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Yellow Dog Linux v5.0 for PS3 Announced 142

News for nerds writes "Yellow Dog Linux v5.0 is slated for release mid-November with support for the Sony PS3 first, and support for the former Apple PowerPC product line to follow. Any updates required to support the Apple PowerPC systems following the release for PS3 will be made available via a free download."
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Yellow Dog Linux v5.0 for PS3 Announced

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  • PSP Homebrew (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WilyCoder ( 736280 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:09AM (#16452909)
    Given Sony's behavior regarding the PSP and using homebrew on it, I am highly skeptical of this PS3 linux project. How can we be sure that Sony will not resort to forcing firmware upgrades on new games? Some of the latest firmware upgrades for PSP do absolutely nothing but thrwat homebrew attempts. Sony has suddenly done a 180 on homebrew? And for its flagship product?

    Lest we not forget how crippled the PS2 linux project was (the $700 one)....
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Sony had its own linux distribution on PS2 (even if they only did a limited run of it), specifically for homebrew, prior to that they had Net Yaroze on the original Playstation. So PSP is actually the system deviating from the norm here. The reason PSP hasn't had one? I don't know. But the constant firmware updates are to patch holes in the main PSP OS, which if left exposed, could offer avenues for piracy. Offering Linux on PS3 does not in and of itself make the PS3's 'Game OS' any less secure - there'll b
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 )
        Sony had its own linux distribution on PS2 (even if they only did a limited run of it), specifically for homebrew

        Correct me if I'm wrong but sony never gave away all the information needed to fully utilize the hardware. I won't be excited until I know that will happen this time around. (And STILL won't actually be excited until the systems are available used.)

    • Re:PSP Homebrew (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SQLz ( 564901 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:34AM (#16454161) Homepage Journal
      Sony is pushing PS3 homebrew development big time. They are building an entire community around Linux PS3 development. This is not normal Sony behavior for sure but, its in their best interest to do so. They are HEAVY Linux in the office ($1 to Microsoft is an investment into Microsoft) and basically, it revolves around the idea that the PS3 is going to be more of a personal computer / home entertainment / gaming box. At E3, Sony exec Izumu Kawabishi said "Because we have plans for having Linux on board the PS3 we also recognise Linux programming activities and we'de like to see various individuals participate in content creation for the PS3". The advantage is that more people will understand the architecture and create cool software for it. Its going to be sweet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      They don't really have a choice considering MS is allowing development with full HW access on the Xbox later this year through its XNA program [microsoft.com]. Having homebrew done on their terms means even less legitimacy for such things as mod chips, and control over things like copyright protection. 3rd party homebrew systems won't get much support because, hey, they already give it to you right out of the box. I don't see this as an issue though - this is a good thing, and hopefully both programs will be succesful e
    • Sarah Ewen, Sony's "Linux Evangelist" gave a talk a LugRadioLive 2006 in July where she dropped a major hint that the PS3 would ship with Linux on the HDD. Even if that turns out to not be true, I came away with the distinct impression that Linux on the PS3 was important to Sony and would be easily available and well supported.
    • And they will tighten security holes.

      What does this have to do with the PS3 linux?

      PS1 had Net Yaroze.
      PS2 had PS2 Linux
      PS3 has PS3 Linux

      All are somewhat crippled, but provide some level of homebrew development for the platform. This isn't a 180 on home console homebrew, it's just the latest phase.
  • Cell servers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by otacon ( 445694 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:09AM (#16452913)
    Considering IBM is making cell processor blade servers, this release further allows end-users to opprotunity to use that same hardware for production and testing purposes, and at what should be fraction of the price.
    • Considering IBM is making cell processor blade servers, this release further allows end-users to opprotunity to use that same hardware for production and testing purposes, and at what should be fraction of the price.

      Not really. While the processors may be the same, the driver support is likely to be at least somewhat different. For instance, I rather doubt the PS3 comes equipped with IBM's ServerRAID series RAID controllers or with support for fibre channel SAN storage.

      • the processor architecture is what's important, when you are compiling code to run on the system.
        • Sure, if you just need the box to compile native code. Of course, you could always use a cross-compiler.

          But if you want to do actual integration testing, you'll need the real deal.
      • On the other hand Cell processors are most famous for their insanely powerful vector math capability.

