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DistroWatch.com: Alpine Linux

Alpine Linux

Last Update: 2017-08-26 01:22 UTC


Alpine Linux is a community developed operating system designed for x86 routers, firewalls, VPNs, VoIP boxes and servers. It was designed with security in mind; it has proactive security features like PaX and SSP that prevent security holes in the software to be exploited. The C library used is musl and the base tools are all in BusyBox. Those are normally found in embedded systems and are smaller than the tools found in GNU/Linux systems.

Popularity (hits per day): 12 months: 44 (245), 6 months: 53 (209), 3 months: 67 (159), 4 weeks: 68 (159), 1 week: 63 (157)

Average visitor rating: 8.8/10 from 5 review(s).


Alpine Summary
Distribution Alpine Linux
Home Page http://www.alpinelinux.org/
Mailing Lists http://lists.alpinelinux.org/
User Forums --
Alternative User Forums LinuxQuestions.org
Documentation http://wiki.alpinelinux.org/
Screenshots --
Screencasts
Download Mirrors http://alpinelinux.org/downloadsLinuxTracker.org
Bug Tracker http://bugs.alpinelinux.org/
Related Websites  
Reviews 3.2: DistroWatch
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Recent Related News and Releases
  Releases, download links and checksums:
 • 2017-05-25: Distribution Release: Alpine Linux 3.6.0
 • 2016-12-22: Distribution Release: Alpine Linux 3.5.0
 • 2016-05-31: Distribution Release: Alpine Linux 3.4.0
 • 2015-12-19: Distribution Release: Alpine Linux 3.3.0
 • 2015-05-26: Distribution Release: Alpine Linux 3.2.0
 • 2014-12-10: Distribution Release: Alpine Linux 3.1.0
 • 2014-06-04: Distribution Release: Alpine Linux 3.0.0
 • 2013-11-09: Distribution Release: Alpine Linux 2.7.0
 • 2013-05-17: Distribution Release: Alpine Linux 2.6.0
 • 2012-11-07: Distribution Release: Alpine Linux 2.5.0
 • 2011-11-01: Distribution Release: Alpine Linux 2.3.0
 • 2011-05-04: Distribution Release: Alpine Linux 2.2.0
 • More Alpine releases...

  Headlines:
 •2016-10-12 Alpine to use LibreSSL
 • More Alpine headlines...

Table Notes and Explanations

(Please refer to the table below.)
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  • To compare the software in this project to the software available in other distributions, please see our Compare Packages page.
  • Notes: In case where multiple versions of a package are shipped with a distribution, only the default version appears in the table. For indication about the GNOME version, please check the "nautilus" and "gnome-shell" packages. The Apache web server is listed as "httpd" and the Linux kernel is listed as "linux". The KDE desktop is represented by the "kdelibs" and "plasma-desktop" packages and the Xfce desktop by the "xfdesktop" package.
  • Colour scheme: green text = latest stable version, red text = development or beta version. The function determining beta versions is not 100% reliable due to a wide variety of versioning schemes.

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Feature 3.6.2 3.2.2 2.7.8 1.10.6
Release Date 2017-06-17 2015-07-14 2014-05-21 2010-06-16
End Of Life        
Price (US$) Free Free Free Free
Image Size (MB) 73-298      
Free Download ISO ISO ISO ISO
Installation Text mode Text mode Text mode Text mode
Default Desktop -- -- -- --
Package Management APK APK APK APK
Release Model Fixed Fixed Fixed Fixed
Office Suite -- -- -- --
Processor Architecture armhf, i386, x86_64 armhf, i386, x86_64 i386, x86_64 i386
Init Software Busybox Busybox Busybox Busybox
Journaled File Systems ext3 ext3 ext3 ext3
Multilingual -- -- -- --
Asian Language Support -- -- -- --
Full Package List 3.6.2 3.2.2 2.7.8 1.10.6
Package 3.6.2 3.2.2 2.7.8 1.10.6
abiword (3.0.2) -- -- -- --
alsa-lib (1.1.4.1) -- 1.0.29 1.0.27.2 1.0.22
ati-driver (16.40) -- -- -- --
bash (4.4) 4.3 -- -- 4.0
bind (9.11.2) -- 9.10.2 9.9.4-P2 9.6.1-P3
chromium (61.0.3163.100) -- -- -- --
cups (2.2.4) -- -- -- --
dhcp (4.3.6) 4.3.4 4.3.2 4.2.5-P1 4.1.0-P1
e2fsprogs (1.43.6) 1.43.4 1.42.13 1.42.8 1.41.9
firefox (55.0.3) -- -- -- --
freetype (2.8.1) -- -- 2.5.0.1 2.3.8
gcc (7.2.0) -- -- -- --
gimp (2.8.22) -- -- -- --
glibc (2.26) -- -- -- --
gnome-shell (3.26.0) -- -- -- --
gnucash (2.7.0) -- -- -- --
gnumeric (1.12.35) -- -- -- --
grub (2.02) -- -- -- --
gtk+ (3.22.21) -- -- -- --
httpd (2.4.27) -- -- -- --
inkscape (0.92.2) -- -- -- --
k3b (17.08.1) -- -- -- --
kmod (24) 23 -- -- --
libgnome (2.32.1) -- -- -- --
libreoffice (5.4.1) -- -- -- --
linux (4.13.3) 4.9.32 3.18.18 3.10.40 2.6.32.15
Package 3.6.2 3.2.2 2.7.8 1.10.6
lxde-common (0.99.2) -- -- -- --
mariadb (10.2.8) -- -- -- --
mate-desktop (1.18.0) -- -- -- --
mesa (17.2.1) -- -- -- --
mysql (5.7.19) -- -- -- --
nautilus (3.26.0) -- -- -- --
NVIDIA (384.69) -- -- -- --
openbox (3.6.1) -- -- -- --
openjdk (8u144) -- -- -- --
openssh (7.5p1) 7.5p1 6.8p1 6.4p1 5.3p1
openssl (1.1.0f) -- 1.0.2d 1.0.1g 0.9.9o
perl (5.26.1) -- 5.20.2 5.18.1 5.10.1
php (7.1.9) -- -- -- --
plasma-desktop (5.10.5) -- -- -- --
postfix (3.2.2) -- 3.0.1 2.10.2 2.6.5
postgresql (9.6.5) -- 9.4.4 9.3.3 8.4.2
Python (3.6.2) -- 2.7.9 2.7.6 --
qt (5.9.1) -- -- -- --
samba (4.7.0) -- 4.2.1 4.1.3 3.4.7
systemd (234) -- -- -- --
thunderbird (52.3.0) -- -- -- --
vim (8.0) 8.0 7.4 7.4 7.2
vlc (2.2.6) -- -- -- --
xfdesktop (4.12.4) -- -- -- --
xorg-server (1.19.3) -- -- -- --

