PS3 Firmware Update 3.21: Bye Bye Linux

It was rumored not to long ago that in the next firmware update Sony would have the “Other OS” feature removed from older PS3’s. Today it has been confirmed by Patrick Seybold the Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media. The update will be released this coming Thursday and according to Sony it’s due to security reasons. This also doesn’t seem like much of an option. If you refuse to pull the latest firmware update you will be unable to do the following:

  • Ability to sign in to PlayStation Network and use network features that require signing in to PlayStation Network, such as online features of PS3 games and chat
  • Playback of PS3 software titles or Blu-ray Disc videos that require PS3 system software version 3.21 or later
  • Playback of copyright-protected videos that are stored on a media server (when DTCP-IP is enabled under Settings)
  • Use of new features and improvements that are available on PS3 system software 3.21 or later

What are your thoughts?


Written by: Luke - News Contributor


  1. #1 by Corey on March 28th, 2010

    Who cares

  2. #2 by Sylvrfonic on March 28th, 2010

    I’ve run yellow dog distro of Linux on my launch 60 for a while. So, I do care. I can not blame Sony for taking steps to curb piracy on the system.

    This is a prime example of how piracy hurts honest end users. This includes the fairly small subset of honest end users who may want to “crack” the PS3 for reasons other than stealing software.

    I would also like to say that it was pretty ballsy of Sony to support this feature in the first place. It’s more than other platform holders had attempted so hopefully some people will keep that in mind.

    Sony has a responsibility to protect the property of content developers and license holders who shell out big money to make software for the system and rely on game sales to continue to make great content and pay the people that make it happen.

  3. #3 by Emrah on March 28th, 2010 [ 7319 Points ]

    This may well be a pre-made april 1st joke.

  4. #4 by Macdory on March 29th, 2010 [ 3445 Points ]

    Seems like a strange backward step – or is it just an April Fools?

  5. #5 by Gibb on March 29th, 2010 [ 2415 Points ]

    Wasn’t this denied by a Sony representative earlier this month?

  6. #6 by Luke on March 29th, 2010 [ 27382 Points ]

    Anything is possible but I don’t think it is. This is taken from GeoHot’s Blog:

    “As some people in the comments called, it’s an RCO file edit, just like RCO edits on the PSP(almost same format too). RCO files are resource files for VSH plugins, live in the dev_flash, and aren’t signed. To edit them on your system, patch your hypervisor to allow encrypted access to the partition(flash on old systems, hd on new), and mod ps3pf_storage. dev_flash is just a FAT partition, mount it in Linux and change what you’d like.”

    It seems like Linux is letting people do more things then Sony wants, who knows if through Linux you can eventually hack the PS3 system.

    In all honesty it seems like we can thank him for screwing this up for the rest of us.

  7. #7 by PSP Man on March 29th, 2010

    So enough of what we can’t do. What can we do with the new update?

  8. #8 by EdEN on March 29th, 2010 [ 152201 Points ]

    I really don’t care about the loss of linux… because I own a slim. The problem I DO have right now is that I’ve been runing into erros 8002AF02 and 80710102 and haven’t been able to get online for the last week. I’ve tried turning off and unpluging the Slim, resetting the modem, resetting the router and no change at all. Any ideas?

  9. #9 by Trieloth on March 29th, 2010 [ 3426 Points ]

    @Eden just call sony.

    Iam glad they are doing this to slow down the hackers. Theres tons of cry babyies crying right now and they didnt/dont/wont use this option. Sigh

  10. #10 by Legion213 on March 29th, 2010 [ 675 Points ]

    Have you tried setting up a static IP for your PS3?

  11. #11 by EdEN on March 29th, 2010 [ 152201 Points ]

    I’ll give it a go. I’m hoping it will just magically fix itself hahaha. I’ll be out of town for a couple of days and once I’m home hopefully it will all work out.

  12. #12 by Luke on March 29th, 2010 [ 27382 Points ]

    The official PS3 Blog has over 1,100 posts about this and most people are pissed. I haven’t used this feature but have to say this was another great feature over any other console out there.

