Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Running Linux on the PS3 Playstation 3

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Running Linux on the PS3 Playstation 3 Console

One of the many features of the PlayStation 3 is that it's capable of using Linux, which means that owners of the PS3 can customize their system and get lots more out of it. Game consoles tend to be designed in order to prevent foreign systems from running on them, but Sony have gone in total the opposite direction with the PS3, allowing an experienced Linux user to personalize their system. Most of the gaming systems will be intentionally locked so that other systems will be unable to run, so the PlayStation is unconventional in allowing this. The only thing that is not possible with the PS3 is to run accelerated graphics.
The PlayStation 3 isn't the first gaming system to allow Linux. The Xbox also utilizes this feature, but the PS3 differs in several ways. To start with, the PS3 is more powerful. In addition, the Xbox requires an additional chip to run Linux, whereas the PS3 is capable of running it without. In fact, it's completely free to run Linux on the PlayStation 3.
Here are some options that you have with the Linux on the PlayStation 3:
With an addition of a keyboard and mouse, the PlayStation 3 can be used like a PC. Not all PC programs are able to adapt to the PS3 environment, as least not yet, but Linux enables you many choices.
Run your own operating system. This is a great advantage to those that would prefer to personalize their system.
Make sure of the Internet. You can search the web on your PS3 with the Firefox internet browser.
Use the office software package. Although, at present it's been reported that Windows doesn't run that well on the PS3. However, in the future, Microsoft may consider creating a version of Windows that can run on the PlayStation 3. There is no official word on this at the moment.
Run various kinds of emulators. This will allow you to play of your favourite games of yesteryear on your brand new PlayStation 3.
Play a variety of media types, such as CD's, DVD's and ROM's. With Linux running, you can listen to music or watch movies on your PS3
Connect to share networks. This will enable you to save and retrieve file on a outside server, meaning a saving in memory.
There is one slight problem with getting Linux on your PlayStation 3 console though, and that is because it's difficult to install and hard to use. At this moment, it's pretty much restricted to the programmers and hobbyists. In the future, hopefully, there will be a more user friendly interface to accompany Linux on the games console. Since PS3 emerged, most programmers like to use Fedora Core to run Linux on their PS3's, but there is now a new system in town called Yellow Dog, which is intended to be used specifically on the PS3. Yellow Dog is being highly rated and gaining exposure.
Still, the best thing about Linux is that it's totally free. All you need is a PlayStation 3, the necessary cable, a USB keyboard and mouse, a USB flash drive and various other accessories to make the installation run smoother... ok, so if you don't already have all that stuff, its not really free, but Linux itself certainly is! It may not be that tough to install, if you've used Linux before. There is a wide choice of websites out there that provide tips on installation, and most seem to recommend Yellow Dog. You will also discover many great ideas on how to run Linux in the gaming forums.

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