Alpine Linux 3.13 Brings Official Cloud Images, Much Faster Node.js, Cloud-Init Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 14 January 2021 at 12:25 PM EST. 3 Comments
Alpine Linux, the distribution popular for container environments due to its lightweight nature with employing Musl libc and Busybox while being designed for simplicity, security, and efficiency, is out with version 3.13. With Alpine Linux 3.13 the distribution is ramping up its cloud ambitions.

Alpine Linux 3.13 brings the project's first official cloud images. There are now official Alpine Linux cloud images for Amazon AWS EC2 on x86_64 and AArch64. Support for more public cloud providers are expected with time. Alpine Linux images for EC2 were previously available but with version 3.13.0 is now considered "official" and supported.

Alpine Linux 3.13 also adds initial support for cloud-init as the cross-platform, cloud instance initialization standard. Those unfamiliar with cloud-init can learn more via the documentation.

Alpine 3.13 meanwhile on the software front has added PHP 8.0 as an option to complement the existing PHP 7.4, QEMU 5.2 is available, OpenZFS 2.0.1 is packaged, PostgreSQL 13.1 is offered along with MariaDB 10.5.8, and a wealth of other package updates. The Node.js LTS performance is also faster now on Alpine: rather than being compiled by default with -Os, the -O2 optimization level is used.

Also notable is Alpine 3.13 replacing Busybox's ifupdown with the ifupdown-ng project.

Downloads and more details on this lightweight cloud/container focused Linux distribution via
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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