    This is going to hurt, but not enough for people to stop playing or do something about it.

  13. #13 by Tosh on March 29th, 2010 [ 1102 Points ]

    I’m impressed that the PS3 hasn’t really been fully hacked.

    What pushed this into getting removed was the hackers. I can totally see why Sony would want to remove that feature. A lot of hate is being put on Sony where it should really be put on the Hackers that ruined it for the rest of us.

    I myself was looking forward to upgrading my hard drive again and putting Linux back on ….. ah well :(

  14. #14 by Emanuelgs on March 29th, 2010

    Geohot says not to update to 3.21 cause he is looking for a way to make a custom firmware and dont lose all the features Sony is mentioning.So if u still interested in the hack dont update so soon.

  15. #15 by Luke on March 29th, 2010 [ 27382 Points ]

    Yeah but then SONY comes after us that grab the hacked firmware and we are screwed. What about us getting blocked from getting all the latest content?

  16. #16 by earl on March 29th, 2010

    I use linux on my ps3, I’m very pissed about the news. Security concerns? Fix the security issue, don’t cut out blocks of features. If people install custom firmware, sony will still be able to stop them from using PSN.

    The thing is gonna get hacked anyway, matter of time. Why piss off so many legit users? Disabling linux support will not stop anything.

  17. #17 by Luke on March 29th, 2010 [ 27382 Points ]

    Well said Earl well said. But for some reason Sony doesn’t seem to think of it that way. Even if it’s not going to get hacked, patch the stupid hole and be down with it.

  18. #18 by eigelsteinprinz on March 30th, 2010

    is that the end of linux or ps3? šŸ˜‰

    no – think it was a nice feature for nerds like me – but i did not or think about to install a linux system on my old ps3 with 60gb.

    because a os like linux is something for a pc and not for a videogame system. now

    in this case i plan to skip the lan cable and try it. i hope to write my expirence in my gaming blog

  19. #19 by Eddie on March 30th, 2010 [ 44592 Points ]

    Geohot is a prick. This entire thing (should it even be real) is because of him.

    With that said…I don’t care. I have several PC’s and I do not need linux on my PS3. What purpose it service other then a potential host for piracy, I do not know as I can do everything I need plus more on a standard pc.

    Geohot has made minimal triumphs however. He is still leagues away from having any control over the SPU’s and any software he puts out that could potentially give custom firmware will be convoluted as all hell.

    Not to mention sony will just make you upgrade on with patches to play new games and he is no where near hacking the console to do this.

    So in the end…just update your PS3 and enjoy the games.

  20. #20 by Michael on March 30th, 2010

    Well this pisses me off. I spent a good few months investigating CELL at one point and I have to choose between throwing that all away or playing games. The writing was on the wall with the slim, and IBM giving up on CELL for HPC, but I didn’t quite expect them to go this far.

    It’s nothing to do with the ‘hacker’s, its to do with corporate bastards wanting to control everything you can do with YOUR OWN HARDWARE. Anyone who doesn’t think this is a problem needs to look at the bigger picture and where this corporate control of your own property is all heading, and not just react ‘well i don’t use it so who cares/linsux/hackers suck/etc’.

    Did you buy your ps3? Is it really yours? Or are we all just paying full price to ‘rent’ it, and Sony can do what they like with it at any time. MS has already shown this for Xbox, and Apple’s products are rife with such ‘conditions’. Next you wont be able to change the OS on your desktop computer, least you be able to play HD media without going through DRM controls … (yeah, you think that sounds silly don’t you).

    I can’t even log onto the blog to complain (what little good that would do) because they’ve broken the login mechanism with god knows what horrid slow internet technology they’re using for it now.

  21. #21 by Michael on March 30th, 2010

    Just imagine if they decided to remove DLNA (media server) access …

  22. #22 by Eddie on March 30th, 2010 [ 44592 Points ]

    Michael, Sony gave us this option out of good faith. Someone ruined it. It seems your anger is misdirected.

