Package management

Chimera uses apk-tools (Alpine Package Keeper) as its system package manager. Since Chimera uses the next-generation version 3 of the package manager which Alpine is not yet using, there are some differences.

Additionally, there are some things to currently keep in mind because of Chimera being in an early state.

Basic usage

There is only one command, apk. Everything you might want to do is a subcommand of it. There is in general a --help for every command.

To cover the basics, this is how you refresh the index:

# apk update

This is how you install something:

# apk add linux

This is how you remove something:

# apk del bash

This is how you upgrade your system:

# apk upgrade

There is also the --available flag for apk upgrade, which was formerly recommended. It is no longer necessary to use this flag in most cases, with the default --latest flag being the correct one.

This is because Chimera now increments revision numbers, which means it is not necessary to force the versions from repository anymore. It may still be a good idea to run it every once in a while, e.g. when a package gets downgraded, but be careful with it, as it may result in some unintended consequences (e.g. packages that installed themselves through install_if will get removed if they are not found in any repository).

If updates introduce some file conflicts, which may happen this early in the development cycle (but will not happen once more stable, at least not intentionally), this will usually solve it:

# apk fix

You can also use apk fix to reinstall packages.

To search for a package in the repositories:

# apk search firefox

Virtual packages

You can also install packages by virtual names instead of by their real names. Several things follow a standard convention for virtual provider names: commands, shared libraries and pkg-config files. This convention consists of a prefix (cmd:, so:, pc:) plus the name.

That means if you want to add the package that provides a command foo, you can simply add it as it is:

# apk add cmd:foo


By default, you will get packages from the main repository. However, Chimera also has packages in the contrib repository, which contains extra software unsuitable for main. This includes a large amount of non-default GUI software, for instance (e.g. additional web browsers).

You do not need to manually change any config files to enable it. The simplest way to get it is the following:

# apk add chimera-repo-contrib

Afterwards simply refresh your indexes.

Debug packages

For most packages, there are debug symbols in a separate repository. When debugging something packaged by Chimera, installing debug symbols may help get better information.

You can enable them as follows:

# apk add chimera-repo-main-debug
# apk add chimera-repo-contrib-debug

After that, refresh your indexes. The debug packages are suffixed with -dbg.