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Wii Will Have an Updatable Linux OS

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the penguin-with-a-wand dept.

330

eldavojohn writes "There's bits and pieces of information floating around that revolve around Iwata Asks interviews on Nintendo's website. What I found interesting was the tidbit about the updatable operating system: 'Wii is the first system from Nintendo that we can continue to be involved in (via operating system updates) after the customer buys it. This means that Wii will greatly expand and diversify the ways in which people will enjoy games in the future.' The Wii is reported to operate on top of a proprietary form of the Linux kernel, although there are already efforts to make a GNU/Linux for the console. So, the answer to the age old question is that it already runs Linux."

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330 comments

FUCK YOU ZONK AND FUCK YOUR GAMES STORIES (0, Troll)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358189)

Asshole.

Re:FUCK YOU ZONK AND FUCK YOUR GAMES STORIES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358465)

Ok, pal, if you don't like videogames it's time to turn in your geek card.

Re:FUCK YOU ZONK AND FUCK YOUR GAMES STORIES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358477)

damnit you fed the troll. didn't you read the sign?

"a proprietary form of the Linux kernel" (4, Interesting)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358193)

How proprietary, exactly? Potential GPL violation, anyone?

Re:"a proprietary form of the Linux kernel" (2, Interesting)

megla (859600) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358217)

I'm glad I'm not the only one whose immediate reaction was "say what?"
How does this work with respect to the GPL, requirements to release sourcecode, copyright, etc?

Re:"a proprietary form of the Linux kernel" (3, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358227)

It could be like MkLinux, basically a modified Linux kernel running atop a proprietary microkernel.

Re:"a proprietary form of the Linux kernel" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358743)

It could be like MkLinux, basically a modified Linux kernel running atop a proprietary microkernel.

There is also the fact that MkLinux is directed at PowerPC, which is what the Wii uses.

Re:"a proprietary form of the Linux kernel" (4, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358879)

Or it could be linux using proprietary binary modules to talk to the Wii hardware and software... kinda like Nvidia is doing.

Re:"a proprietary form of the Linux kernel" (5, Insightful)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358231)

Who knows? The article linked says nothing about it, there's just the submitters comment. If there is anything behind this, a source would be helpful...

Re:"a proprietary form of the Linux kernel" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358233)

but no one was there

Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358237)

I don't think so. I guess I phrased this badly. It's reportedly (no official Nintendo release yet) that the Wii will be using a Linux kernel with a proprietary GUI. Whether or not they are modifying the kernel (like Google has done so that it fits there needs) I cannot say. All I know is that they can either look at the GUI separately from the kernel and leave the kernel under the GPL or they can bundle it all together and not fret over releasing it under the GPL.

I'm not a lawyer so I'm not too clear on the GPL. I thought you could modify the software under it and release it without ever being forced to hand out the source code. I could be wrong though.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358267)

Whether or not they are modifying the kernel (like Google has done so that it fits there needs) I cannot say.

Google doesn't distribute their modified kernel, though.

I thought you could modify the software under it and release it without ever being forced to hand out the source code. I could be wrong though.

You are.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358341)

It's not reportedly so unless you can provide a link to some reputable organization that's reporting that. Otherwise it's just a rumor.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (5, Informative)

Toveling (834894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358349)

You are wrong; you're thinking of the BSD-style licenses. Anything under the GPL (or software that extensively uses GPL-software's interfaces) must have source released if it's released.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358389)

Anything under the GPL (or software that extensively uses GPL-software's interfaces) must have source released if it's released.

But under GPL 2, there's no guarantee that the hardware provided with the software will allow an improved version to run, which makes an end-run around FSF freedom #1 [gnu.org] . Linus Torvalds reportedly likes GPL 2 much better than the GPL 3 drafts [google.com] , deliberately not caring about freedom #1 for hobbyist end users of proprietary hardware.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358909)

Torvalds works for OSDL (aka IBM, HP etc etc) and is protected by their lawyers. What is comign out of his mouth is their words... they bought his say on the license... because they want Trusted Computing hardware to become commonplace, and then use it with Linux systems.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (2, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358479)

No sources only need to be available if the end person asks for them. under the GPl Nintedo could release the source code only if you filled out a card asking for it and then paid a few for the creation and mailing of a cd with the source. So $5-$10 depending on where thy are mailing it from.

Granted the first person to do that then has a right to post the complete source code minus Nintedo's trade marks on any website they choose.

