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Setting Up Ubuntu On a PS3 For Emulation

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the eight-bit-high-def dept.

Classic Games (Games) 81

Gizmodo is running a guide on how to install Ubuntu on a Playstation 3 and set it up to play vintage games through emulation. Quoting: "It still kind of surprises me (in a good way) that Sony was, from the start, very OK with PS3 owners tinkering with Linux on their PS3s. A modified release of Yellow Dog Linux was available from the very beginning, and some very handy hard drive partitioning and dual-boot utilities are baked right into the PS3's XMB; Ubuntu gets installed on an entirely separate partition of your PS3's hard disk, so your default system doesn't get touched and switching between Ubuntu and the XMB is a piece of cake. There is a flipside to this coin, however. Since the PS3's Cell Processor is PowerPC based, you won't be able to use any Linux software that's compiled for x86, which is, unfortunately, most of it. However, Ubuntu has always had a PPC distro, and most of the basic stuff will work just fine. You can even load up a PPC-compiled Super Nintendo Emulator, SNES9X, and play some classic games pretty easily on your Sixaxis controller paired via Bluetooth."

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Illin with the panicillin? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26690609)

Is she illin in the panicillin?
Is she chillin in the panicillin?
Is she stealin in the panicillin?
Is she feelin in the panicillin?

Panka panka

Is she liable no suitifiable pliable style is so suitifiable
Is she liable no suitifiable im not on trial but its suitifiable
Is she reliable no suitifiable not just viable but real suitifiable
Is she try-able no suitifiable lying in the aisle im real suitifiable

Is she spillin in the panicillin?
Is she squealin in the panicillin?
Is she feelin in the panicillin?
Is she trillin in the panicillin?

Panka panka

Is it libel? no suitifiable pliable style is so suitifiable
Is it a style? no suitifiable im not on trial but its suitifiable
Is it a mile? no suitifiable not just viable but real suitifiable
Is it wild? no suitifiable lying in the aisle im real suitifiable

Re:Illin with the panicillin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26695135)

-1
Troll not funny/gross/racist enough.

VM hacking? (4, Interesting)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26690761)

Would it be too slow to load a slim PPC kernel and replace init with an optimized PPC-compiled qemu instance (basically; it would require much more than this) and run a virtual x86 machine on that? It seems the downsize would be: two kernels and an image in non-volatile storage, (although they aren't that big, not much difference), RAM would be a premium, consider some paging (and a minimalistic hypervisor kernel running a slim custom client kernel, goodbye canonical support), and those Cell CPUs would fare just fine with it.

It seems like a long shot, but it could work with at the very least "decent" results, after a fair amount of hacking and gnu optimization (store more crap on the registers than RAM). Compiz would kill on those graphics cards, and if paging is light you could have project 64 running in WINE for the best Nintendo 64 experience since... the Nintendo 64! Gee Willigers!

That is, assuming qemu can do x86->PPC, else find an alternative (or write one, hey!)

Re:VM hacking? (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26690813)

Unfortunately, the PS3's graphics card is specifically denied to linux by Sony's hypervisor. You just get a framebuffer. Linux only really runs on the PS3 in a rather limited sense.

Re:VM hacking? (0, Troll)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26691061)

Dunno, but this sounds like DRM to me.

Re:VM hacking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26692441)

Then clearly you are a moron, or just hate Sony whatever they do. I don't ever see the Xbox running Linux...

As it is, the is work being done to have the SPEs to provide the 3D support to the framebuffer....

Re:VM hacking? (1)

Enderreil (1467237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26693273)

Then clearly you are a moron, or just hate Sony whatever they do. I don't ever see the Xbox running Linux...

Then you haven't been looking in the right places! My xbox has been running Linux for years. Makes a damn fine media player too! I watch most of my fansubs on it.

Re:VM hacking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26693765)

The only difference is you had to break your warranty to run linux on the XBox, and yes, even soft modding is a breach of the terms of use.

Re:VM hacking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26694263)

I was under the impression that possession is 9/10ths of the law. Assuming I own my Xbox, I can use it however I choose. The only catch there is that what I choose to do may not coincide with what Microsoft expressly allows: but only on Xbox Live.

Kind of like owning a gun. You can own a gun and use it however you want... It's still illegal to murder someone...

Re:VM hacking? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26696251)

Which is the same argument I was making for the PS3.

If I own the box, then why the hell should there be a god-damned hypervisor explicitly designed to lock me out of my own hardware unless I use only sony approved software? This is sony trying to tell me how to use my own stuff.

The other tenth (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26696529)

I was under the impression that possession is 9/10ths of the law.