    It is everything to do with piracy. I’m not anti piracy by anymeans. If anything I’m indifferent. But I also know that the excuses for custom firmware NOT being for piracy is BS. R4 cards, Pandora batteries, etc etc are for piracy despite what people would have you believe they are for.

    I mean think about your reason for this. Sony removed a feature that will hurt them in the long wrong, just so they can say they have control. I find that incredibly hard to swallow. I mean potential loss of revenue, bad press over a power trip?

    I mean I’m all for the (dont’ let “the man” have all the power)…but at what point do we draw the line?

  23. #23 by mcloki on March 30th, 2010

    There are not enough enthusiasts to support keeping the “Linux” option vs the potential damage/damages that could be caused.
    I understand if you use it you are pissed, But on the other hand.
    A Liniux PC is relatively cheap these days. You can buy shuttles for $99.
    I agree with you on the DLNA and UPnP support. But that is a different matter.

    AS for companies breaking their sites with DRM and slow internet technologies, It’s not logical. Websites die from indifference, if you have to log in each time to a site you eventually stop going there. Then the site withers. No one in business designs a site to wither unless they are bad businessmen.

  24. #24 by d@ve on March 30th, 2010

    Sony has now removed the following from the launch PS3:

    – USB Ports (had 4)
    – Card Reader
    – PS2 Compatibility
    – Other OS Install


    The guys at Sony used to think outside the box. However, in the last 2 years the system has started to look very normal. If I didn’t know better I’d think a M$ guys was running the ship undercover. Bad decisions SONY. I’ll be buying a SAMSUNG 3D tv for sure! At least I know they will leave everthing in it….

  25. #25 by Eddie on March 30th, 2010 [ 44592 Points ]

    Sure they removed it…but what did you need 4 usb ports for? a card reader? or other OS?

    I understand BC, but the rest was trivial free additions at best hardly used by anyone for any reason.

    I use maximum 2 ports and that is super rarely. thats if I’m using my portable HDD and charging a controller at the same time.

    Card reader? who uses this? With DNLA, PSP connectivity, USB data transfer, why in the world would anyone resort to this medium? Its cumbersome at best.

    Other OS install as I’ve stated before is like having a PC with half the capability of a real PC. It had some neat programs and the fact the funcionality came from a PS3 made it interesting, it was near pointless.

    Sony has made a lot of bad moves…starting price of $600. Removed BC. The PSN Outage due to the clocks…but the other stuff being complained about isn’t even an issue.

  26. #26 by Luke on March 30th, 2010 [ 27382 Points ]

    Eddie why put it in then? They used it to market the PS3 and catch everybodys eye and now they are taking it all away piece by piece.

    Use it or not that isn’t the point.

  27. #27 by Eddie on March 30th, 2010 [ 44592 Points ]

    I admit it’s annoying, but why dwell on it?

    I think we all understand that most of these features were removed to reduce the cost of the PS3. As fans and most of us being fairly well informed on the industry, I think we can all respect and understand the end result in more PS3’s getting sold due to price drops and more games being developed for the console at the cost of a few items you will never use.

    If you think about it, there could even be a few of your favorite games that may have never made it to the PS3 had a few minor options not been sacrificed.

    The issue/problem/train of thought that I am mostly speaking in defense of is, “Sony took it get out the torches and pitch forks”. Yes it sucks, yes Sony are bastards for the bait and switch. Will you live yes? Will you play awesome games? Yes. Will you regret your purchase of a PS3? Most likely not.

  28. #28 by Chris on March 30th, 2010

    Awesome, last Sony product I ever purchase.

  29. #29 by Luke on March 30th, 2010 [ 27382 Points ]

    I have to agree this blows, it was nice to have the extra features but I never bought the PS3 for the “Other OS” feature.

    It will be interesting to see what GeoHot does about this but I don’t care. As long as I can play games I am happy.

  30. #30 by SL33PY on March 31st, 2010 [ 2371 Points ]

    It was a fancy feature, but I never really used it. The 4 USB ports were a good thing imo, and they should have left it that way, having an EyeToy plugged in all the time and also at least one controller loading, a lot of other controllers use a usb port as well, buzz dongle, singstar dongle, 4 ports are easily filled.

