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Linux and the Coming Consoles 73

eldavojohn writes "Despite reports from the CEO that the PS3 will ship with Linux, LinuxDevices is now saying that it won't. Also, despite a rumor that the Wii will have Linux, the originator of the rumor has revealed himself to be a prankster. This won't stop you from putting Yellow Dog on the PS3 or running WiiLi, a live Linux CD for the Wii."
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Linux and the Coming Consoles

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  • Dran i was looking forward to Linux on the PS3 Pre-Installed, oh well, lets just hope sony makes it easy to install linux "What would linus do?"
    • by bhima ( 46039 )
      If you can use a keyboard, mouse and monitor better than you can can read the fucking article you have nothing to fear
    • by bhima ( 46039 )
      From TFA:

      "Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3), due this month, will not ship with Linux pre-installed, as suggested in March by CEO Ken Kuturagi. However, TerraSoft CEO Kai Staats says his company's Yellow Dog Linux is installable by "anybody who knows how to use a keyboard, mouse, and browser," according to an interview in the Coloradoan."

      So you foe me bacause you can't read?
  • by chroot_james ( 833654 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:56PM (#16772293) Homepage
    ...with Linux on consoles? Is it just for the fun of getting it to run?
    • if you really think about it, linux on the ps3 would be useful as hell, its soo powerful, uoi could run a large webserver off of it
      • But regular computers are so cheap already...
      • by twistedsymphony ( 956982 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:08PM (#16772589) Homepage
        if you really think about it, linux on the ps3 would be useful as hell, its soo powerful, uoi could run a large webserver off of it
        It's got a lot of power that will go completely wasted when you consider it's only got 256MB of usable system memory.
      • Considering that PS3 seems to consume massive [slashdot.org] amounts of electricity and already has reports of overheating, I don't think it would be an ideal webserver. Considering it "consumes much more power than a top-end PC gaming rig" I can't imagine it is better than a traditional server as far as price/watt is concerned, it was built as a gaming platform, not a webserver. Furthermore, a machine which already has reports about overheating might not make the most reliable webserver.
        • on the side note, all the reports on the ps3 are marked as untrue ontill its released, as how can somebody know about it when they dont even have it yet
        • Furthermore, a machine which already has reports about overheating might not make the most reliable webserver.
          With that said I can't wait to see that first "PS3-webserver slashdotted" slashdot article.
      • SIMD and lack of branch predictors makes for a shitty webserver. A renderfarm would fit the bill, though.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by NineNine ( 235196 )
      Is it just for the fun of getting it to run?

      If so, that's a pretty bizarre version of "fun" in my opinion. Do the same people also think that doing their taxes is "fun"?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What practical things have people done with Consoles at all!?!

      Linux on a console is a game - and a better game than any of the prepackaged games people are selling.

      • It has a wider open-ended playing field that WOW.
      • If you advance in the Linux-on-the-console game (by making a compelling application) it pays in Dollars (or the currency of your choice) instead of in fake-in-game-money.

      But more than that - yes, practical things will be done if the PS3 runs Linux. I want a computer in my living room, and the choi

      • by twistedsymphony ( 956982 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:17PM (#16772797) Homepage
        You could also build a mini-itx based computer running linux/MythTV, or a modified Xbox 1 with Linux, or even the default Xboxdashboard with Xbox Media Center, or PS2 Linux...
        I think a modified Xbox 1 would be your cheapest route, but a custom built MythTV box would be the most versatile... none of these options would be as expensive as a PS3 though, For the Price tag the PS3 could be pretty limited considering it's lack of system memory, and the fact that it only supports expensive 2.5" hard drives. Though I suppose the built in bluetooth and blu-ray would be handy... though not $500-$600 handy IMO.
        • by Nazmun ( 590998 )
          Err, the ps3 version of media center (if one is created) should be pretty good actually. It functions decently on a xbox which has far less memory and processing power. With the processing power in the cell it should be able to handle high definition video. Also Sony says the ps2 does take usb hard drives so you can get a cheap one going that route.

          Hardware wise Sony seems to be pretty lenient on what they will allow compared to past and present consoles by them and everyone else (no more sticking with j
      • (You can put Linux or a *BSD on a Mac Mini, if you wanted too.)

        Anyway, good point. Another thing they are good for is compute nodes: For the price, they have a lot of CPU/GPU processing power, so running distributed programs on them isn't a bad idea. Especially if it is during 'down-time' when you wouldn't be playing games anyway.

        Not that I'd want to build a cluster out of them: You could probably build something better for about the same amount of money by picking something designed for what you want to
    • The primary example I can think of, off the top of my head, is the growing movement to turn the original XBox into a headless linux server. When you think about it, the ability to put a decently large hard drive in a relatively inexpensive box that already includes networking hardware...

      It's an option for people like me who don't have a lot of money, but still like to play with home networking. It's certainly cheaper than getting actual server equipment.

      • Wha? You can do the same thing, cheaper, by scrapping together a PC.

        There is a real difference between server hardware and workstation hardware. If you don't require real server equipment, then I can't think of any positive reason to choose a console over a PC that would outweigh all of the drawbacks.
        • Simplest reason: I already own an XBox. I don't own any spare PC hardware.

