From Alpine Linux

mdev is the default device manager on Alpine Linux. It is provided by busybox as alternative to systemd's udev. mdev is not a drop in replacement for udev. See eudev for that instead. mdev lacks some features which makes it not recommended for a full blown desktop enviroment.


The easy way to setup mdev is throught the setup script. For custom installation see the manually section. Note that a manual installation is only recommended for advanced users.

Setup Script

The alpine-conf package privides setup-devd to easily install and setup device managers.

Install alpine-conf if it is not already installed.

# apk add alpine-conf

Setup mdev.

# setup-devd mdev


Mdev is provided by the busybox package which is pre installed on any alpine installation. To run mdev the OpenRC init scripts are required too. If it isn't already installed install it:

# apk add busybox-mdev-openrc

If you already have a device manager installed you need to stop it before you start mdev.

Enable the mdev service.

# rc-update add mdev sysinit

# rc-update add hwdrivers sysinit

If you are not running in a chroot you will also want to start mdev.

# rc-service mdev start

# rc-service hwdrivers start

You might also want to take a look at libudev replacement if programms you want to use depend on udev.


Warning: Disabling mdev without setting up a different device manager may cause unexpected issues. If you install a different device manager with the setup script this step is not needed.

First stop the service. This step can be skipped when you are running in a chroot.

# rc-service mdev stop

Then disable it.

# rc-update delete mdev sysinit

You might also want to uninstall the init scripts since they are not used anymore.

# apk del busybox-mdev-openrc

The mdev binary is part of the busybox package and therefor can't be uninstalled.

libudev replacement

libudev-zero provides udev apis but is independent from the device manager used. When installed it will make some udev reliant programms work with mdev. See What doesn't work.


Custom network interfaces

See Custom network interface names

USB Printer

See configure mdev for USB printers

Raspberry Pi Bluetooth Speaker

See Raspberry Pi Bluetooth Speaker

See Also