Gitbrew Brings OtherOS Back To The PS3


Instead of simply watching the days pass by while the PSN network continues to be unavailable, why not do something useful with your PS3 console? [MS3FGX] wrote in to share some news regarding efforts to bring the OtherOS option back to the PS3.

The team at have been diligently working to bring Linux back to the console for a little while now, and have released a dual-boot firmware they are calling OtherOS++. This firmware has two huge benefits over Sony’s original attempt at Linux support for the console. It can be run on the original “fat” PS3s as well as the newer “slim” models – something that was not possible until now. Additionally, it gives the Linux install full access to the PS3’s hardware rather than running the OS inside a virtual machine.

The project is relatively new, so the installation procedures and associated documentation are not suitable for the less experienced individuals out there, so consider yourself warned.

We love that there are people doing all they can to bring this awesome feature back to the PS3 – it’s a huge step in the right direction.

[Image via gitbrew]

62 thoughts on “Gitbrew Brings OtherOS Back To The PS3

  1. Jolly good, sir! At last, we have access to our own hardware. I was disheartened when Sony saw fit to remove a feature that I had listed as a plus vs. other platforms, in making my purchasing decision. One that I had taken advantage of, installing Ubuntu for PS3. I hope this doesn’t inspire Sony to remove other features, like F@H and PS2 support. Perhaps their focus will be on securing their own network for long enough for us to do some good with this.

  2. I’d love to see somebody start a replacement version of the PSN powered by all the recent uberhacks that people could run on a LAN. Call it the Working Play Network. It’d get me to consider actually buying one.

  3. @spiritplumber: They did by removing a method to run unsigned code they couldn’t fix it without removing Linux..

    Most people didn’t even use it, it’s just software pirates crying the blues now cause they have to pay for others hard work..

  4. @xorpunk: It seems that there will always be someone that find the method to run unsigned code.

    I stopped buying PS3 games as soon as Sony removed the otherOS feature so I’ve continued using linux in PS3 and plying only old games.

    Only a fucking moron could think that PS3 linux users are software pirates.

  5. What this would be ideal for is making mobile robots using PS3 mainboards.

    On the flip side, has anyone confirmed that this works on RSoD consoles? I have one here which is otherwise unfixable, any ideas?
    If not, maybe the OP can find a way to work around bad flash chips?

    I did look into using multiple parallel connected xD cards but it looks like this won’t work sadly.

  6. @xorpunk

    Don’t be stupid. I don’t have one piece of unlicensed software. I like to explore, and that’s what my PS3 allowed me to do- at one time, just what it was advertised to do. I still see commercials claiming that “it only does EVERYTHING”.

  7. And, another comment- You’re missing the goddamn point. I PAID for this functionality. PAID. I PAID for something that was advertised. If Fony’s so great, why didn’t they come up with another way to prevent thievery, instead of bending people who PAID over the barrel?

  8. @ Tony…

    There was an “announcement” claiming to be from anon that states the sole purpose for the attacks was as retaliation for Sony pulling the plug on “OtherOS”.

    Whether this is true or not I don’t know, but it can be found on youtube. Or could for a while.

  9. What is the point of being able to run ‘other OS’?

    Does it mean that I can run some kind of user interface that is more friendly to using my TV as a video jukebox or MP3 player?

    I don’t play games on my PS3 – it is more a media player..

  10. Like SCE stated long ago, you don’t have to upgrade..look at how many people are using the exploits for linux related things, and how many are using it for ‘backups’ and stolen content I pirates. Sorry if that’s not trendy..

  11. @xorpunk
    Your ignorance is exemplary. OtherOS didn’t allow for PS3 game backups, even after the first cracks in the Hypervisor started showing up (courtesy of Geohot).

    Of course, if you opened your eyes to what was really happening with Sony removing OtherOS (that it was costing Sony money, as people were buying PS3s for uses other than gaming, the console cost is subsidised by game sales remember), then you’d see the truth, but don’t let facts stand in the way of what you believe, it’s all the evil pirates fault isn’t it. *rolleyes*

  12. @Zeno Arrow: Geohot’s HTAB entries were impossible without unsigned code..The people who did the backup-dongle, and the ones who later did the mailbox overflow and PKI reversing all did it off his exploit by reversing update manager and fuzzing SPU mailboxing with a remote debugger.

