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Re: [alpine-user] Hard/Software compatibility + Free Software Agreement

From: Donald Allen <>
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2015 07:15:12 -0500

I am not an Alpine developer nor am I associated with the project in any
way, other than as a user of the system.

I will answer what questions I can below, but I will comment -- I hope you
won't be insulted -- that the nature of your questions suggests that you
are not knowledgeable about Linux. If I am right, then Alpine is not a good
introduction to the Linux world. It's a little bit like trying to learn to
drive on a motorcycle. There are many Linux distributions to choose from
and if I'm right that you are new to Linux, I would suggest trying Linux
Mint, Ubuntu, or Debian. Arch is very good, but requires more advanced
knowledge to install and use. The same is true of Slackware, which has the
additional problem of having last been released over two years ago. I am
not familiar with Red Hat and its derivatives -- Fedora, CentOS.

On Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 6:38 AM, MG <> wrote:

> Dear Alpine Linux,
> I'm very tempted to use your OS. Before starting, as I'm not an
> experienced user, may I kindly ask you some help on those questions:
> - Is your OS compatible with a laptop LENOVO THINKPAD R400
> (64bits, Type: 7443)?
> (

That's a fairly old machine, if I'm not mistaken. I have an R500. I have
not tried Alpine on it, but I have run other Linux distributions on it
(Debian, Arch) and they worked well. There were no driver issues (video,
audio, wifi). I *have* found that I've had issues with Alpine on a couple
of PCs, specifically problems with X (screen goes blank shortly after X
comes up and can't be brought back), where other Linux distributions (and
OpenBSD) worked fine. The proof is in the pudding. If, despite what I said
above, you decide to try to install Alpine, back up the machine completely
before doing anything and give it a try. If things don't go well, restore
your backup.

> - If not, what parts should be changed?
> - Can I install your OS from Libreboot (free BIOS)?
> (

> - Do you plan to get the agreement of the Free Software Foundation for
> your OS? (

That question doesn't make a lot of sense. Alpine is Linux and, as such, a
major part of Alpine is Gnu software, which comes from the FSF. No
agreement necessary.

> - As your OS seems independant, is it compatible with other common
> softwares? Firefox, Tor, Skype, Tox, LibreOffice, Enigmail, KeepassX,...

Again, it is Linux. Yes, Firefox runs on it. I have not tried the other
applications you mention. From my experience, there are two issues with
compatibility: Alpine uses a different C library than most Linux
distributions, and differs from most Linux distributions in its use of a
more secure version of the kernel and other security-related measures.
These differences can cause compatibility issues.

Also, Alpine seems to be intended for use in embedded systems, where
hardware resources are limited and security is paramount. It can be used as
a desktop system on a conventional PC, but it doesn't offer as rich a
collection of packages as other Linux distributions, such as the ones I
suggested above.

I already thank you for your consideration and wish you all the best!
> - M.G
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Received on Fri Dec 18 2015 - 07:15:12 GMT