How to upgrade Alpine Linux 3.4/3.5/3.6/3.7 to 3.8.xx

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I am using Alpine Linux v3.6 or v3.7 with my LXD server. How do I upgrade Alpine Linux v3.7 to Alpine Linux v3.8? How can I upgrade Alpine Linux v3.7 to Alpine Linux v3.8?

Before you type any one of the following command make sure that you have a backup of your important data before continuing to update your system. It is important that you keep full backup of your system. Alpine Linux is built around musl libc and busybox. This makes it smaller and more resource efficient than traditional GNU/Linux distributions. A container requires no more than 8 MB and a minimal installation to disk requires around 130 MB of storage. Not only do you get a fully-fledged Linux environment but a large selection of packages from the repository.
Fig.01: upgrade Alpine Linux Hard-disk or LXD VM installation
Fig.01: Upgrading an Alpine Linux Hard-disk installation

Alpine Linux was designed with security in mind. The kernel is patched with an unofficial port of grsecurity/PaX, and all userland binaries are compiled as Position Independent Executables (PIE) with stack smashing protection. These proactive security features prevent exploitation of entire classes of zero-day and other vulnerabilities. When Alpine Linux is installed to hard drive or as LXD VM, upgrading to a newer stable version is straightforward.

Make a backup of your LXD container

Type the following command to create container snapshots:
$ lxc snapshot alpine-www01 "JUNE272018"
Verify it:
$ lxc info alpine-www01
Sample outputs:

Name: alpine-www01
Remote: unix://
Architecture: x86_64
Created: 2017/07/17 11:38 UTC
Status: Running
Type: persistent
Profiles: default
Pid: 2652
  eth0:	inet	veth0H03I3
  eth0:	inet6	fe80::216:3eff:fe1c:8793	veth0H03I3
  lo:	inet
  lo:	inet6	::1
  Processes: 38
  CPU usage:
    CPU usage (in seconds): 88
  Memory usage:
    Memory (current): 65.80MB
    Memory (peak): 80.70MB
  Network usage:
      Bytes received: 5.97MB
      Bytes sent: 3.23MB
      Packets received: 51890
      Packets sent: 30849
      Bytes received: 246.80kB
      Bytes sent: 246.80kB
      Packets received: 1840
      Packets sent: 1840
  Dec052017 (taken at 2017/12/05 07:33 UTC) (stateless)
  JUNE272018 (taken at 2018/06/26 22:54 UTC) (stateless)

Now login to your Alpine Linux box/LXD VM using ssh command or lxc command.

Find out your Alpine Linux version

Type the following command:
$ cat /etc/alpine-release

How to upgrading to latest release

Edit /etc/apk/repositories file, enter:
# vi /etc/apk/repositories
Change the version number by hand. For example, the default entry for 3.4 is as follows:
To update to 3.5.xx, enter:
Change the version number by hand. For example, the default entry for 3.5 is as follows:
To update to 3.5.xx, enter:
Change the version number by hand. For example, the default entry for 3.6 is as follows:
Make sure you change the version number by hand. For example, the default entry for 3.7 is as follows:
To update to 3.8.xx, enter:
Save and close the file. Next grab the latest index using apk command:
# apk update
Sample outputs:

v3.8.0-4-gc5ede23c7e []
v3.8.0-4-gc5ede23c7e []
OK: 9599 distinct packages available

To upgrade all your packages, run apk command:
# apk upgrade --available
# apk upgrade --purge
Sample outputs:

Upgrading critical system libraries and apk-tools:
(1/3) Installing libressl2.7-libcrypto (2.7.4-r0)
(2/3) Installing libressl2.7-libssl (2.7.4-r0)
(3/3) Upgrading apk-tools (2.9.1-r2 -> 2.10.0-r0)
Executing busybox-1.27.2-r11.trigger
Executing ca-certificates-20171114-r0.trigger
Continuing the upgrade transaction with new apk-tools:
(1/41) Upgrading musl (1.1.18-r3 -> 1.1.19-r10)
(2/41) Upgrading busybox (1.27.2-r11 -> 1.28.4-r0)
(3/41) Upgrading alpine-baselayout (3.0.5-r2 -> 3.1.0-r0)
Executing alpine-baselayout-3.1.0-r0.pre-upgrade
(4/41) Upgrading openrc (0.24.1-r4 -> 0.35.5-r4)
(5/41) Upgrading alpine-conf (3.7.0-r1 -> 3.8.0-r0)
(6/41) Installing libressl2.7-libtls (2.7.4-r0)
(7/41) Upgrading ssl_client (1.27.2-r11 -> 1.28.4-r0)
(8/41) Upgrading busybox-suid (1.27.2-r11 -> 1.28.4-r0)
(9/41) Upgrading busybox-initscripts (3.1-r2 -> 3.1-r3)
(10/41) Upgrading scanelf (1.2.2-r1 -> 1.2.3-r0)
(11/41) Upgrading musl-utils (1.1.18-r3 -> 1.1.19-r10)
(12/41) Upgrading alpine-base (3.7.0-r0 -> 3.8.0-r0)
(13/41) Upgrading pkgconf (1.3.10-r0 -> 1.5.1-r0)
(14/41) Upgrading ncurses-terminfo-base (6.0_p20171125-r0 -> 6.1-r0)
(15/41) Upgrading ncurses-terminfo (6.0_p20171125-r0 -> 6.1-r0)
(16/41) Upgrading ncurses-libs (6.0_p20171125-r0 -> 6.1-r0)
(17/41) Upgrading bash-completion (2.7-r3 -> 2.8-r0)
(18/41) Upgrading ca-certificates (20171114-r0 -> 20171114-r3)
(19/41) Upgrading libssh2 (1.8.0-r2 -> 1.8.0-r3)
(20/41) Upgrading pcre2 (10.30-r0 -> 10.31-r0)
(21/41) Upgrading git (2.15.2-r0 -> 2.18.0-r0)
(22/41) Upgrading git-bash-completion (2.15.2-r0 -> 2.18.0-r0)
(23/41) Upgrading libressl (2.6.5-r0 -> 2.7.4-r0)
(24/41) Upgrading logrotate (3.13.0-r0 -> 3.14.0-r0)
(25/41) Upgrading mariadb-common (10.1.32-r0 -> 10.2.15-r0)
(26/41) Installing libgcc (6.4.0-r8)
(27/41) Installing libstdc++ (6.4.0-r8)
(28/41) Upgrading mariadb-client (10.1.32-r0 -> 10.2.15-r0)
(29/41) Upgrading mysql-client (10.1.32-r0 -> 10.2.15-r0)
(30/41) Upgrading libbsd (0.8.6-r1 -> 0.8.6-r2)
(31/41) Upgrading pcre (8.41-r1 -> 8.42-r0)
(32/41) Upgrading nginx (1.12.2-r3 -> 1.14.0-r0)
Executing nginx-1.14.0-r0.pre-upgrade
(33/41) Replacing php5 (5.6.36-r0 -> 5.6.36-r0)
(34/41) Replacing php5-common (5.6.36-r0 -> 5.6.36-r0)
(35/41) Upgrading libxml2 (2.9.7-r0 -> 2.9.8-r0)
(36/41) Upgrading freetype (2.8.1-r3 -> 2.9.1-r1)
(37/41) Upgrading libjpeg-turbo (1.5.2-r0 -> 1.5.3-r1)
(38/41) Upgrading libintl ( ->
(39/41) Upgrading libwebp (0.6.0-r1 -> 1.0.0-r0)
(40/41) Upgrading vnstat (1.17-r0 -> 1.18-r0)
(41/41) Purging libressl2.6-libtls (2.6.5-r0)
Executing busybox-1.28.4-r0.trigger
Executing ca-certificates-20171114-r3.trigger
OK: 107 MiB in 71 packages

Restart the server/VM container:
# sync
# reboot

Verify it:
$ cat /etc/alpine-release

Conclusion – Upgrade Alpine Linux

And there you have it, Alpine Linux upgraded from version 3.7 to 3.8. For more information see

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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3 comment

  1. RUN echo '' | tee -a /etc/apk/repositories \
    && echo '' | tee -a /etc/apk/repositories \
    && apk upgrade --purge

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