Alpine Linux 2 review

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Alpine Linux is a distribution designed primarily for use as a router, firewall and application gateway. The latest stable version, Alpine Linux 2.0, was released last week (August 17, 2010). This review is the first for this distribution on this site, and also marks its first listing in the Firewall & Router category.

Installation: Installation of Alpine Linux to hard disk is via a text-based interface. The setup-disk script takes care of the completed automated installation, and the whole process takes less than two minutes. By default, the script creates the following partitions (test installation on an x86 computer with a 250 GB hard drive):

/boot of 100 MB
swap of about 1 GB
/ takes up the rest of the disk space

Ext3 is the default file system. Alpine uses the OpenRC initialization and daemon management script, the same system used by Gentoo. Incidentally, the maintainer of OpenRC has given up on the project. There are several setup- script that you need to use to make the system usable.

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