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First PlayStation 3 Custom Firmware Created

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the you-bought-it dept.

Hardware Hacking 269

Stoobalou writes "Hot on the heels of the discovery of the the PlayStation 3 private root key, and its subsequent leakage by iPhone hacker Geohot, the first custom firmware for the formerly impenetrable console has been released. A code wrangler known only as Kakaroto reckons he has created the world's first custom firmware for the popular console — although if you're expecting it to help you play pirated games, you might be a little disappointed."

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Won't Be Long... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765572)

...before the PlayStation can be used just like a ...umm...PC.

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765608)

instead of a severely limited 'Walled Garden' entertainment appliance.

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765630)

This is why i don't understand that so many people are so obsessed with the idea of running homebrew or emulators or w/e on their consoles...

Why can't you just use your PC? Everything you need is available there...

Re:Won't Be Long... (1, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765694)

Why can't you just use your PC? Everything you need is available there...

Well, except a couch, a large flatscreen, surround sound, not having to show normals your cable-infested pit with the huge stack useless drives in the corner...

Re:Won't Be Long... (1, Redundant)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765922)

My computer has HDMI out and is in the living room so there goes that theory.

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765984)

Yes, and everyone else is the world has exactly the same setup as you.

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766050)

And everyone else in the world has a ps3?

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766196)

More people have a ps3 than a computer connected tv setup.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766358)

What if you have both?

I'm such a nerd. :(

Re:Won't Be Long... (2, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766596)

HDMI is hardly rare, you actually have to go out of your way to get a computer without it these days. Anybody can move their computer into their livingroom. It's not magic, just a little manual labor. ...oh wait, that might be a problem for most slashdotters.

Re:Won't Be Long... (2)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766498)

Cost could be a sensible reason to go with a console. Obviously there are often multiple 'correct' choices, and it depends on the specific task, but consoles tend to have a decent power/price ratio, especially later in their lifespan, as well as low noise and all the nice TV interface bits included as standard.

A few years back I grabbed an original Xbox to use as a media centre - this was well after the 360 was out, so I got console & DVD remote for about £35 total; it's still running today, streaming iPlayer and the like, although it's showing its age a little. I imagine the PS3 will be able to handle most HD media for the next decade or so, so when a relatively quiet, small, integrated box like the PS3 slim drops to $100 or so it'll give a 'proper' PC a good run for its money.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766044)

Hmm, I have my PC plugged into my eight year old TV, and with newer TVs it's even easier. The stack of "useless" drives is in the basement.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766530)

I don't have a basement, you insensitive clod!

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766708)

That is because you are IN the basement. You don't have a basement^2 is the proper exclamation.

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766192)

Well, except a couch, a large flatscreen, surround sound, not having to show normals your cable-infested pit with the huge stack useless drives in the corner...

All of which can be done with a PC too!

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766272)

Except my PC is hooked up to a large flatscreen, with surround sound, with proper cable management, and is used for programming/testing my 800+ character MUGEN game.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766722)

not having to show normals your cable-infested pit with the huge stack useless drives in the corner...

I consider that a sort of trial by fire. It weeds out the weak.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765710)

I just want to see my PS3 play PS3 games, connect to netflix, and play any movies/music I have on my Windows network without having to setup a DLNA server and transcode (i.e.: let me install the codecs).

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765754)

I just want to see my PS3 play PS3 games, connect to netflix, and play any movies/music I have on my Windows network without having to setup a DLNA server and transcode (i.e.: let me install the codecs).

Linut Mint (an Ubuntu variant) ships with all the codes, just run PMS on it and you're ready to go. It's definitely not the PS3 being difficult here.

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765852)

Linut Mint (an Ubuntu variant) ships with all the codes, just run PMS on it and you're ready to go. It's definitely not the PS3 being difficult here.

Thanks, but got a GF to run that one already. She's the one being difficult, by the way.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

indecks (1208854) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765928)

I assume by PMS you mean PS3 Media Server? I'm using TVersity right now and I effin' HATE it. DLNA errors irritate the hell out of me and TVersity's messageboards do nothing to help. I might have to check that out.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766000)

Can't tell if you're trolling or serious. Install a whole new server just to run PMS (which runs on Windows just fine already anyway...) to transcode video files (which the GP said they didn't want to do)?

Re:Won't Be Long... (1, Informative)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766018)

Let's paraphase the post your replied to, and your post

I want to stream movies from several SMB shares without needing to install a transcoding PMS (possibly because one of them is Network Attached Storage so installing a PMS would be impossible)

Now your response:

Have you considered using a transcoding PMS?

