Benchmarking The Lightweight, Musl-Based Alpine Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 7 March 2016 at 12:32 PM EST. 10 Comments
Following the KaOS and Void Linux benchmarking as part of our next big Linux distribution comparison was firing up Alpine Linux for some benchmarking.

Alpine Linux was included since it's been getting a lot of attention lately due to interest from the Docker community with some Docker images now opting for Alpine Linux rather than Ubuntu. Alpine Linux is a lightweight distribution relying upon musl libc and BusyBox. Alpine Linux in its x86_64 flavor weighs in at an 82MB ISO but via its apk package manager is a wealth of possible packages.

At first I ran into issues installing Alpine Linux, due to an odd failed to add partition: invalid argument when doing a stock sys install on the system's lone disk. However, after fiddling around with fdisk and re-running the Alpine installer, the automated/default install ended up moving forward.

Alpine Linux had the Linux 4.1.18 kernel, GCC 5.2.0, and an EXT4 file-system by default. It's looking like it will be a 15-way Linux distribution comparison from a Xeon E3 v5 Skylake system with Radeon R7 370 graphics. This huge Linux OS comparison should be published on Tuesday or Wednesday.

For users of Alpine Linux, the latest Phoronix-Test-Suite Git now has automated handling of Alpine's APK packages when needed for testing plus a few other Alpine-driven tweaks.
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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 or contacted via

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