        1. Most Cell blade server will certainly be used as part of giant scientific cluster (à la Folding @ home cell-edition) not in a NAS/SAN or database server. What matters realy is the complex CPU architecture, and PS3s (maybe not the few first sold at 600$, but once the price drops) may be converted as developpement platform to code and test the distributed calculation algorithm before it's put into prod
  • that's really great! this also means that you can execute some homebrew without a modchip or a sony boot disc like linux for ps2
  • seems sketchy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aurisor ( 932566 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:09AM (#16452917) Homepage
    As I remember, Yellow Dog Linux was one of the better linux distros for macs back when they were still on the PowerPC platform. Now that the PowerPC platform is pretty much defunct, I can't help but think that them moving to a:

    - Unreleased gaming console
    - which has been much-maligned for its excessively high price
    - and huge production delays
    - on a new processor architecture
    - using a WM that's not even out of CVS

    seems like biting off more than they can chew, and smacks a bit of desperation.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's possible, and once I get a PS3 (once the prices get down to sane levels) I think it'll be a neat product to play with...but I'm just glad I don't own any stock in terrasoft :)
    • Re:seems sketchy (Score:5, Informative)

      by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:32AM (#16453247)
      Now that the PowerPC platform is pretty much defunct...

      You might want to let IBM know about that. It seems that they didn't get the memo.
      • ... and the tens of million of Mac PPC users who will remain deployed and supported for many years.
        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

          ... and the tens of million of Mac PPC users who will remain deployed and supported for many years.

          The ones with G3s or better can run OSX. The ones with anything older than a G3 are dumb, because you can buy a G3 for like a hundred bucks, or hobbyists, in which case there's not a lot of money to be made by selling them Linux. Sure, some of them will want to run linux, but since macs went to being sort of standards-based (68k macs and pre-G3 PPC macs were all very different machines from one another, now

      • I think you're going to find that PowerPC is going to go away, leaving only POWER, and embedded PowerPC. Now that apple has gone intel and motorola has stopped making workstations (not that they made that many to begin with) there is basically zero demand for a desktop PowerPC processor outside of IBM. Meanwhile, maintaining an unwanted processor line can only cost IBM money. It makes much more sense, sadly, for them to go with x86-64 than continue to split PowerPC architectures out of POWER ones.
      • by Aqws ( 932918 )
        Also send the memo to the guys who designed the X-box 360.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Blakey Rat ( 99501 )
      I agree. Part of me says, "well, that kind of makes sense seeing as they want to stay together as a group and keep doing work..." but a bigger part of me says, "why not just make the next release the last release, and concentrate their talents into some other distro?

      Or, even better, make a distro that still concentrates on Apple hardware, but Intel hardware instead of PPC hardware?

      Either way, moving to PS3 strikes me as a dead-end. It's been a full year and change, and nobody's figured out how to run cust
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Or more directly, why not add the PS3 support into the kernel so that all distros can use it?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) *
        > Either way, moving to PS3 strikes me as a dead-end. It's been a full year and change, and nobody's figured
        > out how to run custom code on Xbox 360 yet... what makes them think PS3 will be any easier.

        Well since they are announcing a product I'd say Terrasoft (and Terrasoft has a record of real product releases, i.e they ain't the Phantom Console) actually has PS3 prerelease hardware up mostly running. It would also be a fairly safe assumption that Sony is OK with it because they could shut em down p
    • Re:seems sketchy (Score:5, Informative)

      by bWareiWare.co.uk ( 660144 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:46AM (#16453443) Homepage
      That would be the same PowerPC architecture that the PS3 uses then. The OS runs on the PowerPC derived PPE, the SPE are no use to an OS. All the OS can do is expose them is some useful way to userspace.

      Sony are sinking some serious PR money into Terra Soft (the makers of Yellow Dog Linux) to develop some "PS3 based supercomputers":

      http://www.cbronline.com/article_news.asp?guid=773 06D92-BC68-4133-B226-23636E116221 [cbronline.com]

      - Unreleased gaming console
      The CELL was never going to be only for gaming consoles. YDL will be used on several of the biggest supercomputers in the world in a couple of years, not to mention a bucket load of IBM blade servers.

      - which has been much-maligned for its excessively high price
      No one ever said hi-end computing would be cheap.

      - and huge production delays
      Yes, but they are backed by Sony, they will already have their shipments earmarked.

      - on a new processor architecture
      Which is a derivative of the one they are the leading Linux experts on, and is likely to be a very major market in the coming years.

      - using a WM that's not even out of CVS
      Their core market is servers so this is totally irrelevant. I suppose they just wanted something flashy for the expos. (you don't get more flashy then a WM that can bring a 2Gb dual core gaming rig to its knees running xterm!)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        - using a WM that's not even out of CVS
        Their core market is servers so this is totally irrelevant. I suppose they just wanted something flashy for the expos. (you don't get more flashy then a WM that can bring a 2Gb dual core gaming rig to its knees running xterm!)