It just makes more sense to hook it up to your web site and alllow people to download it. cheaper, easier, and less hassle and your in complaince.

but source code only has to be released if requested.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1, Redundant)

Burdell (228580) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358861)

Nope, you are wrong. Re-read section 3 of the GPLv2; for a commercial product, it either has to come with the source or include a written offer to give ANY third party a copy of the source (for at most the cost reimbursment of the cost of distribution).

My TiVo manual includes a written offer for example (also with their download site URL); anyone (not just TiVo customers) can request a copy of the source from TiVo.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (5, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358549)

You are wrong; you're thinking of the BSD-style licenses. Anything under the GPL (or software that extensively uses GPL-software's interfaces) must have source released if it's released.

As a general rule, yes. There are things which definately require you to release it, using GPL'd code or a GPL'd library. There are various shade of gray with different encapsulations of the code, I won't go into that. But there's also a few very clear cases where you do not have to distribute source:

a) By mere aggregation, i.e. the software has to actually work together, not just come on the same media
b) Using standard OS API calls (otherwise there could be no GPL'd softwara for Windows, or proprietary applications on linux)
c) Using libraries that come standard with the OS/compiler (e.g. Microsofts standard C/C++ library)

So in the example he quoted, yes Nintendo could use the Linux kernel, but not release any of the userspace code if they built that from scratch, or only the modified libraries if using GTK (which is LGPL). They do need to distribute any chances they make to the kernel, but since binary drivers are tolerated it need not be more than a stub. Also, there's nothing preventing them (and I imagine they will be) using a digitally signed kernel, so that modified kernels can't be used to copy game disks.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

Servo (9177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358559)

IANAL but I think you've oversimplified the GPL. If you've written an app that links to GPL libraries, I don't believe it falls under the GPL requirements to release the source. If that were the case, you'd never see apps on Linux like Oracle or whatnot.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358593)

No, if you link to GPL libraries (such as QT), you must release the source. Most libraries are released under the LGPL, which allows linked non-GPL binaries.

Which is why almost all proprietary X software uses GTK.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358663)

Standard language libraries are generally okay even if they aren't LGPL. Then there's the question of who decides which ones are part of the standard OS and may the original developer of the library just change their mind and sue no matter what.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358829)

Linking against GPL libraries requires you to release the source (since otherwise the GPL could be circumvented trivially, just by compiling the code you want to steal into a library and calling it). However, applications do not link against the kernel, which is why they're not affected by the licensing condition.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

fossa (212602) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358361)

I think Nintendo could have a modified Linux kernel for which they offer the source code to Wii owners to satisfy the GPL requirements. Atop that they could have any proprietary system without needing to release that code, just as various proprietary software packages run atop Linux. The only potential issue would be a binary-only video driver, though Linus' stance is that this is not a derivative work of the Linux kernel.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358443)

Not just 'Wii owners'. Everyone. That's the whole point of the GPL. It gives you the freedom to run it and distribute it as much as you want, but if you change ANYTHING you must provide those changes to EVERYONE.

So as long as they don't actually modify the kernel, and ship it with a custom GUI (under any license), they are fine.

I'm sure if Nintendo finds the need to fix/modify the kernel, or any other GPL'd software they use, they'll release the changes.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

5E-0W2 (767094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358517)

Nope, you only have to distribute the source to those you distribute the binary to. Of course those people are free to redistribute the source to whoever they want, so in effect it'll reach everyone who wants it for anything that gets released to a non-tiny group of people, but there's no obligation to distribute the source to those you haven't distributed the binary to.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (2, Informative)

Talchas (954795) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358525)

Umm, yes just 'Wii owners'. Or rather, anyone who gets a binary copy of the OS must be able to get a source version easily and w/o real charge. You do NOT have to give the source to everyone.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358605)

No, they need only provide the source to the people you ship it to. Of course this is academic as they must apply the GPL to the work-as-a-whole, so those people would in turn have the right to redistribute the code under those same terms. at least.. as I read the GPL... IANAL

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

mhore (582354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358439)

I'm not a lawyer so I'm not too clear on the GPL. I thought you could modify the software under it and release it without ever being forced to hand out the source code. I could be wrong though.

Well, they're certainly free to write their own proprietary modules and have their own GUI, that's for sure.

Mike.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (2, Insightful)

Lorkki (863577) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358469)

To be bluntly, you don't seem to be a software engineer either. It wouldn't be the first time that rumour sites would be mixing up technical terms and concepts, though.

