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 --available

This is currently very important. The upgrade sub-command has the flags --latest (default) and --available. The --latest flag will prefer packages by latest version, which is what you’d usually want.

However, since Chimera is in development, it does not yet increment revision numbers when doing package updates. That means packages may get silently rebuilt without bumping the version. That is why you should currently always use the –available flag when updating.

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

Repositories

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.

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.