Linux on the PlayStation 3
Sony and GNU/Linux
- The Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) is the most open console system ever released
- Terra Soft worked with Sony to develop Yellow Dog Linux 5
specifically for installation on the PS3
- The Fedora project hopes to have a PS3 port available for F7
- It's possible to install Yellow Dog Linux, Fedora Core, Debian
Etch, Ubuntu, Gentoo, and probably other PowerPC (PPC)
distributions that ship with a 2.6 kernel
- PS3 is the least expensive Cell Broadband Engine (Cell BE)
- Sony has never publicly released an undetectable rootkit for Linux
- Has nine processing elements (one disabled, one reserved for OS)
- The main processor is based on a dual-core PowerPC,
called the Power Processing Element (PPE).
It coordinates number crunching in SPEs.
Shows up as dual 3.2GHz processors in /proc/cpuinfo.
- Seven Synergistic Processing Elements (SPE) each with
- a vector processor, the Synergistic Processing Unit (SPU)
- 256K private memory area (local store)
- 128 128-bit registers (normally holding 4 32-bit values)
- Memory Flow Controller (MFC) for moving data between
system memory and the local store
- 512MB RAM
- Blue-Ray Disk Drive
- Video output can be 480i with Composite or S-Video cables
- 480i, 480p, 720i, 720p, 1080i, 1080p with Component or HDMI
- Only ships with the composite video connector
- Connects with standard HDMI cable, or special PS2 or PS3 cables
- Audio output via ALSA, but the output doesn't sound right with the
kernel I'm using
- Gigabit Ethernet. No VLAN trunking or promiscuous mode.
- 802.11b/g wireless support was recently added (60GB model only)
Hardware (cont 2)
- 4 High Speed USB connectors
- Memory Stick, CompactFlash and SD reader (60GB model only)
- Most device access happens through a hypervisor that provides
virtual access to the underlying hardware
- Some device access is restricted or not currently working
- Hard Drive access to PS3 format partitions is restricted
- Direct access to Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is restricted.
X uses a virtual frame buffer with no hardware acceleration
- Game Pad does not work in Bluetooth mode and requires a driver
modification to work in USB mode (so don't expect to use it
as a mouse)
Fedora Core 6 Requirements
- An installation guide such as the one at fedora-ps3.com
- USB Keyboard (and probably a USB mouse)
- FAT format USB keychain/hard-drive, or burned CD for installing
the bootloader (Memory Stick, SD, CF cards are also options on 60GB PS3)
- DVD-ROM of Fedora Core 6 for PPC
- Linux ADDON CD-ROM from kernel.org or fedora-ps3.com
- bootloader installer from playstation.com
- bootloader files from Terra Soft or fedora-ps3.com
- You can only create a 10GB partition or use the whole hard drive.
- Make a backup of your drive (using an external USB drive) before
formatting the new partition, I did not, but some people have
reported loosing game data when formatting.
- The Fedora installation isn't the normal Anaconda installer.
There are two basic install options, full or minimal install.
- If the PlayStation has problems booting linux, turn it off and
then hold down the power button until it beeps (5 seconds) when
powering it back on. This will cause it to boot back into the