Re:Won't Be Long... (5, Informative)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766270)

Don't waste your time (and hair). Just get a small $250 ION nettop and install XBMC. It is the bees knees. If you're lazy you can google for "xbmcfreak", the guy releases customized LiveCDs that take most of the hassle out of installing it.

No DRM, no transcoding, and it will play 1080p H.264 with ease thanks to the onboard GPU. Share your movies over SMB, FTP, NFS, HTTP, whatever. Way easier than trying to coax your PS3 into doing piratey things.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766514)

Just make sure your the nettop comes with Windows 7 and get a Media Center Remote. Not only will you have a cool media player completely controlled remote with XBMC, but you will have Netflix with the Media Center software, and you will have TV shows via the Hulu client. All of these controlled with a regular TV remote.

I canceled my satellite service last April. It is the first time in over 30 years that I have not had some form of cable service. My family watches 8-10 hours of TV a day. We haven't missed the satellite channels. The single factor that seems to be a showstopper for people doing this is that you don't get sports.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765728)

This is why i don't understand that so many people are so obsessed with the idea of running homebrew or emulators or w/e on their consoles...

Why can't you just use your PC? Everything you need is available there...

But maybe not at 'maximum power'. The PS3's Cell processor is ideal for parallel applications, such as code breaking, or massive number crunching. The US military used to have a cluster of PS3's running Linux for massively parallel computation before Sony nixed the option. Maybe they'll download Kakaroto's firmware, if the haven't figured out the root key by themselves already.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766052)

I'm gonna make the general assumption that the US military doesn't have it's number crunching cluster hooked up to the public Internet to stay up to date with every firmware, so they're probably still using the cluster just fine.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766092)

I think it's a pretty good bet that the DoD already has the key necessary to do whatever they like with it. Whether Sony caved in secret or they just had the NSA crack it is sort of a moot point.

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766160)

They're fine until units break and they're unrepairable. Sony won't be able send back refurb units with the same functionality. Offering "slim upgrades" isn't going to help. Linux support was ripped out by Sony, and there aren't many units available that have it. The US airforce's cluster will gradually die, or they'll get new machines with CFW, which may well be illegal.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766208)

I'm pretty sure the Air Force doesn't give a flying fcuk whether or not the firmware's illegal. It's not like Sony has the balls to sue them (and by extension, the US Government) for it...

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766562)

They're fine until units break and they're unrepairable. Sony won't be able send back refurb units with the same functionality. Offering "slim upgrades" isn't going to help. Linux support was ripped out by Sony, and there aren't many units available that have it. The US airforce's cluster will gradually die, or they'll get new machines with CFW, which may well be illegal.

So much stupid here.
The PS3 hardware's life span far exceeds the cluster's usefulness. By the time they're hit with hardware failures, they'll have a bigger and better cluster using whatever newfangled cpu some company is selling at a loss/near cost.
Sony is absolutely able to send back refurb or new units with OtherOS enabled. They just don't. If the military phones them up and asks for OtherOS-enabled PS3s, they'll get them.
There is no hardware difference between the fats and the slims that has anything to do with OtherOS.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766276)

The problem isn't that they can't update the firmware, but that they can't replace defective or dying units with new units. They can buy used units somewhere, but that's not an ideal long-term solution.

My guess is that they'll use the cluster until enough units have died that they can't do whatever they need the cluster to do, then wipe the remaining drives and auction off the remaining PS3s.

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766678)

haha
millitary wipe and sell drives ?
hahahahaha

Sorry, much as I'd love everything to be recycled they just don't risk it It's off to hard disk thermite heaven they go.

It would be great if they could pull the platters and only toast them, recycle the rest but I bet it's deemed too time consuming :/

Sure the PS3 without the disk could probably be sold ok once they've ran a few random cycles through the system they might consider that enough if what they processed wasn't considered sensitive.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

rs1n (1867908) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765736)

This is why i don't understand that so many people are so obsessed with the idea of running homebrew or emulators or w/e on their consoles...

Why can't you just use your PC? Everything you need is available there...

If you're talking about gaming, nothing beats a huge screen and full surround sound. Most people have an entertainment system that includes a large, HD TV and an equivalently expensive speaker system. While you could run the emulators on your PCs, most people prefer to make use of their entertainment system for their gaming, and their PC for "real work" (whatever that may mean).

