raspberry Pi doesn't need them to boot.
  
 
{{cmd|<nowiki>mkdir /stage
 
{{cmd|<nowiki>mkdir /stage
Line 164: Line 198:
 
sed -i '$ s/$/ root=\/dev\/mmcblk0p2/' /media/mmcblk0p1/cmdline-rpi2.txt</nowiki>}}
 
sed -i '$ s/$/ root=\/dev\/mmcblk0p2/' /media/mmcblk0p1/cmdline-rpi2.txt</nowiki>}}
  
You might also consider <code>overlaytmpfs=yes</code> here, which will cause the underlying SD card root filesystem to be mounted read-only, with an overlayed tmpfs for modifications which will be discarded on shutdown.
+
You might also consider <code>overlaytmpfs=yes</code> here, which will cause the underlying SD card root filesystem to be mounted read-only, with an overlayed tmpfs for modifications which will be discarded at shutdown.
  
Beware, though, that <b>the contents of /boot will be ignored when the Pi boots</b>: it will use the kernel, initramfs, and modloop images from the FAT32 boot partition. To update the kernel, initfs or modules, you will need to manually (generate and) copy these to the boot partition or you could use bind mount so that manually copy the files to boot partition is not needed.
+
N.B. <b>the contents of /boot will be ignored when the Pi boots</b>. It will use the kernel, initramfs, and modloop images from the FAT32 boot partition. To update the kernel, initfs or modules, you will need to manually (generate and) copy these to the boot partition or you could use bind mount, in which case,
 +
copying the files to boot partition manually, is not needed.
  
{{cmd|<nowiki>echo /media/mmcblk0p1/boot /boot none defaults,bind 0 0 > /etc/fstab</nowiki>}}
+
{{cmd|<nowiki>echo /media/mmcblk0p1/boot /boot none defaults,bind 0 0 >> /etc/fstab</nowiki>}}
  
 +
=== Persistent Installation on Raspberry Pi 3 ===
 +
See [[Classic install or sys mode on Raspberry Pi]] and https://web.archive.org/web/20171125115835/https://forum.alpinelinux.org/comment/1084#comment-1084
 +
 +
=== Persistent Installation on Raspberry Pi 4 ===
 +
As of 3.14, setup-alpine should ask you if you want to create a sys mode partition on your Raspberry Pi 4.
 +
 +
== Troubleshooting ==
 +
 +
=== Long boot time when running headless ===
 +
 +
If no peripherals are connected, the system might hang for an exceptionally long period of time while it attempts to accumulate entropy.
 +
 +
If this is the case, simply plugging in any USB device should work around this issue.
 +
 +
'''Alternatively''', installing haveged, the random numbers generator, would speed up the process:
 +
 +
  apk update
 +
  apk add haveged
 +
  rc-update add haveged boot
 +
  lbu commit -d
 +
  service haveged start
 +
 +
(Tested on a raspberry pi zero W in headless mode, no USB connected, Alpine 3.10.3)
 +
 +
=== apk indicating 'No space left on device' ===
 +
 +
Note some models of the Raspberry Pi such as the 3A+ only have 512M of RAM, which on fresh Alpine deployment will only leave around 200M for tmpfs root. It's important to keep this limitation in mind when using these boards.
 +
 +
=== Wireless support with older Alpine images ===
 +
 +
If you need Wi-Fi, you'll need to [https://github.com/RPi-Distro/firmware-nonfree/tree/master/brcm download] the latest Broadcom drivers to your SD card.
 +
(Replace /mnt/sdcard with the correct mount point.)
 +
 +
  git clone --depth 1 https://github.com/RPi-Distro/firmware-nonfree.git
 +
  cp firmware-nonfree/brcm/* /mnt/sdcard/firmware/brcm
  
