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Alpine linux system requirements


This page will tell you what requirements you will need to use the Alpine Linux operating system:


Hardware requirements

For installation and usage take in consideration Alpine can run in several devices, from the popular PC machine also including video game consoles like Game boy Advance and 3DS, so you must check:


Means kind of computer, The most popular is the misnamed «intel IBM PC» or «i386» which is actually in fact the x86 or x64, there are other computers supporteds that are not «x86» like mainframes also servers, as embebed devices.. inclusivelly routers like Sonicwall and Cisco ones. Here are the supported:

Supported Arch Supported since Meaning of installation and target architecture
x86_64 all The popular AMD64 compatible 64-bit x86 based machines, i386 is not recommended for newer/latest hardware.
x86 all The all popular 32 bit intel (i386 pc 32bit) and x86_64 (i686 pc 64bit and amd64)compatible (both)
ppc64le v3.6 For the PowerPC devices with pure little-endian mode, mostly for POWER8 and POWER9
armhf v3.0 The newer ARM hard-float for newer, more powerful 32-bit devices alongside 64-bit. Including video games!
armv7 v3.9 The 32-bit ARM only execution state of the ARMv7 devices machines. Including video game consoles!
aarch64 v3.5 The 64-bit ARM only execution state of the ARMv8 device machines.
ppc64le v3.6 for 64-bit big-endian PowerPC and Power ISA processors like some MAC computers.
s390x v3.6 For the Super powered IBM mainframes, especially IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE servers.


Means minimum amount of RAM memory. Need of RAM it depends of the meaning of the installation, any hardware are supported and there is minimum sizes for:

Target Arch Minimum RAM to start Minimum RAM to install Minimum RAM for GUI desktop Enough for GUI work
x86_64 512 Megs 512 Megs 2 Gigs 8 Gigs
x86_32 128 Megs 256 Megs 1 Gigs 3 Gigs
ppc64le 128 Megs 256 Megs 2 Gigs 8 Gigs
armhf 256 Megs 512 Megs 1 Gigs 6 Gigs
armv7 256 Megs 512 Megs 1 Gigs 6 Gigs
aarch64 256 Megs 512 Megs 2 Gigs 8 Gigs
ppc64le 256 Megs 512 Megs 1 Gigs 6 Gigs
s390x 128 Megs 256 Megs 2 Gigs N/A


Means any external or internal storage device that can be added after or before install to use by the Alpine Linux system. Currently depends of the current linux kernel supported.

All the PATA and SATA hard disk drives are supported, also any USB or SD card that can be detected by USB BUS by the linux kernel subsystem during install.


Means any external or internal device that can be added after or before install to detectd by the Alpine Linux system. Currently depends of the current linux kernel supported.

ISA devices are not supported since 3.8 because kernel drops support.

Almost any GPU are supported, but for advanced features, 3D acceleration are manager by MESA project:

  • Intel: mostly any Intel by one exception, intel i810/i815 will lack of features cos only has 4Mb memory, Mesa and Linux drop theit support.
  • ATI/AMD, only radeon series with exception of recent two last years respect Alpine release, Rage r128/match64 series has limited support.
  • Nvidia: limited; only few are complete supported! not all features are allowed!
  • Matrox: not all features are supported, just cos are shipped on most servers.
  • Sis: limited features are supported, since code are not updated on Xorg and Linux kernel
  • Via: limited features are supported, since openchrome code are not updated on Xorg and Linux kernel

Software requirements


Means the files need for dump the install media, and later boot from the target install machine, of course downloaded from http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/latest-stable/releases/ or main Download page.