          All else being equal, yes it's cheaper and easier to build your own PC to handle it. But there are the occasional situations where it's cheaper to use the console (i.e. it's sitting around collecting dust) than to use a real PC (i.e. those parts would have to be purchased new).
    • by Yfrwlf ( 998822 )
      Because then you'd have Linux on it. Linux can do things. A plethora of things. Good things. Linux + other stuff = more stuff. :) If you have what is basically a small computer, why not unlock it's full potential?
    • ...with Linux on consoles? Is it just for the fun of getting it to run?

      People have gotten Linux installed on a DS and VNC client as well. There are even some utility apps like email and web browsers (not the official opera kind) floating around.

      However, because of the DS's limited ram many things are just limited in what you can do.

      here [lifehacker.com] is a screen shot of the DS VNC in action.
    • by bhima ( 46039 )
      I'd like to be able to put a Hi-def movie in my next gen console and have it write a H.264 file (with separate subtitle & audio tracks) to my networked RAID.

      I also tinker with cryptology I wonder how fast it would be making smart rainbow tables or some other thing that embarrasses people who use shitty encryption.

      I think most kids should have a computer but more have game consoles, wouldn't it great after the investment of a USB mouse & keyboard all they needed was a *free* optical disk and they cou
    • I've said it before [slashdot.org] and I'll say it again:

      Sony are control freaks. They are not going to let you do homebrew games on the PS3. Their systems are ALWAYS locked down tight. If you want to see the kind of "Linux" you'll get on the PS3, look no further than the "Linux" they offered [linuxdevcenter.com] on the PS2. It will be just as worthless.


    • by billdar ( 595311 ) *
      Aside from a 2400 node cluster [cbronline.com] for the department of defense and university research, or a living room media center [xbox-linux.org], I guess not much other than its cool? [xtremesystems.org]
    • Yup, a cluster [uiuc.edu] of PS2's running Linux.
    • I'm looking forward to experimenting with the Cell processor. A workstation with the same specs would be worth much more than the $600, though it would need a lot more memory. Of course, if you regard it as a console (=appliance), the idea of Linux on it is a little funny. To me it looks more like a workstation, with much more processing power than most x86 machines you can buy these days.

  • But will there be drivers for anything? I mean, booting the kernel is fine and dandy but if we dont get video out (even for text console) or network (to ssh into or whatever) than what actual use will it be ?
    • by Yfrwlf ( 998822 )
      With all the hackers out there, and Linux being open sourced and viewable, it won't be hard to make the two talk to each other and won't be too long before you see Wii Media Center and PS3 Media Center available for each, would be my guess.
      • This is what I'm personally hoping for. The current Xbox Media Center is great; however, you can't play HD content on it, though it does a nice job of up converting to 720p so I've heard. But having an official way to run Linux on the PS3 would allow an easily released PS3 Media Center which should be able to handle HD content without issue. Adding a port of MythTV for live TV stream would also be nice.
  • Actually... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:58PM (#16772347)
    "This won't stop you from putting Yellow Dog on the PS3 or running WiiLi, a live Linux CD for the Wii."

    <minirant>I will be too busy playing fucking games on it to want to do the above. For all the bitchin on /. about cellphones with cameras, mp3 players and web browsers, why does Linux on everything seem to get accolades?</minirant>
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Have you seen the launch lineup? Something tells me if you actually bought one you'd have plenty of free time to spend installing Linux on it.
      • Are you kidding? The Wii has the best launch list Nintendo has ever had, probably one of the best ever. There's good titles in all the major genres.

        RPGs/strategy: Zelda, Marvel: UA
        FPS: Far Cry, Red Steel, Splinter Cell, CoD 3
        Flight: Blazing Angels
        Racing: NFS: Carbon (not a racing fan, so I don't know if this one is actually quality but it's a name franchise)
        Platformers: Metal Slug, Rayman

        Not to mention the oddball social and party games like WarioWare, Elebits, Monkey Ball and the Wii specific tit

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Parent wrote: I will be too busy playing fucking games on it to want to do the above. For all the bitchin on /. about cellphones with cameras, mp3 players and web browsers, why does Linux on everything seem to get accolades?

      Some of us will not be too busy playing fucking games ('though that particular kind sound kinda fun) since I get bored of the games after about 4 hours of gameplay. OTOH, I have a fair amount (20+ years) of embedded systems progamming experience; and Linux on a Cell chip will keep me en

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Hardware is like bread and Linux is strawberry jam. When someone comes up with a new kind of bread, I put strawberry jam on it and eat it. Why would I put strawberry jam on this bread which is meant to be eaten with cheeze? Well I don't care what you think. I like bread, I like strawberry jam, and the first thing that comes to my mind when I see a new bread is to try it with strawberry jam.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I will by the console(s) that have Linux supported in a friendly way by the manufacturer.

    I do this for 3 reasons.