The other tenth is copyright law, specifically 17 USC 1201 and other countries' legislation implementing the WIPO Copyright Treaty of 1996.

Kind of like owning a gun. You can own a gun and use it however you want

Even in the United States with its loose gun laws, residents can't own an assault rifle.

Re:The other tenth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26698123)

Are you referring to the "assault rifle" ban? If so have you ever looked at the requirements?

A weapon is considered an assault rifle if it can accept a detachable clip and contains 2 or more of the following:
- pistol grip
- collapsible stock
- bayonet lugs
- flash suppressor
- grenade launcher

Unfortunately, that law is no longer with us. I for one felt much safer when the law guaranteed that I would not have a drive-by bayoneting. I also felt the same that the collapsible stock wouldn't be on the gun that shot me.

Re:The other tenth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26717827)

Actually you can, it just can't be fully automatic.

Re:VM hacking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26694737)

I watch fansubs on my PS3. The difference is that I didn't need to install any extra software or mod anything.

Also, as you probably guessed, he was talking about the 360.

Re:VM hacking? (2, Informative)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26691551)

There's been a lot of work in this area, getting around the hypervisor has been done, and even a Xorg driver(PS3RSX Binary Driver) - but only for older firmwares than 2.10.

So, if you want to run older firmware - you can run compiz. Of course - this probably prohibits newer games.

Re:VM hacking? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26695433)

Worth pointing out, that Ubunutu is not the best choice. Yellowdog is, it includes a patch to allow the 256MB of GPU memory to be used in addition to the regular 256MB of system XDR.

Ubunutu - 256MB
YellowDog = 512MB

Quite a performance difference. You could apply the kernel patch if you are so inclined to run Ubunutu, but why bother, it's clearly Yellowdog that is tweaked for PS3...

Re:VM hacking? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26690817)

Mod parent up, this is the most over-engineered solution to a hopeless problem I have ever read, and thus should boost karma.

Re:VM hacking? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26690851)

I'll be to bed in a minute, SOMEBODY IS WRONG IN THE INTERNET!

First and foremost, just about anything will compile for PPC unless it uses assembly. C is "portable" for a reason. This fact completely invalidates your entire post for most programs, even emulators.

Further beating the dead horse, due to the hypervisor you can't access the 3D acceleration goodness of the PS3 while running anything but the "Playstation OS". This is to prevent such awesomeness as playing pirated games and romz on a device meant to play legally bought stuff, but doesn't matter with the good ol' games & systems we love and respect.

Hand in your geek card.

Re:VM hacking? (-1)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26690971)

(sigh):

First and foremost, just about anything will compile for PPC unless it uses assembly

The Article (yes, they are not just a myth) explicitly tells of Ubuntu running on (err, op top of the hypervisor on) the PS3. Now, I for one do NOT want to go through and compile EACH AND EVERY SINGLE Ubuntu app I desire after being spoiled with apt-get (and dpkg before that) and repeating the process with EVERY SINGLE UPDATE/FIX. Further more, tracking down EACH AND EVERY library/dependency for said apps without the help of a packaging system would be a living breathing hell (and yes, some of said apps either use assembly or target the x86 architecture so closely that there is a speed loss on others due to instruction/stack/register differences brought up by gcc switches in the makefile, or intentionally by the coder).

And as mentioned above (in a less derogatory manner, you insensitive clod) the PS3 hypervisor would only offer a framebuffer to the PPC kernel hypervisor to pass to the guest x86 kernel to use (wasn't over-engineered brought up above, as well?) for video - so yes, you won't get HD performance on the box as I'm aware of now, but I'm sure the framebuffer at least offers something, you think? Oh thats right, nobody has taken the time to satisfy all the dependencies in the universe to compile a worthy app by hand to test it with. Yes, I've gotten a little spoiled since the green-screen days, but software has also gotten more complex (we still use C and its libraries to write ideal modern software/VMs, right?) so what do you expect?

Re:VM hacking? (3, Informative)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26691073)

The Article (yes, they are not just a myth) explicitly tells of Ubuntu running on (err, op top of the hypervisor on) the PS3. Now, I for one do NOT want to go through and compile EACH AND EVERY SINGLE Ubuntu app I desire after being spoiled with apt-get (and dpkg before that) and repeating the process with EVERY SINGLE UPDATE/FIX. Further more, tracking down EACH AND EVERY library/dependency for said apps without the help of a packaging system would be a living breathing hell (and yes, some of said apps either use assembly or target the x86 architecture so closely that there is a speed loss on others due to instruction/stack/register differences brought up by gcc switches in the makefile, or intentionally by the coder).