 
== See Also ==
 
== See Also ==
  
 +
* [[Classic install or sys mode on Raspberry Pi]] - a variant.
 +
* [[Raspberry Pi - Headless Installation]]
 +
* [[Raspberry Pi 3 - Setting Up Bluetooth]]
 +
* [[Raspberry Pi 3 - Configuring it as wireless access point -AP Mode]]
 +
* [[Raspberry Pi 3 - Browser Client]]
 +
* [[Linux Router with VPN on a Raspberry Pi]]
 
* [[Create a bootable SDHC from a Mac]]
 
* [[Create a bootable SDHC from a Mac]]
 +
* Build custom Raspberry Pi images based on Alpine via [https://github.com/tolstoyevsky/pieman Pieman]
 +
* [[Tutorials and Howtos#Raspberry Pi]]
 +
 +
[[Category:Installation]]
 +
[[Category: Raspberry]]

Latest revision as of 18:51, 7 October 2021

Tango-dialog-warning.png
Warning: 11 Feb 2021 - There is currently a known bug upstream
kernel/initramfs cannot be loaded from subdirectory with same name as volume label


This tutorial will help you install Alpine Linux on your Raspberry Pi.

Preparation

  1. Download the Alpine for Raspberry Pi tarball. You should be safe using the armhf build on all versions of Raspberry Pi (including Pi Zero and Compute Modules); but it may perform less optimally on recent versions of Raspberry Pi. The armv7 build is compatible with Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. The aarch64 build should be compatible with Raspberry Pi 2 Model v1.2, Raspberry Pi 3 and Compute Module 3, and Raspberry Pi 4 model B.
  2. Create a bootable FAT32 partition on your SD card. The partition type should be W95 FAT32 (LBA). (The current type can be found in the "Type" column in the output of fdisk -l.) You can use a partitioning tool such as gnome-disks or fdisk.
  3. Create a filesystem on the partition with mkdosfs -F 32 /dev/sdX1 (Replace sdX1 with the correct reference to the partition you just created.)
  4. Mount the partition and extract the tarball contents onto it.

Optionally create a usercfg.txt file on the partition to configure low-level system settings. Specifications can be found here. However, note some settings can only be set directly in config.txt, which may be overwritten after updates. In particular, gpu_mem will have no effect when specified in usercfg.txt (source). Some interesting values include:

  • To enable audio: dtparam=audio=on
  • If you see black edges around your screen after booting the Pi, you can add disable_overscan=1

Recent versions include Broadcom firmware files. If you're using an older Alpine version, see section below.

Installation

Alpine Linux will be installed in diskless mode, hence you need to use Alpine Local Backup (lbu) to save your modifications between reboots.

For users who will be using their Raspberry Pi in scenarios where there is not expected to be significant changes to disk after setup (like running a static HTTP server), this is likely preferable, as running the entire system from memory will improve performance (by avoiding the slow SD card) and improve the SD card life (by reducing the writes to the card, as all logging will happen in RAM). Diskless installations still allow you to install packages, save local files, and tune the system to your needs.

However, if you:

  • Expect there will be constant changes to the disk after initial setup (for example, if you expect people to login and save files to their home directories)
  • Need logs to persist after reboot
  • Plan to install packages which consume more space than can be loaded into RAM
  • Want to install kernel modules (such as ZFS or Wireguard)

Then you may be better served by a sys-mode installation.

Follow these steps to install Alpine Linux in Diskless Mode:

  1. Insert the SD card into the Raspberry Pi and power it on
  2. Login into the Alpine system as root. Leave the password empty.
  3. Type setup-alpine
  4. Once the installation is complete, commit the changes by typing lbu commit -d

Type reboot to verify that the installation was indeed successful.

Post Installation

Update the System

After installation, make sure your system is up-to-date:

apk update apk upgrade

Don't forget to save the changes:

lbu commit -d

Note: this does not upgrade the kernel. In order to upgrade the kernel, a full upgrade of the Alpine Linux version must be performed as described in upgrading Alpine Linux for removable media.

