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[alpine-devel] UNOFFICIAL ARMv5 build available

From: Valery McHno <>
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 2016 10:00:39 +0200

Hello community,

I've made Alpine Linux 3.3 build for armv5te [armel] architecture.

There are quite a lot of ARMv5-based devices available around, such as
LaCie / QNAP / Synology NASes or SheevaPlug / GuruPlug / DreamPlug plug
computers, to name a few. Being an owner of an armv5-based NAS (D-Link
DNS-325), i've made this build since Alpine seems to be much better suited
for that kind of old hardware, than ArchLinuxARM (which I used to run
before) or Debian. For example, minimal installation containing base
system, utulities for handling mainstream filesystems / partitions, wired &
wireless networking utilities, openssh, gnu screen, bash and midnight
commander, took about 40 megabytes (without kernel), which is about 8 to 10
times less than minimal Debian or ArchLinuxARM system, and consumed
significantly less memory (I don't remember the exact numbers).

Binary packages are available here (HTTP only at the moment):

Please note that all packages are signed by my own key, so considered
untrusted, and you should run apk with --allow-untrusted option to install

At the moment the following stuff is available in the repo:
  - alpine-base packages
  - build-base packages and the majority of alpine-sdk packages
  - utilities to deal with mainstream partitions & filesystems (ext2/3/4,
btrfs, xfs, LVM, LUKS & TrueCrypt, ntfs-3g, vfat, gptfdisk, mdadm)
  - basic hardware handling stuff (eudev, pci-utils, usb-utils,
smartmontools, hdparm)
  - bash, midnight commander, gnu screen, lynx, links, elinks (can't live
without them)
  - basic networking stuff (dhcpcd, iputils, iproute2, iptables, openssh,
rsync, utilities for wireless network connectivity)
  - all dependencies to rebuild all above, excluding X/GUI-related stuff
(see note below)
  - some other random apps & utilities.

The repo currently lacks:
  - binutils-gold
        (it breaks the build for some obscure reason)
  - gcc-ada packages
        (for various reasons i haven't manage to bootstrap ada compiler at
the moment)
  - any kernels
        (work in progress: kernels for Marvell Kirkwood-based devices and
for QEMU quest)
  - anything that requires X libraries, GUI toolkits or stuff like that
        (this build is intended primarily for headless usage on weak
hardware without graphical capabilities, so I've disabled X/GUI-related
components and dependencies for some packages, e.g. git or transmission)
  - perl-json, perl-libwww, ruby, ruby-augeas required by some split
packages that were built
        (I was too lazy to find & remove them from the repo)
  - busybox.static binary not working, just segfaults.
        (i've rebuilt it several times on different systems, either
cross-compiling and natively, using different gcc versions, but the result
is always the same. Strange, but that binaries do run on armv6 & armv7
  - everything else

So, right now you can install a minimal system, run it with some foreign
kernel (e.g. extracted from Debian or ArchLinuxARM package), connect it to
network, and build the stuff you need.

This build required some additions/changes in gcc & musl APKBUILDs, i'll
post patches here a bit later.

I'll also keep you informed what's going on, since the work is not complete

So, enjoy.

Received on Sat Jan 16 2016 - 10:00:39 GMT