You've... never used a non-x86 Linux distro, have you? It's pretty much exactly the same as the equivalent x86 distro, except with a PowerPC/SPARC/MIPS/Alpha/ARM/etc. CPU instead. (And usually more sloppy QA, but that's another story.)

Very, very few programs require x86 assembly nowadays.

And as mentioned above (in a less derogatory manner, you insensitive clod) the PS3 hypervisor would only offer a framebuffer to the PPC kernel hypervisor to pass to the guest x86 kernel to use (wasn't over-engineered brought up above, as well?) for video - so yes, you won't get HD performance on the box as I'm aware of now, but I'm sure the framebuffer at least offers something, you think? Oh thats right, nobody has taken the time to satisfy all the dependencies in the universe to compile a worthy app by hand to test it with. Yes, I've gotten a little spoiled since the green-screen days, but software has also gotten more complex (we still use C and its libraries to write ideal modern software/VMs, right?) so what do you expect?

You've... never used a "fast" computer with a plain framebuffer, have you?

You know what, replying to you is a waste of time.

-:sigma.SB

Re:VM hacking? (2, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26694047)

Very, very few programs require x86 assembly nowadays.

Unless you're talking about emulators, in which case it's very common.

Re:VM hacking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26704067)

Mod parent up, invalidates the invalidator

Re:VM hacking? (1)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26718511)

Very, very few programs require x86 assembly nowadays.

Unless you're talking about emulators, in which case it's very common.

Very, very few programs are emulators.

-:sigma.SB

Re:VM hacking? (1)

gnu-sucks (561404) | more than 5 years ago | (#26691075)

The reason your post is "invalidated" is that you seem to suggest that if the kernel could emulate x86 instruction execution, then the article's author's problems would be solved.

Yet it's obvious, with modern linux distributions, you don't need to worry about if a program is already compiled for intel. You have bigger problems, like the graphics on the ps3, or how the os organizes its libraries, etc.

>Would it be too slow to load a slim PPC kernel and replace init
>with an optimized PPC-compiled qemu instance (basically; it
>would require much more than this) and run a virtual x86
>machine on that?

I mean, why? Why would any linux user need compatibility with another chip? To run linux apps compiled for the other chip? You've got to be kidding.

To run wine? And then run windows? Windows what? 3.11? Nothing modern will run well in this crazy proposed setup. The cell processors will indeed "deal with it" but in the years you would spend doing this, you won't accomplish anything useful when you're done.

And so that's why the parent poster "invalidated" your post.

Re:VM hacking? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26696621)

Why would any linux user need compatibility with another chip? To run linux apps compiled for the other chip? You've got to be kidding.

Because most assemblers don't support statically recompiling a .s file written for x86 to any other architecture. Emulators are more likely than the average spreadsheet program to spend a significant amount of time in code written and maintained in assembly language.

Nor can you recompile a non-free app that comes without source code. Not all programs designed to run on top of GNU/Linux are free software.

Re:VM hacking? (2, Informative)

corychristison (951993) | more than 5 years ago | (#26691087)

The Article (yes, they are not just a myth) explicitly tells of Ubuntu running on (err, op top of the hypervisor on) the PS3. Now, I for one do NOT want to go through and compile EACH AND EVERY SINGLE Ubuntu app I desire after being spoiled with apt-get (and dpkg before that) and repeating the process with EVERY SINGLE UPDATE/FIX. Further more, tracking down EACH AND EVERY library/dependency for said apps without the help of a packaging system would be a living breathing hell

You've obviously never used Gentoo Linux. This is where it shines the brightest.

That memory limit kicks the install times ass if you are installing live on the PS3.

There is, however, a pre-built stage4 tarball for the PS3 which contains all features and necessities for the PS3 (bluetooth stack, various drivers, etc.) you just install your wanted programs and tools afterward (like XFCE, or whatever windowmanager you prefer)

Re:VM hacking? (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26693453)

Exactly this. I'm trying to figure out how somebody who could come up with that big of a tottering pile of semiplausible technologies would not be able to figure out portage.

Re:VM hacking? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26700721)

Gentoo Linux

The article clearly says "Ubuntu", you fucking retard. And the parent you all are bashing (and demodding) has a point, Ubuntu on x86 has the best prepackaged software I'd hate to compile by hand all of the time. And he specifically mentioned Project 64 - EMULATOR, which = assembly. Get it right, and please shred your geek cards as well.

Re:VM hacking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26705071)

The article clearly says "Ubuntu", you fucking retard.

Hey man you shouldn't post on your period.

And the parent you all are bashing (and demodding) has a point, Ubuntu on x86 has the best prepackaged software I'd hate to compile by hand all of the time.

I have run Ubuntu for Powermac. (SInce Powermac and PS3 are both PowerPC the actual packages are the same...)
          There's no flash (gnash works on and off..). That's about it. Seriously there's not all these missing PowerPC packages that you think there are.

