Alpine Linux
#1
I tried alpine linux on my raspberry pi 2 and it performs really fast. I think it is the fastest distro for soc boards out there. It would be really great if it would run also on the rock64.

Here from the raspberry pi forum:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt...56&t=60569

--------------------------------------------------
Here are some distro's I compared and the minimal memory they need for still giving you a desktop (without nearly anything running!):
Puppy: 80Mb
Debian 6.03 standard: 64Mb
AntiX: 64Mb
Connochaet: 64Mb
Tiny Core Linux: 48Mb
Slitaz LowRam-CD: 48Mb
Alpine Linux: 28Mb (still able to open and run mc and more !)
Delicate: 16Mb (unable to open xterm)
------------------------------------------------------


And here from the alpine linux website:

https://alpinelinux.org/about/

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

SMALL
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.

SIMPLE
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.

SECURE
Alpine Linux was designed with security in mind. The kernel is patched with an unofficial port of grsecurity/PaX, and 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.


So, from what i know, alpine linux would be ideal for soc boards to have a fast desktop. Compared to for example debian it has far less processes running on a working desktop and a far smaler footprint. It runs on the raspberry pi 2 faster than debian on the rock64 (with a desktop installed). Postmarketos is based on alpine linux, so to get alpine linux running would be support also that great project. It supports arm processors and there are an armhf image and an aarch64 image. Has anyone already tried it? How to configure u-boot for it?
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#2
Alpine Linux runs just fine on the ROCK64 (I can confirm), but you'll need to get your hands dirty. Devuan also works fine (without systemd), but again, you need to do a bit of work to get it running.

I would have written a tutorial, but at the time my focus was just on "trying". If I try again, I'll make sure to write down the steps. Good luck!
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#3
Hallo a1w.ca, good to know :-)

Yes, a tutorial would be fine ...

Did you use the mainline kernel or did you compile the kernel for the rock64?

Did you also install a desktop environment or did you only use alpine linux headless?

The biggest problem for me would be uboot ... i didn't find a good documentation for uboot on the rock64 board ... do you know where to find one?

Did you install alpine linux first in a chroot environment?
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#4
@a1w.ca
Can you outline some steps to getting Alpine running on the Rock64 ... thanks.
Did you manage to get accelerated graphics working?

Cheers
  Reply
#5
I tried to run alpine linux on rock64 following the tutorial : https://wiki.alpinelinux.org/wiki/DIY_Fu...ramfs_File

Edit: It works. I plug in HDMI and see the console running.
  Reply
#6
What board file did you use for the compile of uboot and kernel: i.e. <board_name>_defconfig
  Reply
#7
(01-03-2019, 01:17 PM)ebike Wrote: What board file did you use for the compile of uboot and kernel: i.e. <board_name>_defconfig

My bad. It is working. I am now trying to install it on my usb drive.

I use GENERIC ARM
http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3....h64.tar.gz

and latest kernel from here
https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-kernel/releases

No need to compile anything. Just follow the tutorial and extract necessary file from deb package. 
What I did:  
Creating Initramfs File
Creating modloop File
Replace kernel 
copy boot/dtbs

https://wiki.alpinelinux.org/wiki/DIY_Fu...r_ARM_SOCs
  Reply
#8
(01-03-2019, 09:37 AM)Jame3243324 Wrote: I tried to run alpine linux on rock64 following the tutorial : https://wiki.alpinelinux.org/wiki/DIY_Fu...ramfs_File

Edit: It works. I plug in HDMI and see the console running.

Thanks! That's very similar to what I did for Devuan and Alpine Linux. You need to make sure the SPI memory is flashed with U-Boot, and then boot from USB. No compiling or additional work required.
  Reply
#9
(01-03-2019, 08:08 PM)Jame3243324 Wrote:
(01-03-2019, 01:17 PM)ebike Wrote: What board file did you use for the compile of uboot and kernel: i.e. <board_name>_defconfig

My bad. It is working. I am now trying to install it on my usb drive.

I use GENERIC ARM
http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3....h64.tar.gz

and latest kernel from here
https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-kernel/releases

No need to compile anything. Just follow the tutorial and extract necessary file from deb package. 
What I did:  
Creating Initramfs File
Creating modloop File
Replace kernel 
copy boot/dtbs

https://wiki.alpinelinux.org/wiki/DIY_Fu...r_ARM_SOCs

Still not with you ... the tutorial starts with compiling uboot and kernel, are you saying you only read from the create initrmfs stage?
In that case, what did you use for the .dtb file, surely not the orangepi one?

When you say "working" what do you mean, as you obviously havn't booted with it yet if you haven't created the usb image yet ..

Confused ... Huh
  Reply
#10
(01-03-2019, 11:55 PM)ebike Wrote:
(01-03-2019, 08:08 PM)Jame3243324 Wrote:
(01-03-2019, 01:17 PM)ebike Wrote: What board file did you use for the compile of uboot and kernel: i.e. <board_name>_defconfig

My bad. It is working. I am now trying to install it on my usb drive.

I use GENERIC ARM
http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3....h64.tar.gz

and latest kernel from here
https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-kernel/releases

No need to compile anything. Just follow the tutorial and extract necessary file from deb package. 
What I did:  
Creating Initramfs File
Creating modloop File
Replace kernel 
copy boot/dtbs

https://wiki.alpinelinux.org/wiki/DIY_Fu...r_ARM_SOCs

Still not with you ... the tutorial starts with compiling uboot and kernel, are you saying you only read from the create initrmfs stage?
In that case, what did you use for the .dtb file, surely not the orangepi one?

When you say "working" what do you mean, as you obviously havn't booted with it yet if you haven't created the usb image yet ..

Confused ... Huh

I'm also trying to get Alpine running on a RockPro64 and do not see how the referenced tutorial needs to be applied. A more detailed explanation would be very much appreciated.
  Reply


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