  31. #31 by Eddie on March 31st, 2010 [ 44592 Points ]

    Sl33py, I have the eyetoy, buzz quiz world, 3 controllers and cords and I have 0 things hooked up to my PS3 right now.

    Is it convenient? sure. Is it a neccessity? Only if you’re lazy lol.

    Heck I even traded my 60 gig in for a Slim when it died lol.

  32. #32 by Sinlock on March 31st, 2010

    How will this work with groups that use PS3s for mass processing.

  33. #33 by Jason on March 31st, 2010

    Why are all of you letting Sony take away features that you paid for? It’s like buying a car and then they take out the stereo. Then they decide that you don’t need the A/C. Oh and then why can’t you just live without the heater too? Would you let them take it out of your car…you paid for it? So why take away features? This has to be illegal

  34. #34 by Jason on March 31st, 2010

    It should not matter if you use it or not… YOU PAID FOR IT!!!!!!

  35. #35 by justin on March 31st, 2010

    Eddie: Sure they removed itā€¦but what did you need 4 usb ports for? a card reader? or other OS?I understand BC, but the rest was trivial free additions at best hardly used by anyone for any reason. I use maximum 2 ports and that is super rarely. thats if Iā€™m using my portable HDD and charging a controller at the same time.Card reader? who uses this? With DNLA, PSP connectivity, USB data transfer, why in the world would anyone resort to this medium? Its cumbersome at best.Other OS install as Iā€™ve stated before is like having a PC with half the capability of a real PC. It had some neat programs and the fact the funcionality came from a PS3 made it interesting, it was near pointless. Sony has made a lot of bad movesā€¦starting price of $600. Removed BC. The PSN Outage due to the clocksā€¦but the other stuff being complained about isnā€™t even an issue.  ^

    to charge all the controllers. to charge my phone. 4 usb is not enough. the card readers, i wish i had them. i could transfer everything pics from my camara. and just everything it used to be a nice usiversal system. but im not sure, i might switch to xbox if this shit continues

  36. #36 by Eddie on April 1st, 2010 [ 44592 Points ]

    Jason…do you want games? If so…why is that such a hard thing to give up? Thats the bottom line…everything removed was to increase sales and combat piracy. Both, in the end means more and better games come your way.

    It sucks, its wrong, etc.

    but too many people are hung up on the process rather then the end result. People shouldn’t take things personally.

    It seems people are quick to forget but the status of the PS3 was not all that great a year or so back. Its made amazing strides since then all due to these changes you are upset over losing.

  37. #37 by Jason on April 1st, 2010

    I have 40 ps3 games that I purchased brand new…..I also use the Linux feature to do my college work because my dorm is very small and I don’t have the money for a laptop… So that should give them the right to take away the option to use it for some BS update? I don’t have BC in my 80 gb because they removed it only a month before I bought it. I was very upset about that…but to remove features that I paid for and then make bogus claims that it is for security is crap.. Just cuz some guy supposedly hacked it doesn’t give them the right to remove features that I use…Remember I PAID FOR THIS FEATURE!

  38. #38 by Jonny on April 2nd, 2010

    Ok, I updated to 3.21 and I’v just decided to reformat the ps3. How do I get rid of linux which was installed on there already, there is no longer an option to “allocate all the space to ps3″, everytime I reformat it says I have 64 / 74gb free space, I’m guessing linux is still there.

  39. #39 by Luke on April 2nd, 2010

    Yeah it seems like Linux is still going to be there they just removed access to it. I would connect the HDD to my PC and try formatting that way just remember toSAVE the PS3 files before doing so.

    Let me know how that goes.

  40. #40 by Tormak on April 2nd, 2010

    It seems that there are a bunch of very pissed off Linux users (including me) over at the PS3 blog here ( There are almost 5900 comments and they continue to grow. Sony is responding by widely deleting comments. Some people have filed complaints with the better business bureau and some people have already filed legal action. There is talk of a class action.

  41. #41 by Saner on April 3rd, 2010

    Keep your old firmware and still use PSN.

    Windows and Linux Instructions!

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