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Wolfi OS

Wolfi is a community Linux OS designed for the container and cloud-native era. Chainguard started the Wolfi project to enable building Chainguard Images, our collection of curated distroless images that meet the requirements of a secure software supply chain. This required a Linux distribution with components at the appropriate granularity and with support for both glibc and musl, something that was not yet available in the cloud-native Linux ecosystem.

Wolfi is a stripped-down distro designed for the cloud-native era. It doesn't have a kernel of its own, instead relying on the environment (such as the container runtime) to provide one. This separation of concerns in Wolfi means it is adaptable to a range of environments.

Wolfi Features

Wolfi, whose name was inspired by the world's smallest octopus, has some key features that differentiates it from other distributions that focus on container/cloud-native environments:

  • Provides a high-quality, build-time SBOM as standard for all packages
  • Packages are designed to be granular and independent, to support minimal images
  • Uses the proven and reliable apk package format
  • Fully declarative and reproducible build system
  • Designed to support glibc and musl

Where's the Source?

  • bootstrap-stage1 contains the stage1 bootstrap repository which is used with Alpine.
  • bootstrap-stage2 contains the stage2 bootstrap repository which is used with Alpine and the stage1 toolchain to bootstrap stage3.
  • bootstrap-stage3 contains the stage3 bootstrap repository which is a micro GNU/Linux distribution built with stage2 and used to bootstrap Wolfi.
  • os contains the core Wolfi OS repository.


What is Wolfi and how does it compare to Alpine?

Wolfi is a Linux undistro designed from the ground up to support newer computing paradigms such as containers. Although Wolfi has a few similar design principles as Alpine (such as using apk), it is a different distribution that is focused on supply chain security. Unlike Alpine, Wolfi does not currently build its own Linux kernel, instead relying on the host environment (e.g. a container runtime) to provide one.

Is Wolfi free to use?

Yes, Wolfi is free and will always be.

Can I use Wolfi on the Desktop?

No. Wolfi is an un-distro, or distroless base to be used within the container / OCI ecosystem. Desktop distributions require additional software that is out of scope for Wolfi's roadmap.

Who maintains Wolfi?

Wolfi was created and is currently maintained by Chainguard.

What are the plans for long-term Wolfi governance?

We intend for Wolfi to be a community-driven project, which means over time it will have multi-vendor governance and maintainers. For now we're focused on building the project and community, and will revisit this in several months when a community has formed.

Where can I get security feeds for Wolfi?

See for information about reporting security incidents concerning and consuming security data about Wolfi.


  1. os Public

    Main package repository for production Wolfi images

    Shell 349 63


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