And he specifically mentioned Project 64 - EMULATOR, which = assembly

EMULATOR doesn't equal assembly. And, I guarantee, running some tightly-optimized x86 emulator under a x86 emulator for PowerPC is not going to be as fast as running an emulator that uses portable C code.

Re:VM hacking? (1)

Bluebottel (979854) | more than 5 years ago | (#26697337)

"I'll be to bed in a minute, SOMEBODY IS WRONG IN THE INTERNET! [xkcd.com] "
Obligatory xkcd quote. Made my day a bit brighter here in Sweden.

Re:VM hacking? (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 5 years ago | (#26691117)

x86 on x86 emulation was pretty slow before we had svm/vmx, although with it it's basically native speed now (except for anything graphical). I think QEMU can emulate x86 on PPC, but expect it to be slow, as there'll be no hardware acceleration (svm/vmx), and you can't use kqemu either. Really, you should just avoid the hassle and play Game! [wittyrpg.com] instead.

No need to stack a full x86 emulated system (3, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 5 years ago | (#26691401)

Would it be too slow to load a slim PPC kernel and replace init with an optimized PPC-compiled qemu instance {...} and run a virtual x86 machine on that? It seems the downsize would be: two kernels and an image in non-volatile storage {...} That is, assuming qemu can do x86->PPC, else find an alternative (or write one, hey!)

All this is an absolute overkill.
If there are a couple of binary-only Linux applications that you have to run on PS3 and they are only compiled for x86, there's QEMU which has a special mode for running Unix-on-Unix, where it emulates an x86 CPU only for the x86 application and passes through all system calls to the actual native OS.

The DarWINE project is exactly doing that to run Windows applications on PPC Mac OS X boxes : the windows application and assorted Wine glue code goes inside QEMU, the call translated to Unix libraries go to the native system.

If you need to run Windows application, probably DarWine isn't that far from being runnable on PPC Linux.

And if you need to run old-school DOS games, DosBox has a built-in x86 emulator anyway.

The "emulate a full x86 Linux running inside a PPC Linux" is just a complete waste of resources.

And, as pointed by other /.ers, the PS3 hypervisor doesn't let Linux access the GPU anyway. So no Compiz, no hardware accelerated emulation of consoles with 3D chips (no N64, no PSX without PS3's own OS, no DreamCast, etc.)
Still there's a good access to the Cell's stream processing units, so Linux on PS3 has a good value for doing scientific calculation, and there's an attempt to accelerate Mesa 3D with the SPUs, in order to have some hardware-accelerated OpenGL, even without the GPU.

Re:VM hacking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26692073)

Out of curiosity, why use project64 over mupen64(plus), which runs natively in linux?

Re:VM hacking? (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26693407)

Why not just recompile your target application for ppc?

Re:VM hacking? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26696837)

Why not just recompile your target application for ppc?

Endianness, and CPU and PPU emulation cores written in assembly language. Or has the emulation community come up with ways to handle those automatically?

Re:VM hacking? (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26696991)

A bundle of the emulators seem to work just fine on poorly supported architectures like the XBurst, so either they have or there's a bunch of very talented folks that like the Commodore 64 a touch too much.

Re:VM hacking? (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700531)

I wish someone WOULD create something like that :)

There's nothing stopping you having a kernel with QEMU in it's initrd, booting it up and picking up a virtual hard disk installed in your "Other OS" partition. This may have Windows or something else on it, requiring x86. QEMU will happily emulate most processors on top of whatever host processor (ARM->x86, ARM->PPC, PPC->x86, x86->PPC, add MIPS and whatever else into the mix)

It depends what you mean by "too slow". The PPU on the PS3 is pretty darn fast by any comparison, but obviously you're not going to get equivalent performance to a Core 2 Duo out of it. Would you be happy running Windows XP on a ~450MHz Pentium III? Because I think you could average out the performance to something like that.

What would really suck is the lack of available memory. The PS3 has 256MB of memory and after setting up the simplest of framebuffers (albeit accelerated using DMA transfers from XDR to the GPU last I checked) you get ~200MB of "high performance" swap in the leftover video RAM to play with. With additional technology like CompCache (http://code.google.com/p/compcache) you can get some more data in there if you like, and of course disk-based swap is always an option, but you're still going to be limited to a very memory-limited environment inside the emulation based on the underlying hardware.