        Have you used it lately, or are you just being facetious?

        E17 uses less than 20MB memory for the entire desktop environment and all the skin flash and bling-bling. (Comare to Gnome, which uses over 100MB alone or KDE which baloons quickly over

        • I probably was being facetious, however you prompted me to try e17 again and it has come a long way in the last few months. I was comparing it to my main WM e16, and I am now seriously considering switching.

          However as the 'Bling' module is more than capable of bringing any TwinView set-up to its knees I feel my point stands, but it is unfortunately true of anything that uses composite.
    • but, erm, ever heard of Blue Gene [wikipedia.org] ? We use plenty of POWER architecture machines and chips here!
    • Lots of PowerPC chips (embedded no doubt) are being made down the street from my church for automotive applications, some of which will use Embedded Linux kernels I bet.

      the local fab is at 100% output, and can't supply all the need.

      Not to mention the two PowerPC chips running on Mars... Not a big upgrade or growth market, I know, but the PowerPC is not as defunct as the Alpha, which still handles your p0rn rental at Blockbuster... :-)

      rick
    • PowerPC is NOT defunct. There's plenty of PowerPC servers around. You have IBM's Pseries and a host of other smaller companies. PLUS there's a ton of good PowerPC based Mac's out there that you can still run Linux on. PowerPC is still out there.

    • Maybe Sony is paying Terrasoft to port Linux to the PS3 as it's native OS.
      IBM has developed a lot of the development tools for the Cell and they run under Linux.
      Could it be that Terrasoft YDL is the OS for the PS3?
      If so will we see Firefox running on the PS3 at launch to compete with Opera on the Wii?
      I can imagine all sorts of interesting uses for the PS3 with Linux.
      Sony is going to have a version of eyetoy for the PS3. Are we going to see Video conferencing for the PS3?
      Frankly this could make me want a PS3
  • Using the joypad?! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 )
    Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but:

    Are they mad? How the hell are you going to be able to send an email or write a program using the joypad? That'll take ages! Madness, sheer madness...
    • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:19AM (#16453063) Homepage

      <sarcasm>Yeah, it's not like the PS3 has USB ports.

      Just like the PS2 didn't have USB ports.</sarcasm>

      Seriously though, while anyone with a brain would use a USB mouse and keyboard, I'd love to see them make a joypad only interface just for the fun of it. I've got to say this whole thing is interesting, although it certainly doesn't make the $600 price tag any easier to swallow.

      • It's already done, actually. If you've used the PSP it allows you to type messages out as one would via cellphone text messaging. Not as fast as using a keyboard, obviously, but light years better than the typical "virtual keyboard" setup. Per the Eurogamer article a couple of days ago that spotlighted the PS3's online service, the PS3 will use something similar in case one does not have/does not want to use a USB keyboard.
    • Sony's PS2 Linux Dev kit came with a USB keyboard. I'm sure that something just as devious will be able to be plugged into the PS3. Another USB keyboard perhaps? I'm sure Yellow Dog will have the drivers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 )
      Good God, who the hell modded that up as interesting? Everyone knows that I was joking. You couldn't really expect anyone to use a joypad to write a computer program* You'd use a virtual keyboard.

      And a light gun.

      *That said, Net Yaroze did
    • USB.
    • Are they mad? How the hell are you going to be able to send an email or write a program using the joypad?

      I have a USB keyboard for the PS2. I never used it that much but it currently resides as a keyboard for an old iMac. Its kind of quaint and small form factor. Heck... It even doesn't have any windows keys.
  • Now I'll be able to emulate the classics from the days of the NES on my $600 PS3 with a Cell Processor!

    River City Ransom, here I come!
  • by RichardMarks ( 1011125 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:23AM (#16453113)
    Correct me if any of this is wrong...

    I assume the Yellow Dog Linux system will be installed on each harddrive - along with a BluRay system disc for people who need/want to reinstall. I remember someone from Sony saying something along those lines last year.

    Full set of PS3 devtools included with each PS3 for homebrew.

    The PS3 has full support for USB keyboard and mouse and other standard input devices.

    The PS3 will be able to drive a standard monitor at 1080p - 1920 × 1080 rez.

    Don't know if there will be two different boot options - or perhaps they will be using some of the OS virtualization stuff Cell supports.

    Online gaming will be free - only MMORPGs will be charging.

    There will be an online movie/music store.

    You will be able to buy/download PS1/PS2 to your PS3 harddrive and play them.

    You will be able to buy/download PSP games to your PS3 harddrive and play them on your PSP.

