This article on using Alpine Linux for Docker microcontainers is interesting and seems to be a valid way to make containers significantly more lightweight.
I didn’t recall much about Alpine Linux so I fired up a Virtual Box and installed it. It’s definitely small. It uses BusyBox and libc is different from the standard. Python was there and it has a package manager which works well enough.
It didn’t pick up the name servers with DHCP so I kept having to manually configure resolve.conf. That’s a problem I’m sure could be solved with some research and time.
The most heartbreaking thing is that GNU Emacs doesn’t work with that clib and seems that it’s not going to.
In the end I decided it was nice and small, but really if I need to run Linux in a persistent instance, I much prefer Ubuntu Server.
If I ever do deploy something using Docker, then Alpine is certainly worth consiering if it supports the app and it’s libraries.