    So, I not only understand the social aspects of the events. But I’m sure you ‘experts’ have it all figured out xD

    I’m sure game ISOs are all over the net with cracks because DRM prevented people from playing them too xD xD

  13. @xorpunk: You don’t get it, do you? Think of the following: You wanna buy a DVD player. To watch DVDs of course. Hey wait, on your harddisk you’ve got this collection of mp3s (backups of disks bought from hard earned money of course). Swapping CDs manually? That’s so 80’s, isn’t it? Why not buy a DVD-Player that can play MP3 as well? Said and done. There you are with your brandnew, shiny DVD-Player. With MP3-functionality. As advertised. Time goes by. All of a sudden your DVD-Player is updated. Where’s the MP3-funtionality? Gone? WTF? How are you gonna listen to your MP3s now? Didn’t you pay for this feature? Hmm…

  14. @xorpunk: Franta above mentioned his thesis being written for Cell.

    Even a single person like this is enough, with a wide margin, to justify the existence and availability of OtherOS.

    Besides, in some time the then-obsolete consoles will become ending in trash. Then they can turn into free-as-a-beer, highly powerful computer cores for various fun projects.

    Then there is the philosophical aspect of who should be allowed to decide what code can run on the owner’s hardware. I don’t understand the people who claim Sony should, instead of the hardware’s owner/possessor. In comparison with the seriousness of this issue, the entire problematics of “piracy” is about 20 dB below the noise floor.

  15. @Otacon2k: think unpatchable security hole on a device that processes credit card information and is capable of online banking ;)

    Your MP3 player analogy isn’t applicable.

    @Shaddack: What’s writing a thesis on the CELL processor got to do with piracy branching from abused vulnerability response?

    I guess the kewl thing to do would be to wait for malicious usage.. I see it now, I really am dumb for not being kewl..

  16. @xorpunk: The creditcard security model is broken and unsuitable for internet transactions; it’s not the fault of PS3 nor any other device. As long as it will be cheaper for the banks to handle the complaints than to overhaul the infrastructure, we’re out of luck there. The entire thing is a sieve and one hole more or less does not really matter.

    The thesis is a much more significant issue than the piracy. Both use the same feature of the device. However the latter is unimportant in comparison to the former, and even if piracy is what drives development of tools for opening closed architectures, so be it. We use results of military research – originally intended to kill people – in our daily life, and here we argue about using the results of research also used to play games for free?

  17. @ummm: no the PS3 dont suddenly get updated but in the DVD analogy, you can not watch new DVDs if you do not update it and if you do, then you can not play your legitimate mp3.

  18. @xorpunk: You are either an idiot, or you are a filthy liar. Either way, you should stop leaving your excrement in the Hack-A-Day comments.

    “it’s just software pirates crying the blues now cause they have to pay for others hard work.” There are several problems with this statement. Allow me to list as many as I can think of specifically.

    1: Based on your logic, anything that can be used to commit a crime is useful only for committing a crime. If someone purchases a gun, they are planning on going on a shooting spree. If someone purchases a knife, they intend to stab someone to death. If someone is buying a soldering iron and screwdriver, by your logic, they intend to remove the case from an ATM, attach a credit skimmer to it, replace it, and steal credit card numbers. You have an internet connection, clearly you are conspiring cyberterrorism with a group of anonymous agents across the globe.

    2: Pirates don’t protest lockdowns like this. Honest customers who purchased their products legally and are now getting locked out due to faulty DRM(Assassin’s Creed 2 for PC. Launch day, the verification servers went down, and not a single legitimate customer could play the game. Everyone who pirated it was unaffected.) protest lockdowns like this. What’s more, the Playstation-based homebrew, hacking, and tinkering communities hate piracy possibly more than Sony themselves. If you’d ever gone to look at what the people you’re dismissing wholesale actually do, you’d find that even suggesting that you might consider using a custom firmware to run pirated software is the fast track to a ban, and furthermore, each of the custom PS3 firmwares released thus far have deliberately blocked backups from running. It would be easier to release an entirely unrestricted firmware, but

    3: OtherOS was keeping the Playstation 3 from getting hacked, and removing it caused hackers who had previously been happy with a somewhat-open system to target a system which was now closed. The hacking and tinkering communities touted the Playstation 3 loudly before the Slim was released, due to its ability to run a 3rd-party operating system without resorting to shady tricks like reflashing the optical drive’s firmware. It was not until it was announced that the Playstation 3 Slim would not include the OtherOS feature that anybody began looking for a way to run unauthorized code on the Playstation 3.