A graphical user interface would most likely sit completely in userland [wikipedia.org] , while the Linux kernel [wikipedia.org] would only contain a device driver for communicating with the hardware. The user-mode parts can be as proprietary as Nintendo wants them to be, but any changes to the kernel itself must be released or they'll be violating the terms of use of the GPL.

Brain fart (1)

Lorkki (863577) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358491)

To be bluntly, --

Serves me right for posting in the wee hours.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

Lobo42 (723131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358483)

I'm not a lawyer so I'm not too clear on the GPL. I thought you could modify the software under it and release it without ever being forced to hand out the source code. I could be wrong though.
That's almost exactly what you CAN'T do with GPL'd code.

You have to give the source. (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358543)

The GPL says you can distribute the software and charge for distribution, but you MUST make sure the users get (or can get) the source.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358669)

The GPL requires you to give source to anyone you give a binary to. You can modify GPL software for internal use and not release the source, but if you release the source, you are required to release the binaries.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358873)

I'm sure that was just a writing error, but to make things clear. It should be "if you release the binaries, you are required to release the source." And not the other way around.

Re:Yeah, I Phrased That Badly (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16359065)

They could indeed develop a proprietary GUI without modifying the kernel at all. The kernel code is entirely separate from the GUI code, aside from a few drivers, and they can inject propietary drivers and taint the kernel.

The short answer is, yeah, it's incorrect, and it is a little alarming to read, but people are probably overreacting with their responses to this one.

Re:"a proprietary form of the Linux kernel" (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358263)

I was wondering about that, although I found this;

"If identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program, and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those sections when you distribute them as separate works. But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it."

IANL but I wonder if they could claim that it was sufficiently seperate to have a different licence?... It a real shame that they didn't just go for a free OS anyway, I mean the games are going to be hard to copy, hard to the extent that no one but the ones who would get it anyway would... so why bother with all this proprietary nonses

Re:"a proprietary form of the Linux kernel" (2, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358523)

Because no one wants to be the developer of the next dreamcast.

Re:"a proprietary form of the Linux kernel" (5, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358701)

It's running SCO linux.

Re:"a proprietary form of the Linux kernel" (5, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358805)

Assuming the Wii really does run Linux, they will doubtless be using the TiVo hole to get around the GPL v2.

That is, they'll provide the source code with their proprietary modifications for the Wii hardware, but it'll be totally useless as the Wii hardware will be designed so that it will only run code signed by Nintendo. So the modified code will be useless to Wii owners, and also useless to everyone else as PC hardware won't have any use for the Wii hardware support.

And Linus will no doubt say that this is just peachy.

I think it's exactly the kind of crap the GPL was supposed to stop. If I purchase hardware and software that's GPL licensed, I should be able to modify the software and run the modified version on the only hardware it's useful for, the hardware I own. That's why I support RMS's efforts with GPL v3 [ath0.com] and think they're a good thing. In fact, I think they should go further.

A Linux Kernel, eh? (0, Redundant)

macaulay805 (823467) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358195)

Does that mean they're required to distribute the source code?

Re:A Linux Kernel, eh? (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358893)

RTFC, dodo read the fucking comments

FIST SPORT! (0, Troll)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358197)

That means every time you find a way to run homebrew on it - Nintendo will patch it out whether you like it or not.

Wait? Homebrew? I should have said STOLEN GAMES!

Re:FIST SPORT! (1)

LindseyJ (983603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358507)

The only games I have ever "stolen" were the NES and SNES ROMs I had on my PSP before I sold it. It was nice having what basically amounted to a portable SNES and NES console (and Genesis and a load of others had I cared enough to put them on there), since there were no actual PSP games that interested me.

Since Nintendo is reportedly going to make every Nintendo game ever relased available for download on the Wii at a "resonable price", I don't see why you would even want to homebrew, unless you're one of those guys who puts Linux on your Xbox to 'stick it to The Man'. Or whyever the fuck people do that.

Also, I doubt Nintendo will patch it "whether you like it or not". If you don't like it, either don't plug a Cat5 into it, or code your homebrew so that it overrides the automatic updates. I'm sure somebody will figure out how if there's enough people interested in it.

Re:FIST SPORT! (1)

Quasicorps (897116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358725)

I modded my XBox and installed XBMC so I could watch movies and listen to music from my server on my main television set without making a dedicated Media Centre PC. I also play SNES games (that I legally own) on it; more than XBox games. I'm not sticking anything to any men, I just made a cut down PC more useful for a good price.