    There is stuff where you will be able to stream content wirelessly from your PS3 to your PSP.

    1080p games - the list of 1080p native PS3 games seems to keep growing everyday - I think there are about six just for launch and about 10 - 15 I've read about.

    1080p BluRay movies

    HDMI connector on both versions of the PS3

    Full backwards compatibility with PS1 games through software emulation.

    Full backwards compatibility with PS2 games through hardware emulation - PS2 chips in every PS3.

    You can replace the harddrive with any laptop drive.

    Keep hearing about DLNA compliance and people being excited about that - not sure why yet

    All that for 499 in the US. Wow.

    Also I remember talk of future PS3 versions with more RAM or multiple Cell chips are something Sony is planning. I would die for a dual or quad Cell based system with a couple gigs of RAM running Linux for my desktop.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat ( 99501 )
      You've listed all the positives of the hardware, but there are some very big questions remaining:

      1) Will Sony allow non-Sony code to run on the console? They don't on the PSP. Why would that policy be different for the PS3?

      2) If they want to continue PPC Linux development, and want to use a console, why aren't they using the Xbox 360 which shares almost all of the features above, except has CPUs that are much closer to the CPUs inside Apple computers, and has been out for a full year already?

      I think what
      • Porting yellowdog to intel would be a waste. It is already a port of Redhat to ppc.
      • by kwark ( 512736 )
        1) Is there any console that come on the market that allowed this? Maybe Sony will make the same move in the future like MS made not so long ago.

        2) Please ask the manifacturer of the xbox360 for specs and how to get Linux running and report back here. You would make many people happy.
    • The only problem is that 256MB is not enough to do much of anything. I mean, you can websurf or read email, but you need minimum 512MB to make a credible desktop system. For $500 I can build a PC which will have better performance on code not explicitly optimized for the cell, and have a half-gig of memory. Ultimately, the primary function of having Linux on the box is that it will make the PS3 a useful media player, and let people do homebrew gaming. For people who only do the web and email things, it will
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Spruitje ( 15331 )

        The only problem is that 256MB is not enough to do much of anything. I mean, you can websurf or read email, but you need minimum 512MB to make a credible desktop system.


        Well, you aren't right.
        256 mb is enough to run a lot of apps on it.
        Most home servers run perfectly with linux and 128 mb.
        So, 256 mb should be enough for most tasks.
        Second, there is a rumor that sony will be installing linux on the HD with a lot of development tools so you can build your own games.
        Third, with linux on it it will also be possi
        • Most home servers run perfectly with linux and 128 mb.

          I take it you mean home fileservers. Even just running PHP, MySQL, and any popular content management system mandates 512MB.

          Only an idiot (or someone with a huge stockpile of PS3s) would use a PS3 as a file server. You can get a PC that does the same job, in a similar footprint, for half the price.

          Second, there is a rumor that sony will be installing linux on the HD with a lot of development tools so you can build your own games.

          I doubt the

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Correct me in turn if any of this is wrong...

      Full set of PS3 devtools included with each PS3 for homebrew.

      Unlikely. Enabling end-users to do homebrew is anathema to the Sony business plan, Net-Yaroze and PS2 Linux notwithstanding.

      The PS3 has full support for USB keyboard and mouse and other standard input devices.

      PS3 supports the USB standard. Whether drivers for keyboards and mice will be available is unknown.

      You will be able to buy/download PS1/PS2 to your PS3 harddrive and play them.

      PS1 possibly, PS2 u
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        What was the point of your post?

        Almost every single item you wrote about you are not only wrong but have to have been actively avoiding any gaming news for over a year.

        HDMI is in the 499 version - confirmed almost a month ago.
        The PS3 is designed for and full supports store bought harddrive upgrades - known since last E3 straight from Sony.
        PS1 emulation has been software only since about midway through the PS2's life.
        And PS1/PS2/PSP game downloads were just revealed last week.
    • Cool? Depends entirely on what Sony releases for dev tools. The odds of us getting OpenGL ES access is really low. The odds of us needing it are really high. I would love to be wrong about this, but I highly suspect the whatever tooling Sony bestows to the end user will be massively crippled.

      DLNA would be sweet. UPnP Control over PS3 would be very convenient. I hadnt heard anything about this before.
  • Possible Uses... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cfulmer ( 3166 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:26AM (#16453165) Homepage Journal
    Hmmm... MythTV front-end?

    Having a widely-distributed set-top box capable of running Linux could open up all sorts of interesting projects.
    • All sorts of expensive projects... I definitely would not pay $600 for a video game system and then run linux on it. I usually want my linux computers on all the time.
    • That's GOT to be a winner.