Please, though, someone PLEASE go ahead and try this and see what can actually be done.. booting Windows XP on a PS3 would be pretty damn awesome by any standards, even if it is lacking in some obvious performance areas..

erm (3, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26690781)

All the software on my linux box (an ARM machine) was either compiled by me or came from the debian apt repositories (compiled for ARM). That's no different than if I was using x86. I fail to see what the issue is, unless you need to run closed source software or something tightly coupled to the x86 architecture, like WINE or virtual box.

don't do this (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26690787)

linux on ps3 sucks balls:

no access to gpu
10 gigs of disk space
~256 megs of memory
crappy ppc processor which meant for the stuff I wanted to do with it (read: boxee), I didn't have the libs.

Re:don't do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26690935)

Mod parent up. There's really no reason to run Linux on the PS3.

For the price of a PS3, you can get a nice, cheap, dual core system with at least 1GB of RAM. Unlike the PS3, you'll have access to the graphics hardware. Unlike the PS3, you'll have far more than 10GB of disk space. Unlike the PS3, you'll have access to x86 software.

The only reason anyone would ever consider running Linux on the PS3 was to play with the Cell, but the Cell has proven to be a complete flop. The "stream processing" power just isn't useful in almost every real-world scenario, and even when it is, the severe lack of memory in the PS3 makes a PC more useful.

Someone is sure to mention that "you can play games too" as a reason to get a PS3 to run Linux, because someone always does. Which is nice, but if you're running Linux, you're not playing games, are you? And if you did get it for the games, well, you're an idiot.

Linux on the PS3 is a waste of time. The PS3 just isn't powerful enough to be a useful Linux machine.

Re:don't do this (3, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26691897)

There's really no reason to run Linux on the PS3.

Neither is there any reason to run NetBSD on a toaster, but it's still fun (to some people).

And that's reason enough.

Re:don't do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26692643)

There's really no reason to run Linux on the PS3.

That you can think of. There are other people who can think up ideas too. Now shut your pie hole.

Where's the S-Video out on a $400 PC? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26696695)

For the price of a PS3, you can get a nice, cheap, dual core system with at least 1GB of RAM. Unlike the PS3, you'll have access to the graphics hardware.

But can the graphics hardware in an off-the-shelf "nice, cheap, dual core system" output a composite or S-Video signal for an SDTV to use? There's a huge installed base of SDTVs that are large enough for three or four people to fit around comfortably. The advantage of $400 game consoles over $400 PCs is that game consoles are guaranteed to have SDTV output, unlike the desktop PCs that I could find at Office Depot.

Re:Where's the S-Video out on a $400 PC? (2, Informative)

YouWantFriesWithThat (1123591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26697195)

at Office Depot

well there's your problem, right there

Then where can I buy a $400 PC with TV out? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26698303)

You claim that desktop PCs have no SDTV output because they were purchased at Office Depot. So where do you recommend to buy a ready-to-run desktop gaming PC with SDTV output for $400?

Re:Then where can I buy a $400 PC with TV out? (1)

YouWantFriesWithThat (1123591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26698607)

oh suck up the self-importance and get a sense of humor. also: not your personal shopper.

i actually didn't claim anything, but i can tell you that you are not going to get a gaming rig for $400 at a brick and mortar retailer. you might be able to get a bare-bones system and a video card online if you want a cheap gaming rig. a quick perusal of tigerdirect.com shows barebones systems based on dual core processors for between $200 and $400. if you pick lower end you can get a graphics card with whatever connectors you want for a hundred or so.

don't expect the deal of the century at a big box retailer, they have to heat and light that huge building. you say "ready to run" but you should probably just suck it up and assemble it yourself. this is not rocket surgery, dude.

Re:Where's the S-Video out on a $400 PC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26699165)

You've completely missed the point.

But can the graphics hardware in an off-the-shelf "nice, cheap, dual core system" output a composite or S-Video signal for an SDTV to use?

Maybe not out of the box, but you can find adapters for $40-$60. Find a cheap enough desktop, throw in a $60 converter, and you've got yourself a PC that can output to SDTV for under the cost of a PS3 with more disk space and much more memory.

Now, you went the "gaming PC" route, which is entirely irrelevant if you're planning on comparing a PC running Linux to a PS3 running Linux.

Sure, your cheap little Linux PC won't be able to run sweet games - but, then again, neither will the PS3 while running Linux!

If you're looking for a cheap machine to run Linux on, the PS3 is a horrible choice. A cheap desktop is a much better choice.

Re:Where's the S-Video out on a $400 PC? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700831)

Maybe not out of the box, but you can find adapters for $40-$60.

They're not in Best Buy, and not everyone knows about sewelldirect.com.

Sure, your cheap little Linux PC won't be able to run sweet games - but, then again, neither will the PS3 while running Linux!

But at least the PS3 can be dual-booted to PS3 mode.

