Alpine Linux RPi Setup

I use Alpine linux on my second computer (Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+). This document lists the steps used to setup my system. All the refrence links can be found at the bottom of this document.

Getting Started

The first step is grabbing a RPi archive from the Alpine Linux downloads page.

Preparing the SD card:

First, check the device name. Most likely going to be /dev/mmcblk0

fdisk -l

Now we can create two partitions on the SD card. One for boot, another for everything else.

fdisk /dev/mmcblk0

Now we gotta format the partitions we just created (make sure to check the name of partitions using 'fdisk -l'):

In my case partitions were '/dev/mmcblk0p1' and '/dev/mmcblk0p2' (may need e2fsprogs for ext4 formatting)

mkdosfs -F 32 /dev/mmcblk0p1
mkfs.ext4 /dev/mmcblk0p2

Create a directory for mounting partition 1 and extract the Alpine archive in it:

mkdir /mnt/myalpine
mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt/myalpine
cd /mnt/myalpine
tar xvfz ~/Downloads/alpine-rpi-*-aarch64.tar.gz

Due to a bug, it is recommended to add a file named 'usercfg.txt' in the partition. The second line enables audio. With following data:


Un-mount the partition:

umount /mnt/myalpine

Hooray! The SD card is all set to boot and start installation.

Installing Alpine Linux

Insert the SD card into RPi. Connect your display and keyboard. Power everything up!

Login using 'root' (requires no password)

We will use Alpine's default setup script:


Mount partition 2 and install alpine:

mount /dev/mmcblk0p2 /mnt
setup-disk -m sys /mnt

Remount partiton 1 and cleanup:

mount -o remount,rw /media/mmcblk0p1
rm -f /media/mmcblk0p1/boot/*
cd /mnt
rm boot/boot

The right place for boot is in partition 1:

mv boot/* /media/mmcblk0p1/boot/

We don't need boot in partition 2 now:

rm -Rf boot

A directory for partition 1 on next boot:

mkdir media/mmcblk0p1

A link for boot from partition 1. Don't worry about error.

ln -s media/mmcblk0p1/boot boot

Update /etc/fstab:

echo "/dev/mmcblk0p1 /media/mmcblk0p1 vfat defaults 0 0" >> etc/fstab
set -i '/cdrom/d' etc/fstab
set -i '/floppy/d' etc/fstab
cd /media/mmcblk0p1

Indicate the root filesystem is on partition 2

sed -i 's/$/ root=\/dev\/mmcblk0p2/' /media/mmcblk0p1/cmdline.txt

The installation is now complete, you can use 'poweroff' to continue steps after installation later or use 'reboot' to restart system and continue with post-installation steps.

Post Installation Setup

Enable Software Clock and Disable hardware clock

rc-update add swclock boot
rc-update del hwclock boot

Enable checking time using Network Time Protocol


Updating System

apk update
apk upgrade

Now any applications of liking may be installed. My setup may be found in 'Doc/My Configurations' in this website.

Refrences and Links

⚬ RPi Sys Installation
⚬ Rpi General Installation
⚬ RPi Headless Installation
⚬ RPi Browser Client
⚬ Alpine User Handbook

See ya!