I am trying to test some software on Alpine Linux. I need to make some configuration changes so I need Emacs. emacs is the name of the package per Alpine Linux | Emacs. apk add emacs is failing due to missing package.

According to Alpine Linux package management | Search for Packages I am supposed to be able to locate the package with one of these commands:

$ apk search emacs

$ apk search -v emacs

$ apk search -v 'emacs*' 

What is the name of the Emacs package in Alpine Linux? Or, if the name is correct, how do I install it?

Here's the error I am trying to work around. I assume I have the wrong package name, and I need something like emacs-24.5 or emacs-nox.

# apk add emacs
ERROR: unsatisfied constraints
  emacs (missing)
    required by: world[emacs]
  • The package name seems right. Which Alpine version?
    – valiano
    Dec 2, 2018 at 9:29
  • 1
    I think you’re missing the community repository in ‘/etc/apk/repositories’ (ships as commented out)
    – Winny
    Dec 2, 2018 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


I know the question is quite a bit old, but a detailed answer can still be helpful for those who reach it. You have to make sure that the community package source is enabled and that your packages list is up to date.

  • Start by editing the repositories file
# vi /etc/apk/repositories/
  • Make sure that the packages list is up to date.
# apk update
  • Install the desired package, in this case, emacs.
# apk add emacs

It is usually not a problem, but if at this point the issue is still not resolved, also check in the alpine packages search if the package is available for your correct computer architecture (can be checked on terminal with uname -m) and operating system version (can be checked on terminal with cat /etc/os-release).

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