Re:don't do this (1)

techprophet (1281752) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700597)

You can have more than 10GB. Use the other option. (10GB for XMB Rest for Linux)

Re:don't do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26691025)

linux on ps3 sucks balls:

no access to gpu

...and until Linux can transparently migrate processes to the SPEs, running Folding@Home sucks. Even assuming that works well one day, one SPE will quietly do its hypervisor/DRM/??? thing. Ick.

Re:don't do this (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26691719)

Why would you want to run folding@home under PS3 linux, when there already is a native PS3 client that utilizes the SPUs?

The GPU clients beat the PS3 client, but it's still faster than the normal CPU-only PC clients by far.

Re:don't do this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26691133)

You obviously don't know what you're talking about. The Cell is way more powerful than that obsolete piece of shit x86 cpu on your desktop.

For most people, its vice versa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26691275)

You obviously don't know what you're talking about. The Cell is way more powerful than that obsolete piece of shit x86 cpu on your desktop.

Actually, the x86 cpu will annihilate the Cell on most desktop applications. Yes, a Cell processor with '9' cores instead of a dual core x86 will be able to do ~4 more number crunching. However, for untuned code, which most software is, x86 cpu will be able to slice through with its snazy OOE and branch prediction hardware. The Cell does not have that fancy stuff and will just stall.

Re:For most people, its vice versa (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26691377)

Oh god, go the fuck away dimwit.

Too many idiots babbling about shit they read from other idiots on the Net.

Re:For most people, its vice versa (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26691419)

If the cell is so much better, then, how come nothing on the PS3 demonstrates a massive superiority over a decent, new pc?

Yes, I'm sure they aren't utilizing it completely, and in a few years the games will be more impressive. By then, of course, pc hardware will have advanced more dramatically.

Re:For most people, its vice versa (2, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26692397)

"If the cell is so much better, then, how come nothing on the PS3 demonstrates a massive superiority over a decent, new pc?

Yes, I'm sure they aren't utilizing it completely..."

Well, in the one sense you're right, if games shops don't learn to program properly for cell in pretty short order then the PC market will get ahead again. Actually that's pretty inevitable, because consoles are never quite cutting edge when released and then sink back from there.

OTOH, look up roadrunner and other mixed Opteron/Cell supercomputers. The cell is pretty shit-hot, if you know what you're doing with it, and it's not like they released one version and stuck with it. We have faster Cell chips than are in the PS3 now.

Re:For most people, its vice versa (1)

techprophet (1281752) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701389)

I'd like to run Crysis on there...but it's PPC, and i don't feel like QEMUing it on 1GB RAM (I upgraded it)

Re:don't do this (2, Informative)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26693619)

I'll give you "no access to gpu". The rest, no.

If you want more than 10GB of space, you can do it two ways. First, you can set up the PS3 so that the "Game OS" gets 10GB and Linux gets the rest - or you can hook up a USB2 drive.

You don't get access to the GPU, but you do get access to the GPU's memory, and they've come up with a way to use that VRAM as a fast swap device, bumping the effective memory close to 512MB. Still not spectacular, but certainly quite workable.

And if you can't build stuff from source, oh well. It's not that hard. (To those who would say they shouldn't have to build from source... sure, on a PC. Going off the beaten path to install Linux on a console, yeah, you should expect to have to roll up your sleeves a little. If you don't want to do that... then you're not a member of the intended audience.)

Re:don't do this (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26696749)

You don't get access to the GPU, but you do get access to the GPU's memory, and they've come up with a way to use that VRAM as a fast swap device

How long until Sony releases a firmware update that disables that way?

And if you can't build stuff from source, oh well. It's not that hard.

Emulator source code is more likely than that of other kinds of applications to include .s files. A .s file contains assembly language source code, which is specific to an instruction set. How do I translate .s files for x86 into .s files for PowerPC?

SNES, NES, Genesis. You can't go wrong (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26690853)

A roommate of mine that has unfortunately moved out has a PS3 and a big HDTV. We spent a lot of time playing PS3. Some of those new games look amazing in HD... really amazing.

Despite this, we spent a lot more time playing roms under ubuntu. I've always used ZSNES on my computers, but unfortunately some of it is written in X86 compiler. SNES9X works great on PS3 ubuntu though, and finding emulators for other systems compiled for PPC really isn't hard at all.

Re:SNES, NES, Genesis. You can't go wrong (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26696873)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

Despite [the amazing look of PS3 games' graphics in high definition], we spent a lot more time playing roms under ubuntu.

What copier did you use to dump the roms from your Super NES Game Paks?

Re:SNES, NES, Genesis. You can't go wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26698121)

Probably Bittorrent...