Available for ISO (for USB, CD/DVD) IMG (for Netboot) TAR (for ROOTFS, in tar.gz) Download links
x86_64 YES YES N/A http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/latest-stable/releases/x86_64/
x86 YES YES N/A http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/latest-stable/releases/x86/
ppc64le NO YES YES http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/latest-stable/releases/ppc64le/
armhf NO YES YES http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/latest-stable/releases/armhf/
armv7 NO YES YES http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/latest-stable/releases/armv7/
aarch64 YES YES YES http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/latest-stable/releases/aarch64/
mips64 YES YES N/A http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/latest-stable/releases/mips64/
s390x YES YES N/A http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/latest-stable/releases/s390x/


Means Commands to verify the checksum and GPG signature of a downloaded image file on different systems, is complete optional!. This kind of check are made to verify if the download media ISO (for USB, CD/DVD), IMG (for Netboot) or TAR (for ROOTFS, in tar.gz) file are correct and will work. Just performs that command in your system before use that downloaded file:

OS where media was downloaded sha265 calculation (to be compared manually) GPG signature verification
Linux sha256sum -c alpine-*.iso.sha256 curl https://alpinelinux.org/keys/ncopa.asc |
gpg —import ;
gpg —verify alpine-*.iso.asc alpine-*.iso
MACOS shasum -a 256 alpine-*.iso — ? —
BSD /usr/local/bin/shasum -a 256 alpine-*.iso — ? —


Means support for kind of BIOS setup of machine, and where can be media downloaded will be boot, please for more info check Alpine and UEFI wiki page.

Supported Arch Supported bios Supported types Media boot recomended
x86_64 Coreboot, Vendor/OEM BIOS, UEFI USB, CD/DVD (ISO)
x86 Coreboot, Vendor/OEM BIOS, UEFI USB, CD/DVD (ISO)
ppc64le Coreboot, Vendor/OEM BIOS, UEFI USB, CD/DVD (ISO)
aarch64 ?Coreboot?, Vendor/OEM BIOS, ?UEFI? USB, CD/DVD (ISO)
mips64 Vendor/OEM ? MINIROOTFS (TAR.GZ)
s390x Vendor/OEM BIOS, ?UEFI? USB, CD/DVD

If the computer does not automatically boot from the desired device, one needs to bring up the boot menu selection for choosing the media to boot from. Depending on the computer the menu may be accessed by quickly (repeatedly) pressing a key when booting starts, or sometimes it is needed to press the button before starting the computer and keep holding it when it boots. Typical keys are: `F9`-`F12`, sometimes `F7` or `F8`. If these don’t bring up the boot menu, it may be necessary to enter the BIOS configuration and adjust the boot settings, for which typical keys are: `Del.` `F1` `F2` `F6` or `Esc.`


This means amount of available space in disk partitions to perform a kind of install and of course will depends of type and meaning of your desired install, this are the recommended sizes but depends of the BIOS/UEFI supported you must perform and read the Alpine disk layout for UEFI/BIOS at Alpine and UEFI wiki page.


Small. Simple. Secure.

Alpine Linux is a security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution based on musl libc and busybox.


Alpine Linux is an independent, non-commercial, general purpose Linux distribution designed for power users who appreciate security, simplicity and resource efficiency.


Alpine Linux is built around musl libc and busybox. This makes it smaller and more resource efficient than traditional GNU/Linux distributions. A container requires no more than 8 MB and a minimal installation to disk requires around 130 MB of storage. Not only do you get a fully-fledged Linux environment but a large selection of packages from the repository.

Binary packages are thinned out and split, giving you even more control over what you install, which in turn keeps your environment as small and efficient as possible.


Alpine Linux is a very simple distribution that will try to stay out of your way. It uses its own package manager called apk, the OpenRC init system, script driven set-ups and that’s it! This provides you with a simple, crystal-clear Linux environment without all the noise. You can then add on top of that just the packages you need for your project, so whether it’s building a home PVR, or an iSCSI storage controller, a wafer-thin mail server container, or a rock-solid embedded switch, nothing else will get in the way.


Alpine Linux was designed with security in mind. All userland binaries are compiled as Position Independent Executables (PIE) with stack smashing protection. These proactive security features prevent exploitation of entire classes of zero-day and other vulnerabilities.


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