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Running Linux On The PlayStation3

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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
    • LINKS
    • 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