Upgrading Alpine - HD v1.8.x

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Alpine that runs on HD

This document applies to alpine which is installed on HardDisk(HD), CompactFlash(CF) or USB.

All examples/instructions/actions mentioned in this document should be executed on the box that you are planning to upgrade (unless you are instructed otherwise).

Setup environment variables

To make the documentation a bit more "generic" we start by setting some environment variables.

vi /etc/lbu/lbu.conf

Make sure that the variable LBU_MEDIA is not commented (by removing the leading '#').

You also need to set a appropriate value for your LBU_MEDIA. The media you choose will be the media where you store your settings/configuration.

Note: Even if you have you alpine installed on CF, HD or USB you can still choose to save your config on some other media that suits your needs. But remember that both the media where you have your Alpine system AND the media where you have your config need to be in your box when booting it.





Now that you have your /etc/lbu/lbu.conf configured for your needs, we will set the environment variables (note the leading .).

. /etc/lbu/lbu.conf

You can test if your environment variable was set:


It should output something like usb, sda1, or whatever you just configured.

Back up your config

Before starting to upgrade, it's wise to save your configuration.

lbu ci

Download a new alpine release

Start by checking that you have enough space on your media.
You need at least 350MB available space.

df -h

Start downloading a new '.tar.gz' and a '.sha1' file

cd /media/$LBU_MEDIA wget -c http://dl-3.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v1.8/usbdrive/alpine-1.8.3-i386.tar.gz wget http://dev.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v1.8/usbdrive/alpine-1.8.3-i386.tar.gz.sha1

Check integrity of the downloaded files (it might take some time)

sha1sum -c alpine-1.8.3-i386.tar.gz.sha1

The output of the above command should say 'OK'.
If says 'FAILED', delete the tar.gz file and download it again.

Extract the 'tar.gz'

Remove old packages dir

rm -rf /media/$LBU_MEDIA/apks rm -rf /media/$LBU_MEDIA/kernel

Back up file that you have modified (below is a list of files that might need backing up)
syslinux.cfg: You might have modified it to show console on a serial port

cp /media/$LBU_MEDIA/syslinux.cfg /media/$LBU_MEDIA/syslinux.cfg.my

Extract content of archive

cd /media/$LBU_MEDIA tar xvzf alpine-1.8.3-i386.tar.gz

Restore your backed up files (in case you had any)

mv -f /media/$LBU_MEDIA/syslinux.cfg.my /media/$LBU_MEDIA/syslinux.cfg

Make sure that all files are permanently saved in right place


Execute upgrade script

The new media has a 'upgrade' script found on root level on media. This 'upgrade' script needs to be executed and walked through.


You will be informed about various changes and you will be able to choose if you want to keep your old config-files or if you want to use a new.
Each setup is different, so it's hard to say what needs to be upgraded and what should be kept.

When the new media holds a updated version of configfile, you will be prompted with something that looks like this:

Quit, Next, Show diff, Edit new, Zap new, Use new (q/n/s/e/z/u) [s]:

If you choose to 'Edit new' you will use the 'vi' editor.
A short note on how you use that editor:

  • i = Enter "insert" mode so you can edit the content
  • [esc] = Enter CMD-mode where you can chose to save/quit
    • CMD-mode has these options
      • :w = Write your changes
      • :q = Quit editor
      • :q! = Force quit even if you have changes that is still not saved

Clean up

Clean up the downloaded/unpacked files

rm /media/$LBU_MEDIA/alpine-1.8.3-i386.tar.gz rm /media/$LBU_MEDIA/alpine-1.8.3-i386.tar.gz.sha1 rm -rf /media/$LBU_MEDIA/alpine-new

Save changes

Now that all upgrades are done, we should save our settings to our media (which you hopefully have backed up).

lbu ci


In most cases you will need to reboot Alpine (specially if there are changes in the kernel):


Note: If you know what you are doing, you might not need to reboot.
But make sure that all services affected by the upgrade are restarted.