How to upgrade Alpine Linux 3.11 to 3.12

I am using Alpine Linux v3.10 or v3.11 with my LXD server. How do I upgrade Alpine Linux v3.10 to Alpine Linux v3.12? How can I upgrade Alpine Linux v3.11 to Alpine Linux v3.12?

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.


How to upgrade Alpine Linux

When Alpine Linux is installed to hard drive or cloud server, upgrading to a newer stable version is easy:

  1. Edit /etc/apk/repositories file, run: vi /etc/apk/repositories
  2. Change the version number by hand. For example, Alpine 3.11 to 3.12
  3. Save and close the file
  4. Fetch latest index by running the apk update
  5. Upgrade all your Alpine Linux packages: apk upgrade --available && sync
  6. Reboot the system, run: reboot

Let us see all commands and examples in details.

Make a backup of your LXD container

Type the following command to create container snapshots:
$ lxc snapshot alpine-www01 "JUN052020"
Verify it:
$ lxc info alpine-www01
Sample outputs:

Name: alpine-www01
Remote: unix://
Architecture: x86_64
Created: 2019/01/04 06:25 UTC
Status: Running
Type: persistent
Profiles: default
Pid: 28917
  lo:	inet
  lo:	inet6	::1
  eth0:	inet	vethJ4APTV
  eth0:	inet6	fe80::216:3eff:fee6:6afa	vethJ4APTV
  Processes: 34
  CPU usage:
    CPU usage (in seconds): 3
  Memory usage:
    Memory (current): 201.15MB
    Memory (peak): 203.21MB
  Network usage:
      Bytes received: 87.31kB
      Bytes sent: 435.99kB
      Packets received: 384
      Packets sent: 333
      Bytes received: 17.74kB
      Bytes sent: 17.74kB
      Packets received: 30
      Packets sent: 30
  Feb-03-2019 (taken at 2019/02/02 18:38 UTC) (stateless)
  mar-04-2019 (taken at 2019/03/04 16:23 UTC) (stateless)
  may-04-2019 (taken at 2019/05/03 21:56 UTC) (stateless)
  June-21-2019 (taken at 2019/06/20 19:58 UTC) (stateless)
  June-24-2019 (taken at 2019/06/23 20:29 UTC) (stateless)
  DEC232019 (taken at 2019/12/23 18:20 UTC) (stateless)
  JUN052020 (taken at 2020/06/05 10:45 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

Apply all pending updates for 3.11.xx

Simply run the apk command:
# apk update
# apk upgrade

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:
For example, 3.11.xx it is as follows:
So make it as follows for 3.12.xx upgrade, enter:
Save and close the file. Here is my sample config file displayed using cat command:
# cat /etc/apk/repositories
Sample outputs:

Next, grab the latest index using apk command:
# apk update
Sample outputs:

v3.12.0-45-g0e4d4e3558 []
v3.12.0-47-gda1c1b9ae4 []
OK: 12830 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:
(1/1) Upgrading apk-tools (2.10.5-r0 -> 2.10.5-r1)
Executing busybox-1.31.1-r9.trigger
Continuing the upgrade transaction with new apk-tools:
(1/106) Upgrading musl (1.1.24-r2 -> 1.1.24-r8)
(2/106) Upgrading busybox (1.31.1-r9 -> 1.31.1-r16)
(3/106) Upgrading alpine-baselayout (3.2.0-r3 -> 3.2.0-r7)
Executing alpine-baselayout-3.2.0-r7.pre-upgrade
(4/106) Upgrading openrc (0.42.1-r2 -> 0.42.1-r10)
(5/106) Upgrading alpine-conf (3.8.3-r6 -> 3.9.0-r1)
(6/106) Replacing libcrypto1.1 (1.1.1g-r0 -> 1.1.1g-r0)
(7/106) Replacing libssl1.1 (1.1.1g-r0 -> 1.1.1g-r0)
(8/106) Purging ca-certificates-cacert (20191127-r2)
(9/106) Installing ca-certificates-bundle (20191127-r3)
(10/106) Upgrading libtls-standalone (2.9.1-r0 -> 2.9.1-r1)
(11/106) Upgrading ssl_client (1.31.1-r9 -> 1.31.1-r16)
(12/106) Replacing zlib (1.2.11-r3 -> 1.2.11-r3)
(13/106) Upgrading busybox-suid (1.31.1-r9 -> 1.31.1-r16)
(14/106) Replacing busybox-initscripts (3.2-r2 -> 3.2-r2)
(15/106) Upgrading scanelf (1.2.4-r0 -> 1.2.6-r0)
(16/106) Upgrading musl-utils (1.1.24-r2 -> 1.1.24-r8)
(17/106) Upgrading libc-utils (0.7.2-r0 -> 0.7.2-r3)
(18/106) Upgrading alpine-keys (2.1-r2 -> 2.2-r0)
(19/106) Upgrading alpine-base (3.11.6-r0 -> 3.12.0-r0)
(20/106) Upgrading ncurses-terminfo-base (6.1_p20200118-r4 -> 6.2_p20200523-r0)
(21/106) Upgrading ncurses-libs (6.1_p20200118-r4 -> 6.2_p20200523-r0)
(22/106) Upgrading readline (8.0.1-r0 -> 8.0.4-r0)
(23/106) Upgrading bash (5.0.11-r1 -> 5.0.17-r0)
(24/106) Upgrading pkgconf (1.6.3-r0 -> 1.7.2-r0)
(25/106) Upgrading bash-completion (2.9-r0 -> 2.10-r0)
(26/106) Upgrading openrc-bash-completion (0.42.1-r2 -> 0.42.1-r10)
(27/106) Upgrading bash-doc (5.0.11-r1 -> 5.0.17-r0)
(28/106) Replacing bc (1.07.1-r1 -> 1.07.1-r1)
(29/106) Upgrading ca-certificates (20191127-r2 -> 20191127-r3)
(30/106) Upgrading nghttp2-libs (1.40.0-r0 -> 1.41.0-r0)
(31/106) Upgrading libcurl (7.67.0-r0 -> 7.69.1-r0)
(32/106) Upgrading curl (7.67.0-r0 -> 7.69.1-r0)
(33/106) Replacing expat (2.2.9-r1 -> 2.2.9-r1)
(34/106) Upgrading pcre2 (10.34-r1 -> 10.35-r0)
(35/106) Upgrading git (2.24.3-r0 -> 2.26.2-r0)
(36/106) Upgrading git-bash-completion (2.24.3-r0 -> 2.26.2-r0)
(37/106) Replacing htop (2.2.0-r0 -> 2.2.0-r0)
(38/106) Replacing less (551-r0 -> 551-r0)
(39/106) Replacing less-doc (551-r0 -> 551-r0)
(40/106) Installing libressl3.1-libcrypto (3.1.2-r0)
(41/106) Installing libressl3.1-libssl (3.1.2-r0)
(42/106) Installing libressl3.1-libtls (3.1.2-r0)
(43/106) Upgrading libressl (3.0.2-r0 -> 3.1.2-r0)
(44/106) Replacing popt (1.16-r7 -> 1.16-r7)
(45/106) Upgrading logrotate (3.15.1-r0 -> 3.16.0-r0)
(46/106) Upgrading logrotate-openrc (3.15.1-r0 -> 3.16.0-r0)
(47/106) Upgrading man-pages (5.04-r0 -> 5.06-r1)
(48/106) Replacing mariadb-common (10.4.13-r0 -> 10.4.13-r0)
(49/106) Upgrading libgcc (9.2.0-r4 -> 9.3.0-r2)
(50/106) Upgrading libstdc++ (9.2.0-r4 -> 9.3.0-r2)
(51/106) Replacing mariadb-client (10.4.13-r0 -> 10.4.13-r0)
(52/106) Replacing mysql-client (10.4.13-r0 -> 10.4.13-r0)
(53/106) Replacing libbsd (0.10.0-r0 -> 0.10.0-r0)
(54/106) Replacing netcat-openbsd (1.130-r1 -> 1.130-r1)
(55/106) Upgrading pcre (8.43-r0 -> 8.44-r0)
(56/106) Upgrading nginx (1.16.1-r6 -> 1.18.0-r0)
Executing nginx-1.18.0-r0.pre-upgrade
(57/106) Replacing openssl (1.1.1g-r0 -> 1.1.1g-r0)
(58/106) Replacing php7-common (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(59/106) Replacing argon2-libs (20190702-r1 -> 20190702-r1)