      PS3 under telly. HD signal to big TV. MythTV running on the PS3. Network connectivity to large network storage.

      Sounds like answer to all my media problems round the house.

      The financial controller (the missus) may smell a rat when I propose buying a PS3 though!

      • ... I already have all of the above with my Xbox and MythTV. And it cost me $400 less.

        Only downside is it doesn't have enough juice to play true HD video. But the upscaled DVD is amazing.
    • Isn't mythTV only useful if you have a TV Tuner. Without that, it's just a way to play videos that you get onto the harddrive/network. There's a lot cheaper and easier ways to get a box that will play movies.
      • "Isn't mythTV only useful if you have a TV Tuner. Without that, it's just a way to play videos that you get onto the harddrive/network. There's a lot cheaper and easier ways to get a box that will play movies."

        Tunerless front-ends are actually quite useful in a MythTV environment. The matter of value is going to have a different answer for everyone. Is the PS3 only going to be used as a MythTV front end? That's probably wasteful, short of the value of the hack itself. But if it is going to be used for i
    • When the prices come down, yes. At release time however I could build a much better and expandable micro atx system for that price. In a couple of years I think it might be worth it. But I don't see why yellowdog would work so hard to release an impractible product for the launch.
    • by knowl ( 141044 )
      That was my plan for about the last year and a half until I saw the pricetag. One of those should do great on reencoding tasks for the backend.

      I think the pricetag is the big killer on this though.
  • I can't help but think of Red Hat, and get into the naming frame of mind when I hear that distribution's name. It makes me wonder what other Linux distros we could come up with.

    Maybe:
    White Boy Linux - it's can't play DDR games very well, but it likes to try.
    Green Worm Linux - made just for kids that like to shove gross things into the faces of girls.
    Black Velvet Linux - when you positively, absolutely, HAVE TO impress a spouse with the computer.
  • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:59AM (#16453589) Journal
    I've been grumbling [slashdot.org] for days [slashdot.org] about my submisisons on this being overlooked, but Terra Soft isn't just making the OS, they and Sony are building a PS3-based cluster [terrasoftsolutions.com].

    You may now return to your regularly scheduled news about Jack Thompson and SCO.

  • If YDL is free for the PS3, then don't you think Sony might... object?

    After all, Sony's probably heavily subsidizing the PS3, hoping to recoup them by game sales. And of course, you don't have to buy games on the PS3 for YDL...

    One of the main reasons the Sony PS2-Linux kit was $250 was basically to cover the PS2 subsidy (so Sony would make up the difference in hardware cost vs. sales price in selling the Linux kit).
  • Okay, console-wise the PS3 is overpriced crap, but if you think of the PS3 as a general-purpose Linux-based Cell computer, suddenly 599 USD seems like a pretty sweet deal, considering all the cool hardware you get with it.

    Linux on the PS2 sucked because the PS2 was not well suited as a general-purpose computer (slow CPU even at the time, insufficient amount of RAM, shitty video output capabilities), and the kit was overexpensive because they had to include an hard disk with it (that couldn't be simultaneous
    • Not $599.

      For $499 you get everything the $599 has except the larger HD, built-in WiFi and a CF and SD card reader.

      You can upgrade the HD, and add WiFi and SD/CF card reading via USB.

      The PS2 Linux kit was overexpensive because Sony wanted it that way. There was a network/HD adapter for the PS2 later that cost a lot less than $700.

      HDMI can be converted to DVI-D with a simple physical adapter or cable. They use the same signalling for video. How about for $5?

      http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.as p [monoprice.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Over priced? not likely. It's the same price as an xbox360 + HDDVD Unit.
  • What's the point of porting Linux to the PS3? Anyone who can afford to buy one of these diamond-encrusted consoles has enough money to install a Microsoft OS on it...

    *ducks*
    • The trouble is, Microsoft OSes don't run on real (read: useful) architectures like PPC.

      :D

    • by jZnat ( 793348 ) *
      The day Microsoft Windows supports more architectures than x86 is the day RMS admits that software patents are a good idea.
  • The default root password is R1-L2-circle-square-left-R3 and a full circle with the right analog stick.
  • I could care less about the PS3, but if Yellow Dog releases something that runs acceptably on my Mac -- a RevC iMac iSight -- I just might buy it. If they manage that trick, they'll be the first Linux distro to do so.

  • If you recall, I think there was a Basic language on PS2 CD set.
    It was just so you can boot thos and pretend they were computers : in some parts of the world, computers are lower VAT than game consoles. But the prog language was worthless and impossible to program homebrws with it, of course

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