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Running Linux On The PlayStation3



This is a presentation I gave to our local Linux Users Group a while ago on how to run Linux on the Sony PlayStation3. Unfortunately Sony has removed this feature in the latest iteration of their ...

This is a presentation I gave to our local Linux Users Group a while ago on how to run Linux on the Sony PlayStation3. Unfortunately Sony has removed this feature in the latest iteration of their console (the Slim PS3); however the feature is still present (for now at least) on older (non-slim) PlayStation3's, which are still pretty easy to find in used shops, eBay, etc.



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Running Linux On The PlayStation3 Running Linux On The PlayStation3 Presentation Transcript

  • Running Linux on the
  • PlayStation 3
    • Released November 2006
    • Successor to the highly popular PlayStation 2
    • Arguably one of the most powerful Gen.7 gaming consoles on the market
    • Sales as of 1/08: 3.25M (USA), 10.49M (worldwide)
  • PS3 Hardware
    • CPU: Cell Broadband Engine (IBM POWER-based) @ 3.2 GHz, 7 SPE cores (6 user-accessible)
    • Graphics: NVIDIA G70 (NV47)-based “RSX” engine, 550 MHz.
    • RAM: 256 MB main, 256 MB graphics
  • More hardware
    • Disk: 20-80 GB (3.5” SATA)
    • Optical disk: BD-ROM (BluRay); can also read DVD/DVD+/-R/CD.
    • Bluetooth 2.0
    • 802.11b/g WiFi (not all models)
    • USB 2.0 (2-4 ports)
    • HDMI, component, composite video
  • Performance
    • Total floating point: 2 TFLOPS
    • CPU only: 204 GFLOPS single precision float, 15 GFLOPS double precision float
  • Standards Based!
    • HD is standard SATA, easily user upgradable
    • Bluetooth 2.0 - headsets, keyboards/mice
    • USB 2.0 - webcams, keyboards/mice
  • Linux on the PS3
    • “ It was fully intended that you, a PS3 owner, could play games, watch movies, view photos, listen to music, and run a full-featured Linux operating system that transforms your PS3 into a home computer. "
    • Was to be pre-installed with Linux
  • Linux on the PS3
    • Officially supported as of kernel 2.6.21
    • Yellow Dog 5.0 - official PS3 distro
    • PSUbuntu
    • Fedora
    • others...
  • What You’ll Need
    • PS3 (duh)
    • TV or monitor (HDMI, DVI work. For HDMI/DVI, must support HDCP.)
    • USB memory stick
    • Linux distro burned to CD
    • Optional: larger USB stick or hard drive (if you want to back up your PS3)
  • How to install Linux
    • (Optional) Back up your PS3
    • Partition it (dual boot or single boot)
    • (Optional) Restore your PS3 backup
    • Boot from USB stick containing OTHEROS.BLD file
    • Install Linux as per your distro’s installer
  • It’s Demo Time!
  • So why would you want to do this?
  • A supercomputer in your living room
  • or... a superCLUSTER in your living room!!!
  • Who’s using these?
    • Astrophysicist Dr. Gaurav Khanna replaced time used on supercomputers with a cluster of eight PlayStation 3s.
      • http://tinyurl.com/28wv44
  • Who’s using these?
    • Computational Biochemistry and Biophysics lab, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, “PS3GRID” for collaborative computing based on the CellMD software, the first one designed specifically for the Cell processor.
      • http://www.ps3grid.net /
  • [email_address]
    • Distributed Computing to calculate protein folding
    • Over 1 PFLOPS from PS3 owners alone
    • Compare that to BlueGene/L @ 280.6 TFLOPS
    • Takes my PS3 about 3 hours Takes my desktop over 1 day
  • PS3 Homebrew
    • Make your own games
    • Access to (almost) all PS3 hardware
      • Networking
      • Controllers
      • Audio
      • Graphics (sorta)
  • Caveats
    • No access to graphics
    • Everything runs in a hypervisor
    • There is experimental graphics access; don’t upgrade past firmware 2.10
  • For More Information
    • Wikipedia has great entries on:
      • PlayStation 3
      • PlayStation 3 hardware
      • Cell (microprocessor)
      • RSX ‘Reality Synthesizer’
      • Linux for PlayStation 3
  • PS3 Linux Distributions
    • http://psubuntu.com /
    • http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com/products/ydl/
    • Fedora Core 5 on PS3: http://tinyurl.com/yknkfp
  • Programming the Cell
    • Georgia Tech workshop (with slides and video): http://tinyurl.com/2wkllf
    • More links on Cell and PS3 Linux entries at Wikipedia
      • http://tinyurl.com/23auvg
      • http://tinyurl.com/qvn4h
  • The End