Clock-related error messages

During the booting time, you might notice errors related to the hardware clock. The Raspberry Pi does not have a hardware clock, thus you need to disable the hwclock daemon and enable swclock:

rc-update add swclock boot # enable the software clock rc-update del hwclock boot # disable the hardware clock

Since the Raspberry Pi does not have a clock, Alpine Linux needs to know what the time is by using a Network Time Protocol (NTP) daemon. Make sure you have a NTP daemon installed and running. If you are not sure, you can install an NTP client by running the following command:

setup-ntp

The Busybox NTP client might be the most lightweight solution. Save the changes and reboot, once the NTP software is installed and running:

lbu commit -d reboot

After reboot, make sure the date command outputs the correct date and time.

WiFi on boot

If you have already configured WiFi during the setup, the connection will not return on reboot. You will need to start up a service to automatically connect to the wireless access point.

  1. Run rc-update add wpa_supplicant boot to connect to the wireless access point during bootup.
  2. Run it manually with /etc/init.d/wpa_supplicant start.

Enable OpenGL (Raspberry Pi 3/4)

Remount the boot partition writeable (i.e. /media/mmcblk0p1):

mount /media/mmcblk0p1 -o rw,remount

Add the following lines to /media/mmcblk0p1/config.txt:

gpu_mem=128
# Raspberry Pi 3:
dtoverlay=vc4-kms-v3d
# Raspberry Pi 4:
dtoverlay=vc4-fkms-v3d

256MB (and more on the Raspberry Pi 4) gpu_mem is also possible.

Install the Mesa drivers:

# Raspberry Pi 3: apk add mesa-dri-vc4 # Raspberry Pi 4: apk add mesa-dri-gallium

Then reboot:

lbu_commit -d; reboot

WiFi drivers

As of Alpine 3.14, the WiFi drivers for the Raspberry Pi were moved from linux-firmware-brcm to the linux-firmware-cypress package (source?). Since the images seem to be an outdated version of the former, Wi-Fi will work during installation, but after the first update it will break. Use the ethernet interface to download the required packages:

apk add linux-firmware-cypress

And reboot.

Persistent storage

Loopback image with overlayfs

When you install Alpine in diskless mode, the entire system is loaded into memory at boot. If you want additional storage (for example, if you need more space than offered by your RAM) we need to create loop-back storage onto the SD card mounted with overlayfs.

First, make the SD card writable again and change fstab to always do so:

mount /media/mmcblk0p1 -o rw,remount sed -i 's/vfat\ ro,/vfat\ rw,/' /etc/fstab

Create the loop-back file, this example is 1 GB:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/media/mmcblk0p1/persist.img bs=1024 count=0 seek=1048576

Install the ext utilities:

apk add e2fsprogs

Format the loop-back file:

mkfs.ext4 /media/mmcblk0p1/persist.img

Mount the storage:

echo "/media/mmcblk0p1/persist.img /media/persist ext4 rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro 0 0" >> /etc/fstab mkdir /media/persist mount -a

Make the overlay folders, we are using the /usr directory here, but you can use /home or anything else.

Tango-dialog-warning.png
Warning: Overlay workdir needs to be an empty directory on the same filesystem mount as the upper directory. So each overlay must use its own workdir.



mkdir /media/persist/usr mkdir /media/persist/.work_usr echo "overlay /usr overlay lowerdir=/usr,upperdir=/media/persist/usr,workdir=/media/persist/.work_usr 0 0" >> /etc/fstab mount -a

Your /etc/fstab should look something like this:

/dev/cdrom /media/cdrom iso9660 noauto,ro 0 0 /dev/usbdisk /media/usb vfat noauto,ro 0 0 /dev/mmcblk0p1 /media/mmcblk0p1 vfat rw,relatime,fmask=0022,dmask=0022,errors=remount-ro 0 0 /media/mmcblk0p1/persist.img /media/persist ext4 rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro 0 0 overlay /usr overlay lowerdir=/usr,upperdir=/media/persist/usr,workdir=/media/persist/.work_usr 0 0

Now commit the changes: (optionally remove the e2fsprogs, but it does contain repair tools)

lbu_commit -d

Remember, with this setup if you install things and you have done this overlay for /usr, you must not commit the 'apk add', otherwise, while it boots it will try and install it to memory, not to the persistent storage.