Reader Ratings
Reader supplied reviews for Alpine Linux

Average rating
8.8
from 5 review(s)



What are your thoughts on Alpine Linux?
Please include a few pros and a few cons, along with your overall impression of the operating system.

Version:

Rating:    out of 10

Comments (maximum 2,048 characters):




Past reviews - sort by:

Version: 3.6.2
Rating: 9
Date: 2017-09-17
Votes: 1


This OS is often used for various other purposes, but I am able to use it as a desktop. The main disadvantage for desktop use in my experience is that there is no pavucontrol at the moment (September 2017), which is handy to be able to quickly select a different output for your audio (say if you plan to connect to a TV monitor). However, it has many advantages, in my view:-

- Hardened kernel.
- Musl/Busybox has a smaller footprint and arguably has less attack surface than glibc, used in many other distros.
- LibreSSL connections, more secure than the commonplace OpenSSL used by default in many major distros.
- Has recognized the ubiquitous flaws of systemd and selected OpenRC instead, booting very quickly.

I also have the basic applications that I need except pavucontrol, and will have to build Xiphos as I have done on Alpine in the past. I use rsync ('rsync -av --delete sourcedirectory/ destination directory/') instead of grsync, which I have built in a standard process on Alpine Linux before using the glibc source code instead of any musl source code.

There are concepts in this Linux distro as in other distros that I would have found too challenging when I was a Linux beginner, for whom I would rather recommend Linux Lite for about half a year or so, if not Linux Mint or - what I started with - Ubuntu - despite their shortfalls compared to this distro. The installation (typing 'alpine-setup' after logging in) uses standard command line questions, which can often be answered with the default suggested response, offered in square brackets (but type 'done' if you don't plan to use wireless/wlan0, or typically 'no' to any manual network configuration, and 'sda' for disk, 'sys' for ?disk type, etc.).

I agree with other reviewers that the forum response is practically non-existent, but I prefer to use a solid OS like this one anyway and search for answers online.


Was this review helpful? Yes No
Version: 3.6.2
Rating: 8
Date: 2017-07-30
Votes: 1


The standard iso is only 106mb this is small and it loads fast in ram.
I looked at it to build a rescue OS, Alpine is very promising as it seems very stable, fast and streamlined.
However I ended up not using it for a rescue OS because it is not really designed for it and requires too much setup to get all the applications running.
However I think it makes a perfect small server, router or dedicated system.
For specific purposes it is the best distro around but it is not adapted to desktop or rescue disk.



Was this review helpful? Yes No
Version: 3.2.2
Rating: 9
Date: 2017-06-08
Votes: 3


If you were to tell me I had to build a computer to put into a satellite and send out into space and that computer has to stay running for decades without human intervention.. this would be the operating system I would use. ROCK SOLID , and SECURE are the only words to describe Alpine Linux! I would trust this OS with a pacemaker it is so solid.

The only problem I have is the learning curve, this is not a regular linux distro by any means, if your working on an embedded project, or your wanting to build your own firewall, or you need a small light secure distro for running background tasks than this is it!.

I am currently working on a project for my companies point of sales systems and this is my distro of choice for the project.

The documentation is good, the packages are okay, missing some stuff, but they aren't planning on you using this as a desktop OS so they only have the packages you would need for something this tight and secure.

I am surprised no one has built a firewall distro around this .. maybe we should.


Was this review helpful? Yes No

See all 5 reader reviews of Alpine Linux...


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