Installing Linux on the PS3

Discussion in 'Console Games' started by Taustin Powers, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Taustin Powers macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2005
    Think I'm gonna do it...

    Is it a very involved process?

    Do I have to backup the hard drive contents first?
    EDIT: I guess what I am asking here is, do I need to format and partition the hard drive for the linux installation? I read that a long time ago, but wonder if maybe with the new firmware it's not necessary anymore?

    Is there a good easy-to-follow guide on the web that you would recommend?

    EDIT2: Also, which distribution would you recommend, and why? (Yellow Dog? Ubuntu?)
  2. spyker3292 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2005
    I haven't installed linux on a PS3 so I can't answer most of your questions but I would suggest Ubuntu 7.10.
  3. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

    Aug 5, 2005
    I second Ubuntu, for sheer awesomeness :cool:

    As for reformatting, from what I could gather from comments on This (which may be of use to you, although it's ß at the moment), you do still need to reformat/partition, although not for the above link (being, essentially, a PS3 LiveCD)
  4. Taustin Powers thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2005
    Thanks for the replies.

    As I ended up installing Yellow Dog myself, I will go ahead and answer my questions here myself, in case anyone else will be interested. ;)

    In order to install an "other OS" (Linux), the PS3's hard drive needs to have a partition for it. In order to create two partitions on the hard drive, it needs to be formatted, and all your data will be lost. It is easy to backup your stuff on an external hard drive (or other storage media) using the "Backup Utility" in the XMB System menu. Then, after you format your hard drive (choose custom format and allot 10GB to Linux), you can restore everything from the backup - easy as cake, really. The user account information is not lost when formatting the hard drive. Once this is done, you can install Linux using an install dvd. (Download and burn image form the interwebs, it's free.)

    I picked Yellow Dog, as it seems to be the one that was mostly designed for the PS3. It will have the most features working "out of the box", whereas you would have to spend a lot of time configuring Ubuntu. I am a Linux newbie and don't need advanced stuff, so Yellow Dog was the obvious choice for me.

    The install is fairly straight-forward, but does take approx. 1 hour. After that, it's ready to use, all programs (Firefox, Open Office, Gaim, etc.) working right off the bat.

    Two things that DO NOT work right away are WiFi and Bluetooth. These will have to be installed/configured manually. Instructions are available on the web, I plan on taking care of those two things tonight.

    Note: For the few minutes that I actually used Linux last night, it seemed pretty slow. Seems like Sony is not allowing the OS full access to all the hardware resources, so don't expect a super-fast Linux system.

    The main reason I decided to install it is the HORRIBLE PS3 firmware internet browser. That thing is almost unbearable to use, and refuses to even load some pages due to "lack of memory". I hope Firefox will be better in this regard, but I won't find out until I setup the WiFi to work. :)
  5. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    The Cell is great at computing certain types of data.

    As a general computer processor it is not very good at all as this was not the task it was designed for.

    Added to the fact your system has a paltry by todays standards 256mb or ram and your left with a rather outdated and slow computer even for linux.

    The PS3 is served best doing what it is good as.... a console.
  6. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
    Yeah, the whole 256MB of RAM really kills it.

    Just like the 32MB of RAM really killed Linux on the PS2.

    IIRC, the only real point was for Sony to have to pay less taxes to import it into EU countries, by saying that it is a computer, as it can run Linux. I think they failed though.

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