Alpine releases version 3.15 of its Linux distribution

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Alpine releases a new version of its compact and secure Linux distribution. The distribution includes new functionality and the latest LTS Linux kernel.

Alpine 3.15 is on par with the latest LTS Linux kernel v5.15. New functionality includes the 16.13 LTS version of Node.js, as well as version 17 and GNOME 41. There is also support for UEFI secure boot on x86_64 architectures.

In addition, the latest version of Alpine has support for disk encryption in the installer and ‘out-of-tree’ kernel modules via Alpine Kernel Module Support (AKMS).

MIPS64 architecture gone

Notable in Alpine’s v3.15 is the lack of support for the MIPS64 architecture. MIPS64 was once developed as an open-source alternative to RISC-V, but has not been updated for some time. This is because RISC-V remained a popular architecture.

End of life

Alpine indicates that it considers the MIPS64 architecture to be ‘end of life’ because it is no longer possible to build packages and implement security fixes. However, the architecture remains available in older stable versions of the Alpine Linux distribution.

In addition, the removal of the technology reduces the size of the Linux distribution. Version 3.15 requires a mere 130 MB of storage, allowing the Alpine distribution to be easily deployed in containers.