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Alpaquita Linux supports containerised Java applications by BellSoft

Published on Oct 22, 2022

BellSoft has released Alpaquita Linux, an operating system based on Alpine Linux that is optimised for containerised Java applications. Docker images with Liberica JDK or JRE, as well as Native Image Kits based upon GraalVM are available.

You may also install Alpaquita Linux by using Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), Linux repositories, or an ISO image.

Alpaquita Linux offers several additional benefits, such as LTS releases, support for the musl and glibc C standard libraries, and fast security patches for both the operating system and Java. Kernel lockdown is one of the security features that prevents an individual from directly or indirectly accessing a running kernel image. A kernel module signing option works with SHA-512 to prevent the loading of modules with invalid keys or unsigned modules. As a result of the small number of operating system components, the attack surface is reduced. The -Wformat-security argument, which warns about format functions that may cause security issues in userspace, facilitates hardening.

Operating systems support kernel module compression, and contain the malloc implementations mimalloc, jemalloc, and rpmalloc.

It is the only Linux operating system optimised for Java applications with a TCK-verified runtime and optimised memory usage.

BellSoft provides four years of Long Term Support (LTS) for Long Term Support (LTS) releases, which is two years more than Alpine Linux. This year’s LTS will be released, and the next one will be released in 2024. Various commercial support plans are available from BellSoft.

Alpaquita Linux Docker images based on musl are 3.22 MB and glibc images are 7.8 MB. This is a bit larger than Alpine Docker images, which start at less than 2.5 MB. Additionally, Docker images with Python or GCC are available.

Alternatively, Java applications may be run on the Liberica Runtime Container, based on Alpaquita Linux. Docker images are available for Java 8, 11 and 17, where the smallest JRE and JDK images are less than 75MB. The images are based on Liberica Lite, which is optimised for size, performance, and cloud deployment.

Another alternative based on Alpaquita Linux is the Liberica Native Image Kit (NIK), which uses GraalVM. Docker images are available for Java 11 and Java 17, with Java 17 images starting at a bit over 308 MB. This kit can be used to compile JVM applications into ahead-of-time compiled native executables that offer faster startup times and lower memory consumption than traditional applications. A binary executable file contains the application, its dependencies, and runtime components, including the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). You may convert applications written in JVM languages such as Java, Kotlin, Scala, and Groovy into executables. This Native Image Kit is compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS on machines with x86, x64, or ARM processors (only Linux).

Together with Liberica JDK Lite and Liberica Native Image Kit (NIK), Alpaquita Linux is part of the Alpaquita Cloud Native Platform.

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