    Of course, you’re going to claim I’m wrong on each point, and you’re going to specifically take offense at my note that you are deliberately spreading libelous misinformation with intent to harm the social image of George Hotz, as well as the hacking and tinkering community in general. Nobody likes being called a liar, after all. Especially not if it’s true.

    Which in this case, it is.

  19. only reason i brought xbox 1 was because of XBMC, i brought 8 units over the years for friends and at home, I thought the original xbmc on the xbox was one of the most perfect hardware/software experiences out there, they are incredibly cheap now, Microsoft gained a lot of profit i would imagine from people ‘hacking their console’

    unfortunately, not really up to scratch compared with todays HTPC setups.. if somebody managed to port XBMC over to PS3 i would buy one in a heartbeat, in fact I would buy more than 1, so i find it insane that people are talking about ‘software pirates’ and as if that’s the only reason for modding the PS3.. i really don’t care about any games at all, last time i played one was about 2 years back

  20. First of all Id like to say DAMN STRAIGHT VOLFRAM

    Sony has tried to take away the free flow of information. They have tried to stop A legal code(GeoHotz jailbreak) from being shared and tried rip it completely off the internet. Now weather or not you agree with Geo or the OTHER O.S feature is besides the point. It’s your freedoms and false advertizing that we should all be concerned about. If you let one company do this and get away with it, other company’s in the future well follow suit!
    Other prick things they have done. Sony has taken away multiple features of the ps3 that you paid for!!! The original ps3’s were defective and overheated causing the yellow light of death. This was happening to a massive amount of PS3’s. Instead of a recall, they charged $150 and gave you a refurbished one that didn’t even have all the options you paid for ….EMOTION CHIP(backwards compatible), 4 USB PORTS, SD,SD MINI,CF SLOTS,TOUCH SENSITIVE BUTTONS. Later, Sony panicked due to one guy(GeoHotz), and forced the removal of the “install another O.S.” feature(which you paid for). Now the PS3 can not be used as a computer which was another feature/reason people chose the ps3 over X-BOX. I hear people say that PSN is free so we don’t have a right to be upset about it being shut down….by the way nothing is for free. Well I say to that THE PSN WAS WAS ADVERTIZED ON THE SYSTEM BOX WHEN YOU BOUGHT IT AS A FREE NETWORK and is the reason a lot of people bought it instead of X-box 360.PSN was included free with our system purchase so we should expect the same quality as the paid for XBOX Live. How dare they use it as leverage to remove the O.S. When the system breach happened they didn’t give us any info for days about our financial information being downloaded, until they felt that we should be concerned. They should have alerted us right away so we could have taken prevented measures!!!! Who are they to decide if I should be informed about my financial security. 25 year loyal customer, and I have never seen Sony run so poorly. They need to do a hire and fire in management, or when the new systems come out there will be shift in the balance for console leaders. Sony has been slipping that big Co%k in so slowly that we are loosing track of how many inches are already in. Wouldn’t be surprised if Sony starts charging for the PSN in a bit saying that It has to do with better security and online services! Thanks for reading my rant I feel better already…or maybe Sony just started using lube……

    P.S I don’t know if any of you guys remember the Sony music CD scandal….. Sony got into trouble in November 2005 when it was discovered that the company used a rootkit on music CDs to limit the number of copies a person could make of the CD and to prevent making MP3 files from the music.

    The rootkit was a bad idea for several reasons. It hid from the user the fact that Sony had placed this copy protection, it sent information about the CD being played to Sony, and it had a loophole that a hacker could use to hide a virus that could take over someone’s computer. There was also no easy way to uninstall it.

    As far as betraying customers’ trust goes, that’s pretty high up there on the list of things that are hard to recover from.

    Read more:


    1. You only live once .Why such bloody corporations as sony ,mac or other should dictate what to watch ,how to behave ,what to eat.Peoples please don’t be crowd of animals which is being pushed around.This is wake up call!!!!!!!

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