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Re: [alpine-devel] Installing to RPI SD Card

From: Timo Teras <>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2015 08:09:43 +0200

On Wed, 4 Feb 2015 23:06:20 -0600
Peter Bui <> wrote:

> I've recently setup Alpine Linux on a Raspberry Pi using the 3.1.2
> tarball. I have figured out how to use setup-alpine and lbu to
> customize the image (or rather create an overlay), but I've run into
> the issue of not having enough memory to hold all of the software I
> wish to run.
> As you may know, the RPI has a low amount of RAM (my B+ has 512MB).
> Since the rootfs is stored in memory, I am limited to a root
> filesystem of 218.7M (according to df -h). This makes it impossible
> to install larger packages such as xorg and firefox, or even just
> alpine-sdk (I wanted to build some new packages for the RPI).

It's gonna be slow. 512M is not enough to compile big pieces of
software. You probably will need to add swap, and be prepared for
*slow* compile times.

> One workaround I've played around is to partition my SD Card so that
> mmcblk0p1 is the vfat boot partition and then have mmcblk0p2 be an
> ext4 partition. At the moment, I'm playing around with chrooting
> into this second partition which is larger (5GB), but this seems
> messy and clumsy.
> Ideally, I would prefer to just install Alpine Linux to the SD Card
> and use the second partition as the root (keeping the first as a boot
> partition b/c I believe the bootloader on the RPI requires that).
> That said, I haven't figured out the appropriate settings for
> cmdline.txt or config.txt to tell the kernel to use /dev/mmcblk0p2 as
> the root instead of /dev/mmcblk0p1.

add "root=/dev/mmcblk0p2"

> Note, I did try setting alpine_dev=mmcblk0p2 in cmdline.txt, but on
> boot I got an error about /sbin/init being missing and was dropped to
> an emergency shell.

alpine_dev specifies the partition with modloop, and it's also the
first attempt to look for apkovl overlay. None of these are required if
you use 'root=xxx'

> Does anyone have any ideas on how to fully utilize all the space on my
> SD card? Thanks!

Use root=xxx. That's what the hard disk install do also.


Received on Thu Feb 05 2015 - 08:09:43 UTC