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765810)

Not sure what country you live in where:

Most people have an entertainment system that includes a large, HD TV and an equivalently expensive speaker system.

I see no evidence of that being true in the US though. Most does mean "more than 50%". I think I know a couple of people who have that, but not many. Most people in the US don't make enough money to have that setup.

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766042)

Most people that own a $300 video game system do though.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766586)

Most people that own a FIVE HUNDRED, NINETY-NINE US DOLLARS, 4D, LUCID DREAMING, DUAL HDMI, TREBLE GIGABIT NETWORK PORT video game system do though.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766142)

You don't have to make a lot of money to have a nice TV and entertainment center setup. This is America, remember?

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766188)

I think the average tv size in the us is 32in with 42in being fairly common as well, that is much bigger than the average computer monitor.

Re:Won't Be Long... (0)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765830)

playing on console and big screen is simply so much better than PC. everything simply works and there is no needed upgrades.

now imagine my position. i only have one HDMI on my projector and i play on 4m screen (also my playing distance is fairly away to fit that screen). can't and don't want to plug PC. my gaming setup costed more than 10000eur. i don't plan to hassle with PC and its deficiencies based on "JUST WORKS" principle for multimedia.

while i will never, ever pirate one game, i'd still love to watch my (legaly bought/produced) multimedia files on screen larger than my 27" monitor and sitting in my comfy gaming chair instead of piece of my office furniture.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765864)

It's a childish reaction. You know, the one where mom or dad or your teacher tells you not to do something that you know is perfectly safe to do but that you shouldn't do it "because I said so!"

Also, spite. To really stick it to Sony that OtherOS satisfied most everyone who was interested and that by taking away this on the box feature, they brought this on.

Plus the usual "because it's there", curiosity about the architecture, etc.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766752)

It's a childish reaction. You know, the one where mom or dad or your teacher tells you not to do something that you know is perfectly safe to do but that you shouldn't do it "because I said so!"

A child who disobeys an arbitrary order is more mature than the adult who issues it. Maturity is not capricious.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766048)

Why can't you just use your PC? Everything you need is available there...

The Cell BE? I know it is a bit dated, but it is still a fairly powerful CPU, and while it is not as "sexy" as GPGPU, it is still competitive considering the price you pay for a PS3.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766082)

Theoretically because its standardized hardware you could write things very specifically for it, garnering a HUGE performance boost over general purpose hardware.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

headhot (137860) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765708)

Again.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

ChibiOne (716763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765740)

...before the PlayStation can be used just like a ...umm...PC.

More than just a PC: a fully functional HTPC.

Re:Won't Be Long... (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765792)

before someone at Sony is sitting in a corner rocking back and forth holding a P45 saying "Why oh why did I remove linux from the PS3?"

Not really working that well (2)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765598)

although if you're expecting it to play games, you might be disappointed.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=25233449&postcount=3752 [neogaf.com]

FTFW

Re:Not really working that well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765666)

He's apparently fixed that since, only the icons were missing

Re:Not really working that well (3, Informative)

keitosama (990483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765688)

According to PS3-Hacks, only the menu items for trophies, save data, etc were missing, and the hacker has apparently already released an update fixing this bug. http://www.ps3-hacks.com/2011/01/04/ps3-custom-firmware-creator-released-permanently-add-install-pkgs-to-the-xmb/ [ps3-hacks.com]

Re:Not really working that well (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765902)

ALTHOUGH
My SaveData is gone, same with trophies and data Utilities
idk it might be because i formated my drive let me test games out

TESTING RESULTS
GAMES:
seem to load just fine however!!!!!!!!!

YOU LOOSE [sic] TROPHIES(STILL TESTING, playgame but they don't appear again)
YOU LOOSE [sic] SAVE DATA MENU
YOU LOOSE [sic] DATA UTILIT Very crucial to have if you want to clear space on HDD
PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING UNDER GAME CATAGORY

And the English Language weeps....

Re:Not really working that well (0)

JDeane (1402533) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766080)

You needed to continue reading down a bit further, to the part where is says "Update: KaKaRoTo has fixed the missing XMB menu items."

Re:Not really working that well (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766396)

And YOU need to continue reading down on my post. Had you done so, you might have been able to deduce that I was criticizing the "/.ian" loose/lose confusion in the post, since the the bold font and the [sic] weren't enough of a clue for you.