Homebrew + confused article (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358869)

Since Nintendo is reportedly going to make every Nintendo game ever relased available for download on the Wii at a "resonable price", I don't see why you would even want to homebrew

There's the stuff that is too small to be worth buying or Nintendo aren't sure they could sell. For example on the DS there is the little sampling keyboard toy, there is DSorganize (could Nintendo sell tens of thousands of something similar - maybe or maybe not), Moonshell (my mp3 player is a DS), a port of Heretic and a linux port that lets you ssh in via wireless networks. I don't know what possibilities there are for the Wii but I'm sure there are people out there waiting for the specs to put their drum machine program or whatever on there.

As for the article - I'm not sure the author knows what they are talking about and got some things confused based on what they wer told. I very much doubt it runs linux but I would not be surprised if there was an in house effort to port linux to it which may be released at some date - and the proprietry GUI may well be something like a Qtopia based front end running on linux. I'll stretch even furthur and speculate the bit about gnu/linux may mean there may be some effort to port gnu tools after the kernel and GUI front end is finished - remember the LiGnuX suggestion by RMS that later became the gnu prefix was talking about systems with the linux kernel, gnu tools and X windows. Without the gnu tools the advertising prefix makes no sense.

Re:Homebrew + confused article (1)

LindseyJ (983603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358917)

You're right; I wasn't even thinking about third-party aps, more responding to the GP's troll about "stolen games".

"proprietary form of the Linux kernel"? (0, Redundant)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358199)

How is that possible?

Re:"proprietary form of the Linux kernel"? (5, Interesting)

epi314 (409763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358241)

One possibility is that it might only run versions signed by Nintendo.
This is a loophole that GNU GPL version 3 is meant to prevent.

proprietary kernel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358209)

Seems a little like an oxymoron. Any modifications to the kernel source need to be made available to the community under the GPL. If they rewrote everything from scratch to get away from the GPL, then it's not a linux kernel.

Wow! (0, Offtopic)

j0nkatz (315168) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358239)

It runs Linux?!?! GREAT!
Another device to scratch off my want list.

Re:Wow! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358323)

That signature's great. :) I sit on the phone talking to babes all day. Doesn't mean I'm invited to their house afterward(often).

This is New? (3, Interesting)

Quasicorps (897116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358247)

The title is misleading. It isn't going to run a user customisable Linux GUI when turned on, the Wii just has that capability. Just like the XBox. And The PS2. To make this a selling point is just another example of how people are doing everything they can to suck up to Nintendo. I know Sony hasn't been on top of any game for a while, but with the sheer hatred suffers has and all the Nintendo worship going on, I'm starting to feel like there are very few important people who are dedicated to making me want to buy a Wii. And they aren't from Nintendo.

Re:This is New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358337)

Maybe you're an idiot. Try reading the whole summary.

Re:This is New? (1)

Quasicorps (897116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358425)

Only one part of the summary is a quote, and mentions nothing on the subject. What is mentioned after the quotation is that it is "reported to operate on top of a proprietary form of the Linux kernel". I'm personally not very familiar with those. It also states that there are "efforts to make a GNU/Linux for the console", which it would not be the first console to have, and would not be unique in, and is therefore hardly noteworthy.

The story claims it will be running an "Updatable Linux OS" as if it is the first console to do that. It won't be an out of the box open Linux distro, it (apparently) won't have the GPL, and therefore offers nothing new, which is my point.

Console interfaces have been updated remotely for years. There now a claim that a proprietary kernel will do the same thing Microsoft does, but apparently has something to do with the Linux kernel.

Re:This is New? (1)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358739)

Who ever thought of title should need severe reprimands. It is not worth the shoe tread of Wii, a stunning technical achievemnt.

Re:This is New? (1)

Quasicorps (897116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358791)

You're basing that on what? Have you played it?

It already runs Linux. (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358249)

In probably a Tivo-type of way. I wonder if this is one of the things that the GPLv3 would prevent?

Transporter_ii

Re:It already runs Linux. (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358713)

In probably a Tivo-type of way. I wonder if this is one of the things that the GPLv3 would prevent?

Why would the kernel developers as distinct from a seperate group that does not contribute to the kernel want to stop them? RMS is described in computer magazine that should know better as the co-creator of linux but he is obviously not and has his own projects.

Linux on Wii, since when? (1, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358253)

The Wii is reported to operate on top of a proprietary form of the Linux kernel,

Who is reporting that? Its the first time I hear that and the linked webpages don't really give any more detail, the Iwata interview simply states that the Wii will have upgradable firmware, nothing Linux related.

