Alpine Linux announced the release of version 3.8.0 today, which includes support for Raspberry Pi 3 devices as well as the 64-bit ARM architecture. This architecture, which is sometimes referred to as aarch64 in Unix circles, has become increasingly popular in the last few years. Crystal language support on top of updated versions of Go and Node.js have been added to the security-minded distribution.
Those who are looking for an extremely private distribution that still doesn’t skimp too much on features should appreciate the new version of Alpine. It supports netboot on all of the architectures that it comes precompiled for and features a healthy amount of documentation.
Web developers and other coders should especially appreciate all the support for scripting languages that the new release comes with.
Ruby 2.5, Rust 1.26, JRuby 9.2 and PHP 7.2 are all bundled together with Alpine Linux 3.8.0, which is the first edition of what the developers ultimately hope to make a long series.
Fans of Docker are more than likely already acquainted with Alpine Linux, as there’s an extremely pared down version of the operating system that comes as a native Dockerfile. Currently, the latest file features Alpine version 3.7, which doesn’t support Linux 4.14 like today’s release does.
Considering how many users continue to deploy Alpine Linux inside of Docker, it shouldn’t be long before someone releases the newest version as an image.
Glider Labs is listed as the official maintainer of the Docker version, and their GitHub page shows a current request to add 3.8.0 as a Dockerfile. Existing images are only around 5MB, and it’s more than likely that any future releases will be equally as lightweight.
Nevertheless, Glider Labs writes that Alpine has access to package repositories that are far more complete than other distributions that are based on BusyBox. Since BusyBox combines so many classic Unix utilities into a single binary, some developers don’t feel the need to add other tools.
Users of Alpine Linux will instead have the freedom to build on top of BusyBox as much as they’d like.