And so, the English Language gets joined by Reading Comprehension in weeping....

Re:Not really working that well (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766492)

I think GP was referring to the bastardization of the language more than the content of the post.

Loose vs. Lose, catagory vs. category, formated vs formatted. I'm ignoring the missing letters, but it's still fun to read it as written. I am a little confused how one would "formate" a drive though.

Increased Sales? (1)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765650)

I wonder, is it possible that this might increase the sales numbers for the PS3? Now that they're a hackable machine, all sorts of enthusiasts are going to want to play with one, and the "dirty pirates" might buy one to play downloaded games. While this isn't a good thing for Sony, perhaps a sort of silver lining?

Re:Increased Sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765684)

Console sales yeild little revenue, its all made in game and accessory sales

Re:Increased Sales? (3, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765696)

Increased sales of a console are meaningless to these companies without an accompanying high attachment rate on buying games.

Re:Increased Sales? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765758)

Increased sales of a console are meaningless to these companies without an accompanying high attachment rate on buying games.

I thought both the Xbox360 and PS3 had reached the point where the consoles themselves were profitable now, such that while a high attach rate is desirable, sales of consoles in and of themselves are still positives for the company.

Re:Increased Sales? (4, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765924)

Indeed, sales of all three consoles are now profitable (and have been for about 2 years). The margins are still small on all three, though. Last numbers I remember seeing indicated that for the console manufacturer, one console sale was roughly equivalent to two game sales. That's not bad, but it's not fantastic either. Might be outdated, of course; you'd expect the margins on hardware sales to get larger as time goes on.

The Kinect, however, has an absolutely stonkingly huge profit margin for each unit sold. No wonder MS were treating its release as a new console launch. Even if the Kinect attach rate for games is awful, as I suspect it probably will be (unless games improve from the launch titles), MS are probably already laughing their way to the bank on that one.

Re:Increased Sales? (3, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766110)

I agree on the PS3 and 360, but surely the margins on the Wii must be pretty good. No Blu-Ray, no hard drive, small processor. Instead of a price drop they just bundled in a game made by Nintendo.

I would expect that Nintendo could drop $50 or more off the price of the Wii and still make money on each unit sold. They haven't dropped the price in years.

Re:Increased Sales? (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765958)

Not to mention the slight chance of 1. the rabbid obnoxious fanboys that like to quote the sales figures of consoles, and 2. who knows maybe 3rd parties use the console sales as a metric when deciding what systems to develop their new game for.

Re:Increased Sales? (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765966)

Hey buddy, wake up. It's the 21st Century. You should know that being profitable is just not good enough any more. Every business unit has to be more profitable year-after-year! A lower attachment rate will reduce profitability, so the bean counters will insist that the techies put a stop to this custom firmware nonsense.

Re:Increased Sales? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766030)

There is a difference between just profitable and profitable enough. You could turn a $0.01 net profit and it would be "profitable" but possibly not "profitable enough" to justify its resource consumption.

Re:Increased Sales? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766186)

They are profitable now, that's one of the reasons why Sony started to remove chips from the PS3 pretty much from the start, to get the cost down under what they were selling it for.

But, really, if people buy them and want to use them for Linux then Sony shouldn't be allowed to do anything about it. If I buy a console then I own it, and should be able to do whatever I like with it. Provided it doesn't screw up anybody else's experience. And even then with the minimum restraint necessary to solve the problem.

XBMC !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765664)

XBMC !!!

Tuxracer, here I come! (2)

Andrioid (1755390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765668)

Tuxracer, here I come!

Same Kakarato as in aMSN? (1)

Talavis (906015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765704)

Unless I'm misstaken, it's the same guy that also made first implementation of MSN webcam features on Linux.

Before blaming piracy on them (1)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765726)

should we also apply the same tactics and proclaim Nobel as greatest mass murderer our planet has ever seen? [ although i hate guns, i still agree with "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" ]

and homebrew applies very well when you have really expensive setup. i don't have pc connected to it and i don't plan to run it on small 27" screen

Re:Before blaming piracy on them (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765912)

One newspaper did just that. This was what prompted him to set up the Nobel prize.

Re:Before blaming piracy on them (1)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766038)

lol, true. but still i don't see him in history books being mentioned before Hitler&Co.

So how long until the DMCA lawsuits? (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765742)

Or rather, DMCA lawsuits specifically related to custom firmware. I'd be interested to know how the courts (or a jury) would side on issues specific to hardware. Then again, FTFA it says the guy wont be publicly releasing the update, just the tools to build it yourself.