Re:Linux on Wii, since when? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358787)

It was "reported" once at a single site and, like so much Wii speculation that has gone before, passed through the fanboy blog echo chamber until it has far more credibility than it deserves.

The person who posted the original story really should have done the 5 minutes research I just did, there is zero credible evidence that Nintendo has done anything at all with Linux. The "source" of the original speculation is someone named "Kiyoshi Saruwatari", who claims to be a designer who doesn't work for Nintendo, but has worked with them. He never names a company, specific business interactions, the nature of his work, nothing. His "facts" seem to consist of pure conjecture and swizzling of common publically released information (Virtual Console, etc).

In the months before the Wii controller was revealed at Tokyo Game Show 2005, there was a rash of "insider" blogs, with a lot of suspiciously made-up sounding Japanese names, with calculatedly poor English skills. These blogs were the source of a lot of the early misinformation, the "VR helmet" nonsense, the "secretly more graphically powerful than both Xbox 360 and PS3", the "Kid Icarus sequel", etc. My guess is half of them were American or European fanboys who were trying to stir things up.

In short I don't consider it responsible to call the single, highly dubious rumor that Nintendo is using Linux "reporting", and I hope this doesn't touch off a lot of controversy over what began with nothing more than a big fat lie / hoax.

Imagine (0)

Giant Ape Skeleton (638834) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358261)

I am sure I am not alone in imagining a Beowulf cluster of these....

Re:Imagine (1)

JRWR (1001828) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358291)

haha, great i can see it now, 40 Wiis in a room processing the meaning of life, hrm 42?

Re:Imagine (A brief discourse on nerd psychology) (1)

Neovanglist (566939) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358493)

Why is it that every time it comes out that anything can be compatible with Linux, one of the first things we nerds yell is Beowulf cluster? It happened for iPods, now it's happening for the Wii. I personally think it provides a major peek in to nerd psychology, the kind of psychology that gives rise to the open-source movement and freedom-of-information movements we so love. I think that nerds are, at heart, community driven. Whether so much of the internet exists as communities, from message boards to blogs, because the hackers who built it are so community minded, or if we, the Technocrati, are community-minded because of how the Internet is structured, I don't know. I do think, however, that this focus on community leads to much of our computer-related thought being focused on the idea of community, from how we make our programs (the idea of open-source) to how we do our computing (Beowulf clusters).

Just a thought.

Re:Imagine (A brief discourse on nerd psychology) (1)

Mr. Hankey (95668) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358527)

Just out of curiosity and aside from hermits/loners, what generalized groups would you consider not community-minded? Beowulf clusters are certainly a long running joke here, but this is hardly the only forum where jokes tend to live ad infinitum. To further the stereotype though, I personally think the Wii would make a pretty sweet webserver - low heat and power consumption, more than enough CPU to do the job.

Re:Imagine (A brief discourse on nerd psychology) (1)

RuiFerreira (791654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358557)

It's just because these types of devices sell the hardware below the cost of production. They make money from the games! Therefore it's a really cheap way of having computer power.

Re:Imagine (A brief discourse on nerd psychology) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358583)

Actually, that's not true in the Wii's case. Nintendo is selling each Wii at break-even or profit, unlike the other major next-gen consoles.

Re:Imagine (1)

tehlinux (896034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358635)

Can you imagine what a Beowulf cluster of these could do with nunchucks?

Tsk. Pure BS. (4, Interesting)

Greger47 (516305) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358313)

I call bullshit on this one, Nintendo wouldn't touch GPLed code with a 10 foot pole. They have always kept their platforms in an iron grip, using GPLed code would allow outsiders to take a peek. Nintendo vs. Tengen [wikipedia.org] anyone?

/greger

Re:Tsk. Pure BS. (2, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358393)

Just having have an Open source platform does not require you to open source the applications running on that platform.

Re:Tsk. Pure BS. (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358537)

What if they use Linux like TiVo does? TiVo releases the source of their changes to the linux kernel, but that is pretty much it.
http://www.tivo.com/linux/linux.asp [tivo.com]

Re:Tsk. Pure BS. (2, Interesting)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358723)

Which is obviously why the standard compiler for the GBA (and probably DS) is GCC. Because they're deathly afraid of anything even related to "Open Source", as evidenced by 20 year old lawsuits. Who can imagine that anything's changed in such a short time frame?

where does it mention Linux? (5, Interesting)

anon101 (972986) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358329)


Where exactly in the Iwata Asks article does it say it runs on a proprietery version of the Linux kernel?
Infact where does it mention the Wii runs Linux on it at all?