(60/106) Upgrading libedit (20191211.3.1-r0 -> 20191231.3.1-r0)
(61/106) Upgrading xz-libs (5.2.4-r0 -> 5.2.5-r0)
(62/106) Upgrading libxml2 (2.9.10-r3 -> 2.9.10-r4)
(63/106) Replacing php7 (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(64/106) Replacing php7-curl (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(65/106) Replacing php7-fpm (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(66/106) Replacing libxau (1.0.9-r0 -> 1.0.9-r0)
(67/106) Replacing libxdmcp (1.1.3-r0 -> 1.1.3-r0)
(68/106) Upgrading libxcb (1.13.1-r0 -> 1.14-r1)
(69/106) Replacing libx11 (1.6.9-r0 -> 1.6.9-r0)
(70/106) Replacing libxext (1.3.4-r0 -> 1.3.4-r0)
(71/106) Replacing libice (1.0.10-r0 -> 1.0.10-r0)
(72/106) Upgrading libuuid (2.34-r1 -> 2.35.2-r0)
(73/106) Replacing libsm (1.2.3-r0 -> 1.2.3-r0)
(74/106) Replacing libxt (1.2.0-r0 -> 1.2.0-r0)
(75/106) Replacing libxpm (3.5.13-r0 -> 3.5.13-r0)
(76/106) Installing brotli-libs (1.0.7-r5)
(77/106) Replacing libbz2 (1.0.8-r1 -> 1.0.8-r1)
(78/106) Replacing libpng (1.6.37-r1 -> 1.6.37-r1)
(79/106) Upgrading freetype (2.10.1-r0 -> 2.10.2-r0)
(80/106) Upgrading libjpeg-turbo (2.0.4-r0 -> 2.0.4-r1)
(81/106) Upgrading libwebp (1.0.3-r0 -> 1.1.0-r0)
(82/106) Replacing php7-gd (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(83/106) Upgrading libintl (0.20.1-r2 -> 0.20.2-r0)
(84/106) Replacing php7-gettext (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(85/106) Replacing php7-json (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(86/106) Replacing php7-openssl (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(87/106) Replacing php7-mysqlnd (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(88/106) Replacing php7-mysqli (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(89/106) Replacing php7-opcache (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(90/106) Replacing php7-phar (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(91/106) Replacing php7-session (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(92/106) Replacing php7-simplexml (7.3.18-r0 -> 7.3.18-r0)
(93/106) Upgrading socat ( ->
(94/106) Replacing stunnel (5.56-r1 -> 5.56-r1)
(95/106) Replacing stunnel-openrc (5.56-r1 -> 5.56-r1)
(96/106) Replacing stunnel-doc (5.56-r1 -> 5.56-r1)
(97/106) Upgrading libgd (2.2.5-r3 -> 2.3.0-r1)
(98/106) Upgrading sqlite-libs (3.30.1-r2 -> 3.32.1-r0)
(99/106) Upgrading vnstat (2.4-r1 -> 2.6-r1)
(100/106) Upgrading vnstat-openrc (2.4-r1 -> 2.6-r1)
(101/106) Installing libunistring (0.9.10-r0)
(102/106) Installing libidn2 (2.3.0-r0)
(103/106) Upgrading wget (1.20.3-r0 -> 1.20.3-r1)
(104/106) Purging libressl3.0-libtls (3.0.2-r0)
(105/106) Purging libressl3.0-libssl (3.0.2-r0)
(106/106) Purging libressl3.0-libcrypto (3.0.2-r0)
Executing busybox-1.31.1-r16.trigger
Executing ca-certificates-20191127-r3.trigger
Executing mdocml-apropos-1.14.5-r1.trigger
OK: 112 MiB in 106 packages

Restart the server/VM container:
# sync
# reboot

Verify it:
$ cat /etc/alpine-release

Another alternative is to query /etc/issue:
# cat /etc/issue

Welcome to Alpine Linux 3.12
Kernel \r on an \m (\l)

Conclusion – Upgrade Alpine Linux

And there you have it, Alpine Linux upgraded from version 3.11 to 3.12. For more information see

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3 comments… add one
  • Dimdo Feb 6, 2017 @ 15:29

    Why two slashes?

  • Legion Anonymous Feb 17, 2017 @ 3:33

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

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