Re:So how long until the DMCA lawsuits? (1)

rs1n (1867908) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765772)

Or rather, DMCA lawsuits specifically related to custom firmware. I'd be interested to know how the courts (or a jury) would side on issues specific to hardware. Then again, FTFA it says the guy wont be publicly releasing the update, just the tools to build it yourself.

Unless custom firmware is completely devoid of Sony's firmware, anyone releasing "custom" firmware is probably going to lose in court. However, I wonder if Sony might try to sue based on him releasing tools that enable circumventing Sony's official firmware.

Re:So how long until the DMCA lawsuits? (2)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765946)

This reminds me of the Texas Instruments debacle [eff.org] in 2009

XBMC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765762)

XBMC is all we need now!

Some come out with a other os hack and what will (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765794)

Some come out with a other os hack and what will try to do with that?

Use the DMCA? but doing that on a hack that just opens up Linux may open sony to other legal issues.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34765796)

Sony has announced with great fanfare...and a strange bit of haste...their newest console, the Playstation 4!

Additionally, Sony has announced that all Playstation 3s will be unable to use the Playstation Network beginning 31 January.

BUT VEGETA (0)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765836)

The whole UNIVERSE is going to DIE!

Who cares about pirated games... (5, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765838)

I'd love a ROM for these that essentially just makes the PS3 and all its features available to a Linux distribution. Similar to the Other OS functionality, except with full access to the hardware.

There are a lot of cool things a PS3 could do. It is inexpensive, reliable hardware. Of course, XMBC can address the media aspects, but for non-media, I can think of a few things (some can already be done):

1: Hook it up to an external disk array, and use it as a NAS head, with encryption. Perhaps have it rsync to a gmailfs directory for backups to the "cloud" of critical files.
2: Three Ethernet ports, so it can do some complicated firewalling/IDS/IPS/content filtering/NAT.
3: Persistent storage for a squid cache, a caching DNS, DHCP, DDNS.
4: RADIUS server for the wireless router.
5: LDAP
6: Mail gateway.
7: VPN server.
8: SSH gateway.

These are relatively boring things for a PC to do, but a PS3 has the advantage of being relatively inexpensive, reliable, and a non-x86 architecture, which may help things if an attacker manages to get arbitrary code executing.

I almost wish Sony allowed this in the first place -- there is a vast, untapped market for an all in one home server appliance, that doesn't just provide file and print serving, but authentication, caching, and many other features.

Re:Who cares about pirated games... (2)

mccalli (323026) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766016)

I'd love a ROM for these that essentially just makes the PS3 and all its features available to a Linux distribution.

I'd love to get the Blu-Ray drive acessible and act as a ripper. I buy my media - I buy DVDs, I buy music online. I'd like to buy blu-Ray too but won't due to DRM - at the moment any blu-rays we've watched have been via rental. I'd like to rip them for use on a media server, but the only blu-ray drive I've got is the PS3. Be handy if we could get access to that and install a ripper.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Who cares about pirated games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766098)

but the reason it's inexpencive is that sony is/was selling the hardware at a loss.

SONY doesn't want to sell the hardware to people who woun't buy the games and blue-ray media that are where they make their money. So they have no incentive to support those use cases.

Really the stupid mistake they made was ever allowing other OS's on the thing. It makes no sence given their buisness model.

Re:Who cares about pirated games... (5, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766116)

There are hundreds of options for hardware better at doing the things you just listed that are cheaper than a Playstation.

A $50 router and OpenWRT can do all of that.

Re:Who cares about pirated games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766544)

I have to wonder where GP lives that a PS3 is cheaper than a PC capable of doing all the things listed.

Re:Who cares about pirated games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766182)

I wouldn't want it running 24x7, considering the amount of power it uses (~170W says Google). You could build a system that uses <10% of that (e.g. using a Intel D945GSEJT motherboard).

Re:Who cares about pirated games... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766240)

Here's the thing: A fully custom firmware that circumvents lv1 would be a pain.

As fail0verflow stated in their talks, the lv1 hypervisor is the helpful kind of hypervisor, not the hurtful kind - it functions as a HAL so that the software running on it doesn't care whether a particular model of PS3 is using, say, a Broadcom wireless chipset rather than a Qualcomm wireless chipset. If you were to hit the bare metal, you'd stand a very good chance of making a Linux distribution that only works on a portion of currently-released PS3s.