Architecture isn't a bid deal (4, Insightful)

gnu-sucks (561404) | more than 5 years ago | (#26691007)

>Since the PS3's Cell Processor is PowerPC based, you won't be
>able to use any Linux software that's compiled for x86, which is,
>unfortunately, most of it.

I have to say, to most linux users, the specific architecture and processor really aren't meaningful. The linux kernel, gnu userland, and associated popular applications have always been distributed in source code first, and binaries as they are made available. The entire concept of open-source depends on source distribtion.

It is absolutely no problem if an app is distributed in source form or binary (compiled). True, a "standard" linux install base, while it may be defined, is rarely realized. So you could argue that distributing in source code creates problems because needed dependencies can't always be met. But then again, this doesn't help with binary distribution either. Ever try to install an RPM on a non-rpm-ish linux distro? It can be done, yes, but it involves a lot of details. Just as compiling does.

Debian is awesome for distributing such a wide range of apps compiled for so many architectures. But it is truly sad to see someone write that it is "unfortunate" that most linux installs are x86 and his is ppc. The entire concept of linux is that linux is a kernel and a userland distributed in source. It doesn't matter what hardware you have (within reasonable limits... toasters, watches, etc).

There's nothing "unfortunate" about an intel chip, a sparc processor, or a power pc, in terms of the ability of linux to run on it. It's a bigger deal if you're running generic pc hardware with some new video or wifi card. But even this sort of par for the course these days.

Re:Architecture isn't a big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26692093)

Is it possible to get a bootloader going? say you flash a ps3 with firmware 2.09 or whatever. then you run linux which then boots firmware 2.10 without writing it to the console. firmware 2.10 then boots the latest games and you have your 2.09 firmware back?

Re:Architecture isn't a big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26692983)

Is it possible to get a bootloader going? say you flash a ps3 with firmware 2.09 or whatever. then you run linux which then boots firmware 2.10 without writing it to the console. firmware 2.10 then boots the latest games and you have your 2.09 firmware back?

It sounds like you don't really understand what firmware is. Firmware will always be read in a device chain before a bootloader. That's what makes it firmware.

Re:Architecture isn't a bid deal (1)

emj (15659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26692543)

There's nothing "unfortunate" about an intel chip, a sparc processor, or a power pc, in terms of the ability of linux to run on it. It's a bigger deal if you're running generic pc hardware with some new video or wifi card.

+1 Very important issue. But IMO the only thing that's stopping desktop Linux on ARM, mips etc is probably Adobe Flash support..

Re:Architecture isn't a bid deal (1)

gnu-sucks (561404) | more than 5 years ago | (#26693767)

Good point -- for closed-source applications, your system has to closely match whatever a particular piece of software was written to run under.

They have some kind of solution for PPC linux, I can't remember what it is though. I think it's a third-party somewhat compatible plugin.

But I think the real desktop linux barrier is the lack of a standard desktop environment. Last time I toyed with desktop linux, just about everything was half-way broken (compared with my mac, that is). Changing around screen resolutions, for example, involved authenticating as root, hoping I chose a valid resolution, and restarting the X Window system. Dragging a file from a web browser to the desktop -- make a link? save the file? How about dragging an mp3 from xmms to an email. Not likely to work. Oh, and cut/copy/paste... don't get me started!

Linux is a great server environment, and also a good graphical environment for specific non-general purposes, but I think it has a very long way to go before it's a real desktop os alternative.

So until they work all this and more out, I'm sticking with Mac OS X... unix, graphics, multimedia, and industry support... good stuff imo :)

Re:Architecture isn't a bid deal (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26696091)

How long ago was that - Just checking behaviour in KDE 4.2 now... Providing your hardware is detected properly Switching graphics modes is a simple point and click affair. dragging a file from web browser to an open folder pops up a dialogue box asking if want to copy move or create a link... Can't comment about xmms but I can certainly drag MP3s from Amarok and photos from digikam into kmail. Cut copy and paste of images could be a lot bet but for text I prefer it to everything else out there. Unix makes it really easy to copy and paste just using your mouse and being to access the last few items in your clipboard is a big advantage.

Linux Desktop Features (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#26697147)

Mod parent up...

The issue at this point isn't so much about having a coherent desktop - KDE provides that. (I can't personally vouch for Gnome...) The issue is that this "coherent desktop" is less a feature of "Linux" per se and more a feature of KDE (or Gnome). This desktop can run applications that aren't part of the environment - but if you want the integration you have to stick to stuff that really is part of that environment.

Re:Architecture is a big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26697103)

There's nothing "unfortunate" about an intel chip, a sparc processor, or a power pc, in terms of the ability of linux to run on it. It's a bigger deal if you're running generic pc hardware with some new video or wifi card. But even this sort of par for the course these days.

