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PS3 NOT Linux Powered |

Linux PenguinI’ve seen some people talk about how the PS3 is Linux powered. For example, in the link below the author says: “First off, we’re sure you’re already aware that it will be powered by Linux, for you to enjoy the internet world to the hilt. So obviously, it allows you to browse through the net. But that, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg. With individual user identities for browsing and online play, you’d simply have to select your profile, load up your personal preferences (bookmarks and individual friends lists included), and voila!

So let me clear something up for all of you. Linux will become available for the PlayStation 3 in the form of Yellow Dog Linux. This is official, and is on the Terra Soft Solutions website.

But Yellow Dog Linux is a separate thing, a separate operating system, from the PS3’s XMB-based OS. The PS3 will come with its own PS3 pre-installed, and it isn’t Yellow Dog Linux. That’s everything that’s been released up to now. Now, it may very well be true that the PS3’s OS might be based on Linux in some way, with the XMB GUI plastered on top. But we don’t know that. My guess is that the PS3’s OS is Sony’s own concoction, because that way they can run it as close to the metal as they want.

Just had to clear that up.

Probing deeper into the PS3’s online services

  • So its not Linux powered because you think its not? You need to learn about how OS’s work. Its entirely possible it sits on a Linux Kernal. I mean the Xbox OS ran on top of a Windows 2000 Kernal.

  • Not because he thinks that, but because, as he said, that is the information available currently! There is no indication, so far, that the PS3 OS is Linux based…

    Everything is possible, of course. But that’s why I like this blog: it sticks to facts.

  • Not really, I’ve noticed several times when they’ve spouted **** on here 😛

    [Edited for language.]

  • Most of it seems to come from a reader named “Rich”.

    If you read my article, you’ll see that I mentioned that the PS3’s native OS could in fact be sitting on Linux. It’s just that there has been no indication whatsoever from any even semi-official source that this is the case. Which, well, is basically what I said in my article, if you chose to read what I said instead of what you wanted to hear.

  • I read it, ***. In the title you say that its NOT, You can’t have a conclusion in the title of an article then go to say you don’t know if its true or not.

    [Edited for language.]

  • I also dont think, Sony would base the XMB on a linux kernel…

    You know why? They would need to release the COMPLETE source code for this OS, because the GNU/GPL licences force you to do that. (German courts already have forced several companys (DLink or Linksys for example) to release the source code, because they used GPL’d code (which FORCES you to release all work based on it, thats at least how I interpret it))

    Thats not a problem though, as Linux is still released for the PS3 (which REALLY makes me happy. Maybe I can then learn how to program, at least a little bit, my IT class started today :D).

    I still want to know, how the Hypervisor works and how much “to the metal” one can use the PS3 on Linux (meaning directly programming OpenGL to use for the PS3 or complete access to the SPEs and all that stuff).

    They real problem I see for Sony is, also Linux. If you have a pretty much open “to the metal” Kernel, hacking the complete system is done in days (much faster than with the PSP, which also was hacked in less than a month).

    Man, I just wished, I could add more RAM to the PS3, to use it as a REAL computer 😀 Think of it, rendering my 3D (max) scenes with the 8 Cores on the PS3 will rock!! (I already render with 3 PCs simultaneously…). But 256/512MB are MUCH TOO less for this kind of work, although much of it is just streaming stuff (Max Ray and all that, for which my dated Barton 2500+ is much too slow). Or transcoding videos on it… MAN I AM PSYCHED!!

  • Rich: Sure I can. I just did. The fact is that there is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that the PS3’s OS is based on Linux. In the same way, I could say “There are no aliens living in my basement.” Now, it’s not 100% certain that nothing green and other-worldy is making a nest in my basement, but given the lack of evidence to the contrary, people wouldn’t really mind if I said that. As a matter of fact, they would look at me askance if I asserted that aliens do live in my basement, without any evidence.

  • Anonymous
  • Yeah, and I too did some research about it, and I think I am going to get the Linux kit for my PS2 soon (35 bucks with VGA cable and shipping, nice price!!).

    You CAN program to the metal, both the Emotion Engine and the Graphics synthesizer! I wasnt aware of THAT! The only thing you cant do, is use the optical drive with discs other than original PS1 and PS2 games.

    This sourcecode however Anonymous, is just the Linux kernel. I was talking about the “kernel” that drives the XMB. If Sony used a kernel to boot the XMB Sony is forced to release that source code too (and all derived work done to it). If that was the case, the PS3 will be hacked within MINUTES! And I dont think, that is going to happen any time soon. I think, the XMB will be a simple embedded solution, which is basically comparable to a BIOS on a normal computer, which is then able to boot a Linux kernel directly. This (if done correctly) is the safest solution for Sony and also is a normal approach to such things.

    I just hope, that NVidia releases 1) a good driver for YDL and 2) a good SDK. The Cell SDK is already confirmed to be included, which is a MAJOR plus for homebrewers and hobby coders alike.

    The good thing is, that the PS3 is a closed system, so drivers and all that stuff is not a problem at all. I mean, I grew up with my Amiga 500 (now I have a 1200 😀 Ebay !!) and the demoscene rocked. I mean, think of the possibilities, the PS3 gives all those guys with an open SDK and OSS OS!

  • You need to watch your foul language, Rich. If you can’t express your opinion without resorting to abuse you won’t be welcome here.

  • Dingo

    If there is no proof it is based on a Linux kernel, there is also no proof it is not. Hence, it is equally wrong to state “PS3 NOT Linux Powered” than it is to state “PS3 Linux Powered”.

    In fact, since the first OS to be customized by IBM to run CELL was Linux, there are reasons to believe Sony took that and built on top of it.