PS3 Ubuntu install for emulation

snes9x

Gizmodo has done us all a favor by wading through many forum posts and condensing them into a handy guide to installing Ubuntu on your Playstation 3. It covers some of the caveats of going this route. You have to backup all of your game data before starting since the system repartitions the drive. Ubuntu installs without any problem, but because the cell processor is a PowerPC architecture it means not everything has been ported to it. There are a few things you need to install to get the Sixaxis controller to be recognized as a joystick. Super Nintendo emulator SNES9X is available and works, mostly. It doesn’t support fullscreen and cries if you reconfigure the buttons.

Supporting developers through alternate operating systems isn’t new to Sony. With the original Playstation, they released Net Yaroze, a consumer grade dev kit. The Playstation 2 was the first time they officially supported Linux on a game console (our first Linux machine). The ground breaking thing about the Playstation 3 was bundling in Linux support with every single console; no specialized hardware needed. Unfortunately they’re not near as open with the PSP.

Comments

  1. kamanashi says:

    I have Ubuntu on my PS3, but I mostly use it for nothing. I thought I would use it for SNES games, but I ened up using my PSP and Wii still. But, it is still cool to know I still have a computer just in case my main one quits working.

  2. Tatsh says:

    But it’s still restricted Linux. Without access to 3D hardware, lame. Sony is scared people will release ‘Linux PS3′ games without having to pay their development fee and getting the expensive development kit. Still, people could do this now for 2D games.

  3. Adam Ziegler says:

    good game

  4. devturkler says:

    thank you Eliot

  5. dan says:

    i usually hate people who come on here and say ‘this hack is pointless’, but really; why spend hours hacking an expensive console so that you can play snes games *in a window* on half-crippled emulators that would have run perfectly on any piece of shit computer with TV-out?

    the two cool parts of this hack would be playing in full-screen on your big TV and being able to use the PS3 joypad, and those are the two things that won’t properly work!

  6. IceBrain says:

    The key word is: yet! This is the first step, more will come, I’m sure.

  7. SOOPERGOOMAN187 says:

    The psp doesnt matter since the Homebrew community has opened that up for anyone with a bit of tech skill can do. We beat sony and now soon it will be the ps3’s time to run HB.

  8. silic0re says:

    putting linux on the ps3 is actually the least expensive way to have a cell-based node. several researchers have put together clusters of ps3’s for problems that aren’t memory intensive (each ps3 is currently limited to about 256meg in linux), but that can benefit from the cells’ vector processors for number crunching. Until relatively recently, a PS3 was about the same price (or cheaper) than a comparable nvidia card that could run CUDA — where the nvidia cards could have more memory, but the ps3’s could scale better in terms of clustering large units cheaply — for an NVIDIA cluster, you need a host machine for however many video cards you connect in SLI, increasing the cost.

    i think that it’s probably cheaper these days to go the CUDA route (for computing problems that are particularly suitable to these simd architectures), but i think the new cell processor that’s coming out (probably not in the ps3’s) might change some of that?

  9. jagraham says:

    This is the first I’ve ever seen of a proper OS for the Playstation and I like it. 256Meg with the cell processors isn’t too bad for a decent computer (although admittedly it’s not close to a new pc). I have no idea what hardware compatibility would be like though.

  10. ratcore says:

    I’ve been wondering if the PCSX2 would run properly on there but from what I’ve gathered, it’s got the power, but the restrictions won’t make it possible till someone cracks it

  11. kamanashi says:

    @ratcore: Even if it was cracked to removed the hypervisor, ou still wouldn’t be able to run pcsx2 on it properly. Just to run correctly it requires at the least 2Gb of ram. The PS3 is limited to 256Mb.

  12. Good post, adding it to my blog now, thanks

  13. Love this page, is it updated often? Bookmarked :)

  14. Mr.Pissed Off says:

    Hope the crack comes soon Sony can go straight to hell.

  15. ps3 magic says:

    Hey all i noticed that more and more people have rpoblems installing linux on a ps3 console. i had 2, but i just isntalled it. i have to admit i love linux on ps3 it transform it into a super cumputer :D – i got some great help from PS3 magic, they ware a great help to me, i manage to install linux in a few minutes after geting theyr guiede. you cand find them by typing ps3 magic in google. give it a try it might help you all who are still struggling to install linux. Good Luck all Great article btw, a pelasure to read this kind of stuff

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