Granted, some might say that it's worth it to have complete control over the machine - but from a pragmatic standpoint, I don't think anyone wants to go through the trouble of hand-crafting their own drivers for all the different kinds of chipsets that Sony have used in all of their different hardware revs.

Re:Who cares about pirated games... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766334)

It's been out for a while, now.

AsbestOS for PS3.

Re:Who cares about pirated games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766348)

These are relatively boring things for a PC to do, but a PS3 has the advantage of being relatively inexpensive,

And the PC has the advantage of being free... you can find machines capable of doing all of that in dumpsters.

Re:Who cares about pirated games... (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766468)

These are relatively boring things for a PC to do,

However, a PC can be bought for just a few dollars at a thrift store that is already capable of doing all these things without needing to hack the hardware, develop/modify an OS to run on it, modify programs to run under that OS, ...

It might be fun for someone to hack on, but when you can already get reliable machines (for less), that are easily maintained (you don't need to mail the system to China to get it fixed), well supported (how many PC's vs PS3's does Linux run on), ...

The PS3 is OK as a hobby, or for something that needs the extra CPU's, but I wouldn't want to have to rely on it for production use.

CFW != piracy (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765860)

With the PS3's root key leaked, you shouldn't even need CFW to enable piracy. You should be able to sign the pirated game with the root key and it will run it just as if it was an official game. It won't be long until self boot PS3 images become common.

See, piracy and CFW are orthogonal issues. This CFW doesn't enable piracy, and piracy can occur without CFW at all.

Re:CFW != piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766010)

Um, except that a burned blu-ray ISO would still be signed, because... you know... it's already signed.

Custom Firmware would allow playing burned blu-ray ISOs by disabling the check to see if it's a BD-R, or by reading it straight from the hard-drive

Re:CFW != piracy (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766190)

Yeah, a burned blu ray ISO would be signed... with the root keys. Since we have the root keys, we don't need to disable the check. Just sign the software with the root keys and the PS3 will run it.

CFW would eliminate the need for signing your own ISOs, or using a boot disk. But if the release groups start signing their releases, there won't be any use for that.

Re:CFW != piracy (4, Informative)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766308)

You're missing the point. If the firmware checks for media type, a BD-R's signature will never be checked, because its the wrong type of media. You still need a firmware bypass to allow that. Note: we can already do 1-to-1 copies of BD-R discs, and they don't work. Those are signed already, being 1-to-1 copies.

The signature issue only applies to unlicensed software, not pirated software.

IE someone can make a printed non-burned game/application disc and sign it without paying Sony for licensing. That's a whole other problem.

Re:CFW != piracy (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766380)

You know, that's a good point. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

Re:CFW != piracy (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766356)

Nope. Part of the security system requires matching keys for the executable, too.

Disabling the check = disabling the drive.

What you would likely have to do is slip the required key into the proper place in the ISO depending upon required disc type, burn it, and let the console read it.

Re:CFW != piracy (1)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766464)

Maybe I'm misunderstanding something, but for whatever reason there is no way to install even signed packages from the XMB. That's actually the only thing this CFW does: allow you to install signed PKG files from the XMB. The developer says on his site that none of the current homebrew will run because none of it is signed.

Re:CFW != piracy (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766664)

This was addressed in the video. THe BR are loaded by apploader, and those keys are not leaked. (but with rootkey leaked you can write an other apploader to load unsigned BR). Currently you need some usb jailbreak to get your first code on the ps3

This was expected after Sony dropped Linux (1)

rapidmax (707233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765876)

Now there is a need to run your own Sofware again on PS3. As long as Sony allowed yellow dog linux few took the effort to hack around the hardware protection. As this should allow to run various OS outside the sandbox this may even allow some new applications. ~Andy

Are there video drivers? (4, Interesting)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34765988)

I know that there is complete access to the system now (not going through hypervisor), but are there Linux video drivers yet?
I __REALLY__ want to have XBMC on my PS3.

Re:Are there video drivers? (3, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766368)

The RSX is just a modified 7800GS so I would think someone could patch it together sooner or later, given the age of the GPU.

Not first (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34766480)

Late last year TeaM-ACiD1C released a proof-of-concept custom firmware [ps3-hacks.com] . Though admittedly this may be the first useful custom firmware.

Pirated games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34766620)

I don't care about pirated games. I want to run Linux, and have full control of the hardware that I own. I am willing to pay for games (if they are good).

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