Au contraire.

I have a 12" Powerbook. Its graphics chipset (and I think its wireless chipset, as well) are supported on Linux- but only via binary-only drivers for the Intel architecture. A free driver apparently does exist for the graphics card, but it's not capable of 3-D acceleration.

This machine is nearly five years old. It's not "some new video or wi-fi card". The drivers for Linux simply don't exist in source form. So I find it very unfortunate at this point that the machine is PowerPC-based. If it were Intel-based, I'd be able to run Linux on it and get performance comparable to Mac OS.

A shame, really - I'd otherwise be quite happy running Linux on that machine... I'm a big fan of CPUs with a reasonable number of registers... And IA32 isn't great at handling the quantities of RAM you get in systems these days... Even the 1.25GB in that laptop would complicate things on IA-32 - requiring highmem support or a 2GB/2GB kernel/user split...

Re:Architecture is a big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26699073)

Running Linux on a Powerbook is like dumping dirty mop water into your marble bathtub.

It's a shame... (1)

jamesmcm (1354379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26692149)

It's a shame the graphics card is restricted, otherwise it would really have a lot of potential for computing (and playing Urban Terror :P).

It seems Sony have shot themselves in the foot with this shortsighted move.

Re:It's a shame... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26692915)

I don't know what the numbers are for the PS3, but typically game consoles are sold at cost or at a loss, with the plan being that game royalties, licensing, and other goodies make up for the loss. They are traditionally the real revenue stream.

Assuming this is the case for the PS3, the last thing they want is a bunch of people buying up consoles for use as Linux machines. That would be a quick trip to the poor house for Sony. The only way I could seem them opening up a box for that kind of use would be to sell a much more expensive Linux version. I can only imagine the whining and gnashing of teeth that would trigger.

It seems to me the only point in running Linux on the PS3 is just to see if it can be done. In the end, it's probably about as useful as ucLinux on the iPod. It was cool to do it, but it sucked so badly that I went back to the provided OS fairly quickly.

Re:It's a shame... (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26693623)

For the first generation PS3, I think sony's loss was $2-300/console. They ditched the emotion engine and other efficiencies have cut the loss to closer to $100/console. I might be making those numbers up, though.

PS3? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26692459)

I can't even get Ubuntu to install on a PC right, why would I want to try it on a PS3?

Handbrake? (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26696979)

I've been thinking, wouldn't this make a shit hot box to do h.264 encoding on? Isn't that one of the things that the cell is optimized for? SMP across 9 cell cores doing h.264 encoding and I know when encoding a dvd that handbrake uses virtually no memory on my dual core amd64 box. Just an honest question.

Re:Handbrake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26697857)

Yes. Toshiba made a Cell-derived coprocessor [wikipedia.org] for those kinds of tasks, and several manufacturers started producing add-on cards [custompc.co.uk] for the PC using the chip.

Isn't this kind of like.... (1)

KefkaZ (1393099) | more than 5 years ago | (#26697817)

putting a rocket engine on your honda civic? Yes, you can do it, but why would you want to?

MAME? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26698953)

I wish that he would have mentioned some way to run MAME, that's better than SNES games anyway.

Also, here is a way to run a fast Mplayer on PS3 Linux [linux.yes.nu] . This custom version of Mplayer uses the SPUs. I have an 80 GB PS3 and I'm eager to try some of this stuff out.

it's been said before (1)

TheDreadedGMan (1122791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26698993)

Well yes you can "hobby" linux on your PS3... sony even provides some help... but if you think you're going to get anything cool out of it, think again, it's just going to be a hobby...

1. No HD... wow SD is so "cool"
2. No GPU... wow my PS3 has such cool 3d graphics... or not!!

So basically you get a low end computer with the inconvenience of PPC (so you can't use the majority of binaries) it's non-usefulness as a slick media player (no HD etc) or a "Game machine" (no x86 or GPU) basically means it's a big fail and thanks to Sony for a hobby "yes it runs linux" -- but no cool features.

In fact, one of the "reasons" for having a computer, e.g. playing copied games of course will not work as that's not what Sony wants you to do with "your" hardware... they would prefer you use their OS, their software etc

Linux as a 'game' (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26707915)

Call me when Linux runs as like a 'game' on the PS3 and I don't have to reboot everything and sacrifice access to my friends list, etc.

As it stands, it's just too much work to reboot into Ubuntu mode on the PS3 to have it be worth my while. (Yes, I tried it for a while.)

Maybe if all my other systems were broken and I couldn't afford to buy a new one... But then, I'd be a sad techie if that were ever the case.

And let's face it, this is only for techies.

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