I'm fiddling with a Docker image, built from a Virtualbox VM using Packer. The image is Alpine Linux 5.3.0, but apk seems to have been removed.

How can I reinstall apk, or build it from source? Googling seems only to yield results on people installing packages, or Android apps!

2 Answers 2


Probably you mean v3.5.0.

The easier way is (if your architecture is x86_64):

wget http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3.5/main/x86_64/apk-tools-static-2.6.8-r1.apk

And then unpack the downloaded file:

tar -zxvf apk-tools-static-2.6.8-r1.apk

You'll find in the unpacked apk the apk.static file, that you can use to install apk-tools.

More info here: https://wiki.alpinelinux.org/wiki/Upgrading_Alpine

Of course, if your architecture is x86, the url is:

wget http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3.5/main/x86/apk-tools-static-2.6.8-r1.apk

Anyway, the package you need is "apk-tools".


One addition to Francesco's answer (since I don't have the reputation to comment yet):

You may need to use the curl command with the -o flag instead of wget, depending on how your container is configured. (If you get a wget: command not found message, that's probably a good fallback.)


Edit: Also, it looks from the "packages" page like they may have removed this minor version in favor of 2.6.9:


... so the command set I ended up using was more like:

curl -o apk-tools-static-2.6.8-r1.apk http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3.5/main/x86_64/apk-tools-static-2.6.9-r0.apk
tar -zxvf apk-tools-static-2.6.8-r1.apk
cd sbin
sudo ./apk.static -X http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/latest-stable/main -U --allow-untrusted --initdb add apk-tools-static
sudo apk.static update
sudo ./apk.static -X http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/latest-stable/main -U --allow-untrusted add apk-tools
sudo apk update

... etc.,.

Usual disclaimer: If you can run things without using sudo, you really should do that. My situation is not your situation. Try everything without sudo first.

  • wget as it is used is not GNU wget, rather is built-in with busybox. So you don't need to install curl. Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 14:27
  • Thanks. This worked perfectly for me Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 4:00

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