If you do want to install something small at boot, you can use `apk add` and `lbu commit -d`.

If it is something a bit bigger, then you can use `apk add` but then not commit it. It will be persistent (in /user), but be sure to check everything you need is in that directory and not in folders you have not made persistent.

Traditional disk-based (sys) installation

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This material is proposed for merging ...

It should be merged with Classic install or sys mode on Raspberry Pi. There's an existing page for sys-installations on RasPi. (Discuss)

It is also possible to switch to a fully disk-based installation. This is not yet formally supported, but can be done somewhat manually. This frees all the memory otherwise needed for the root filesystem, allowing more installed packages.

Split your SD card into two partitions: the FAT32 boot partition described above (in this example it'll be mmcblk0p1) , and a second partition to hold the root filesystem (here it'll be mmcblk0p2). Boot and configure your diskless system as above, then create a root filesystem:

apk add e2fsprogs mkfs.ext4 /dev/mmcblk0p2

Now do a disk install via a mountpoint. The setup-disk script will give some errors about syslinux/extlinux, but you can ignore them. The Raspberry Pi doesn't need them to boot.

mkdir /stage mount /dev/mmcblk0p2 /stage setup-disk -o /media/mmcblk0p1/MYHOSTNAME.apkovl.tar.gz /stage # (ignore errors about syslinux/extlinux)

Add a line to /stage/etc/fstab to mount the Pi's boot partition again:

/dev/mmcblk0p1 /media/mmcblk0p1 vfat defaults 0 0

Now add a root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 parameter to the Pi's boot command line, either cmdline-rpi2.txt or cmdline-rpi.txt depending on model:

mount -o remount,rw /media/mmcblk0p1 sed -i '$ s/$/ root=\/dev\/mmcblk0p2/' /media/mmcblk0p1/cmdline-rpi2.txt

You might also consider overlaytmpfs=yes here, which will cause the underlying SD card root filesystem to be mounted read-only, with an overlayed tmpfs for modifications which will be discarded at shutdown.

N.B. the contents of /boot will be ignored when the Pi boots. It will use the kernel, initramfs, and modloop images from the FAT32 boot partition. To update the kernel, initfs or modules, you will need to manually (generate and) copy these to the boot partition or you could use bind mount, in which case, copying the files to boot partition manually, is not needed.

echo /media/mmcblk0p1/boot /boot none defaults,bind 0 0 >> /etc/fstab

Persistent Installation on Raspberry Pi 3

See Classic install or sys mode on Raspberry Pi and https://web.archive.org/web/20171125115835/https://forum.alpinelinux.org/comment/1084#comment-1084

Persistent Installation on Raspberry Pi 4

As of 3.14, setup-alpine should ask you if you want to create a sys mode partition on your Raspberry Pi 4.

Troubleshooting

Long boot time when running headless

If no peripherals are connected, the system might hang for an exceptionally long period of time while it attempts to accumulate entropy.

If this is the case, simply plugging in any USB device should work around this issue.

Alternatively, installing haveged, the random numbers generator, would speed up the process:

 apk update 
 apk add haveged
 rc-update add haveged boot
 lbu commit -d
 service haveged start

(Tested on a raspberry pi zero W in headless mode, no USB connected, Alpine 3.10.3)

apk indicating 'No space left on device'

Note some models of the Raspberry Pi such as the 3A+ only have 512M of RAM, which on fresh Alpine deployment will only leave around 200M for tmpfs root. It's important to keep this limitation in mind when using these boards.

Wireless support with older Alpine images

If you need Wi-Fi, you'll need to download the latest Broadcom drivers to your SD card. (Replace /mnt/sdcard with the correct mount point.)

 git clone --depth 1 https://github.com/RPi-Distro/firmware-nonfree.git
 cp firmware-nonfree/brcm/* /mnt/sdcard/firmware/brcm

See Also