    • I've been a fan of non-Wintel computers for quite some time (Apple ][, Amiga, Mac, at home and Suns at work) - and will buy it for the novelty factor,
    • I'm looking for a computer-like box for my living room - if the PS3 can do computer stuff (this includes my ability to run shell scripts) - I will use it as my living room computer instead of the mac mini I'm considering, and
    • I know Linux, and thi
    • PS3 seems to be the only console with official support (has a flipping alternate os install option in the OS that ships with it). Third party YDL is devoloping a distro for the ps3 release (free to download two weeks after they start selling discs). Also supports USB peripherals. It would be interesting what someoen can do for it using a TV tuner or HDTV tuner. Processing power shouldn't be an issue.

      At the very least once can expect a ps3 media center like the xbox.

      WII linux seems to have been a rumor a
      • about the tv tuners - well, considering there are usb tuners (mostly hauppage from what I've seen), and being that bttv and ivtv drivers run pci tuners, I don't see any reason why it couldn't capture video/tv from a usb tuner...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    running WiiLi, a live Linux CD for the Wii.

    If you actually go to the WiiLi site, apparently some college doofus thinks he's going to make be able to make live Linux CDs for the Wii with:

    * Absolutely no prior knowledge of the other console linuxes to date (how they work, how they boot, and the difficulties with them)
    * No actual knowledge of the Wii more than what's out there

    So in other words, he lacks two fundamental things:

    * No knowledge of how the hardware works, so he probably won'

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The same AC here...

      I guess what pisses me off the most about this, is this is obviously a kid who is giving false hope to anyone hoping to get a linux on Wii. By the time any real projects are up, he'll be at the top of google's list, and anyone with interest will think that there's no real progress being made.

      So he's taking interest and attention away from any real potential linux projects, and that fucking sucks.

      And with that I'm done fuming.
    • I think it is probably a joke/prank, I mean just look at the name WiiLi.

      (For those that still don't get the joke, it's a linux distribution called "Willy", that happens to run on the Wii)
  • says who? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by brunascle ( 994197 )
    not to queston LinuxDevices' integrity, but what's their source on this? it didnt mention anyone, it just kinda flat out said it.
  • From the WiiLi website:

    Please DO NOT Digg/Slashdot this server, I'm just setting it up and is not ready for high load!

    Since their computers will be melting into slag fairly quickly, we may not be running Linux on the Wii after all.

    • by Ant P. ( 974313 )
      <a href="http://www.wiili.org.nyud.net:8080/index.php ?title=Main_Page">Coral Cache link for the lazy</a>. It doesn't currently work now that the site itself's dead, but you can blame the lazy people for that.
  • by JoshDM ( 741866 )
    ...but does it ru... uh, nevermind.
  • From what I gathered from the Wiki before it went down, they don't even have a Wii, yet alone a way to break the protection. Meanwhile, the PS3 will have a Linux distribution apparently ready to run at launch.
  • It might be worth noting that in a video of the PS3 menu that engadget released, it showed an option for "Install other OS", and under it read something along the lines of "No partition was detected on the hard drive for alternate OS", and had some directions on how to go about creating one. So just grab a usb keyboard and mouse, plug PS3 into an HDTV (you were going to anyway, right?), and stuff in the YDL dvd. Even the Dreamcast and Xbox 1 weren't this easy to get linux running properly.

    So not only wi

    • digging up a crazy sync-on-green monitor either

      Frakking SoG, I still run my kit using NTSC (Xgsx fixed for 640x448 rather than the default 610x404 at least)

      For my sake I consider the $200 I paid for the kit, money well spent.

      I personally thought the YDL decision was pretty obvious after some thinking. They used Red Hat for the PS2, why not use Fedora on the PS3 with a distro that already has PPC support.

      They've got a package list up on the YDL website now so you could check to see if there are any accelera

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )
      Does it say anywhere that binary blobs/modules for hardware accelerated graphics will NOT be included with PS3 linux?

      Whats most notable is that (acording to something I saw), the PS3 linux kit isnt including any notable media players (although I am sure that wont last long once someone checks PS3 fixes into the XMMS or FFMPEG tree :)
  • doesn't the PS3 use NVidia graphics? even if the hardware is drmed to hell with Sony spec, would NVidia really go so far away from the conventions of their regular graphics cards and chipsets that even if NVidia doesn't release drivers, SOMEBODY out there could take a modded kmod-nvidia package and adapt it to PS3 (potential) drm spec?
  • If Nvidia doesn't release a driver for it then it probably won't have accelerated X. The binary drivers nvidia currently releases are only for x86 and x86_64 (as far as I know), thus probably not easily modifiable to work on the PS3's Cell. There is a good possibility that the open source nv driver included with Xorg will be ported though.
  • I wonder if YDL comes with a rootkit preinstalled or if you have to buy and play a Sony music CD first?
  • did it not get slashdotted? As far as I know the definition of a slashdotting (from wikipedia) "Historically, sites that received a mention on Slashdot could get "Slashdotted" if the flood of attention that the link generated overwhelmed their servers.". If it didn't overwhelm the server then it obviously didn't get slashdotted did it?
  • 20 or 60 GB depending on the model. The HD is user upgradable, uses standard 2.5" laptop drives.

    I don't think there's a SUSE with Cell support.

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