Episode 308

Episode 3:08: Scaling the Alpine


October 10th, 2022

1 hr 15 mins 6 secs

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About this Episode

Coming up in this episode

  1. We're diskless
  2. We take a LEAF out of the history book
  3. We climb the Alpine mountain
  4. Pick a very small editor
  5. And we don our hoodies

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0:00 Cold Open
1:30 No Disks for You!
10:35 1997, LRP
11:43 2000, No More Money
13:09 2001, LRP Struggles
13:59 2003, LRP Put to Rest + LEAF and GNAP
14:58 2004, GNAP v0.5
15:04 2005, A Linux Powered Integrated Network Engine
16:18 2006, Alpine 1.4 | 2007, Alpine 1.5 and 1.6
16:37 2008, Alpine 2.0 Added Busybox
16:54 2009, Alpine 1.8 and 1.9
17:13 2010, Alpine 1.10 and 2.0
18:05 2011, Alpine 2.2 and 2.3
18:28 2012, Alpine 2.4 and 2.5
18:51 2013, Alpine and the Container Renaissance
20:11 2014, Alpine 3.0 and musl libc
20:43 2015, Alpine 3.2, 3.3 and Some Restructuring
21:19 2016, Alpine 3.4, 3.5 and OpenSSL
21:55 2017, Alpine 3.6, 3.7 and PostmarketOS
22:39 2018, Alpine 3.8 and Raspberry Pi 3 Support
23:01 2019, Alpine 3.9, 3.10 and 3.11
24:08 2020, Alpine 3.12 and the Last LEAF
24:28 2021, Alpine 3.13, 3.14 and 3.15
25:10 2022, Alpine 3.16 and the End of the History
26:45 What is Alpine, Really?
41:34 Our Thoughts on Alpine
1:04:07 Next Time! More Text Ed and a New Distro
1:13:58 Stinger


Disks! They're dead, Jim.

  • Dan's 3TB Seagate - not noted for reliability but was reliable.
  • Leo's 240GB Adata SU630


Alpine Linux the History

  • Back in 1997, Dave Cineage created the Linux Router Project, or LRP.
  • The Linux Embedded Appliance Framework, or LEAF project was started
  • Oxygen
  • EigerStein
  • The Linux Router Project was done
  • The LEAF project was still there
  • August of 2005, Natanael Copa, while working for a non-profit company on VPNs and firewalls, announced a new distribution on the linux.leaf.devel mailing list.
  • Alpine originally stood for A Linux Powered Integrated Network Engine.
  • The earlier versions are a little cloudy, but we see Alpine 1.4 being developed in 2006, 1.5 in 2007, Alpine 1.6 released on April 30th of 2007 and the switch to development of 1.7 in the days after.
  • Alpine 2.0, the then development branch, first commit "added busybox"
  • Alpine 1.9 - OpenRC shipped and able to install on hard disks.
  • A new website is launched
  • Alpine Linux 2.0 is released
  • The team announced the Alpine Linux Forum.
  • Alpine 3.0 is released, and uClibc is dropped in favor of musl libc.
  • Alpine 3.2 is released and included the MATE desktop.
  • Alpine 3.3 is released with big renames of the editions that already existed.
  • Alpine 3.4 is released with support for running within VM's, better DNS support and running on the Linux Kernel's Long Term Support release 4.4.
  • Alpine 3.5 is released and this marks the first version to drop OpenSSL for LibreSSL.
  • Alpine 3.6 is released with support for 64-bit PowerPC and IBM z Systems.
  • Alpine 3.7 is released and now supports EFI and GRUB.
  • Alpine 3.8 is released a bit behind schedule and marks the only release of the year.
  • Alpine 3.9 is released improved GRUB support, initial support for the newish ARMv7 and the switch back to OpenSSL.
  • Alpine 3.10 is released with lightdm for login and display management, which shows a renewed interest in running Alpine on the desktop.
  • Alpine 3.11 is released with Raspberry Pi 4 support, initial Gnome and KDE Plasma support and the addition of Vulkan, DXVK and the Rust programming language.
  • Alpine 3.12 is released with support for the D programming language.
  • Alpine and others just do it better, so LEAF sees its last stable release at 7.0.1
  • Alpine 3.13 is released and comes with official cloud images for services like AWS, cloud-init and better wifi support on the software side.
  • Alpine 3.14 is released with fail2ban taking a back seat to sshguard because it... failed... to ban... and ClamAV is now community supported.
  • Alpine 3.15 is released with kernel module compression using gzip, Gnome 41 and Plasma 5.23 land, and disk encryption is now supported right in the installer.
  • Alpine 3.16 is released as the last release of this history with better NVMe support, adding SSH keys at boot, a new admin user creation process and a new setup-desktop script for desktop environment installation.

More Announcements

Alpine Linux Links


Catch these and other great topics as they unfold on our Subreddit or our News channel on Discord.

Next Time

We will discuss GNU Nano and the history. We also hope to have a couple of topics and some feedback.

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