I think I found the story, thanks google. And it says that its a rumor from one of the designers who said:
"Wii will have Linux as operating system with proprietary GUI and applications based on commonly open source for Linux programs."

Since when did "GUI applications" count as in the kernel?

Story found on:
http://wii.qj.net/Wii-Will-Use-Linux-as-Operating- System-with-Proprietary-GUI-/pg/49/aid/60531 [qj.net]

Another quote direct from the so called "insider"
but the final system in closed and will allow only signed code etc and will be very secure, even though it's technically compatible with a world of already existing software
I bet Nintendo are thanking their lucky stars that GPLv3 isn't out and that Linus Torvalds prefers v2 anyway, isn't there going to be something in it about locking out modified versions?

I am skeptical about this guy, but make up your own mind,
Orriginal blog post about Nintendo Wii having Linux on it: http://saruwatari-wii.blogspot.com/2006/07/softwar e-in-wii.html [blogspot.com]

If anyon can find a quote about a proprietery kernel please post a reply, :D

Re:where does it mention Linux? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16359035)

but the final system in closed and will allow only signed code etc and will be very secure, even though it's technically compatible with a world of already existing software


in other words.. the claim of an open platform is completely specious..

we won't have anything similar to xbmc for wii without the standard modchips because theyre greedy (*)#$@$#'s

Proprietary Linux is pure nonsense (5, Insightful)

Executive Override (605018) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358345)

There's no such thing as a "proprietary form" of Linux. The kernel is released under the GPL, and therefore any derivations/modifications must be released under the GPL, and hence are not proprietary. If they deny source code, or release it under a license non-compatible with the GPL, it will be clearly illegal.

You would imagine that people would know this by heart by now...

Re:Proprietary Linux is pure nonsense (2, Informative)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358953)

You would imagine that people would know this by heart by now...

Restricting the hardware to only run signed binaries, would allow them to comply with the letter of the GPL if not the spirit. Any modifications could be released under the GPL and no one would be able to compile a custom kernel for the Wii.

LK

Vaportalk (4, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358359)

Running Linux that can be downloaded to a Wii means old Wiis will still be around to compete with new ones. Combined with their dubious (no matter how you look at it) claim that their Linux will be a "proprietary Linux", that sounds a lot like the vaporware announcement game console makers are used to peddling to credulous game "journalism" media.

Will the new generation of game consoles get converted to the slightly more cross-examined PC press tricks from their generations of easy lying to game press? Or will they turn the tiny amount of PC journalism accountability into the standard lying that defines the much larger market?

Re:Vaportalk (2, Informative)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358941)

Combined with their dubious (no matter how you look at it) claim that their Linux will be a "proprietary Linux", that sounds a lot like the vaporware announcement game console makers are used to peddling to credulous game "journalism" media.

Except its not Nintendo's claim, just some asshat blogger's.

You're Right (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16359085)

You're right, every reference to the OS apart from being "updatable" is apparently made up by eldavojohn, who submitted the story without sourcing the "Linux" allegations.

The *real* age old question: (5, Funny)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358383)

Will it be able to perform cunnilingus on a hardwood floor?

Re:The *real* age old question: (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358639)

Yeah... about tha....

Wait, what?

Re:The *real* age old question: (2, Funny)

dozer (30790) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358821)

...and get splinters in its tongue? I think not.

Where did you get that Wii runs Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358421)

Where did you get that Wii runs Linux?
The article only references an update-able operating system, which could be:
FreeBSD, Linux, AmigaOS, BeOS, (other OS), or a completely custom OS using modern package update concepts.

If there are other resources saying it uses linux, please link to those also or tone down the headline.

Shouldn't that be .. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358429)

.. Liinux?

Re:Shouldn't that be .. (1)

notanatheist (581086) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358617)

For once, an AC post worth a solid 5. Mod the poor nobody up already!

Yes, but can it run Linux? (n/t) (1)

giminy (94188) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358441)


Nothing to see here, move along.

I don't see cause for alarm (1)

Mike Savior (802573) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358457)

As long as Nintendo frees up the parts that are supposed to be freed by law, and separates the proprietary modules somehow, then shouldn't they be okay?

Real (Genius) age-old question... (-1, Offtopic)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358497)

  • Chris: So, if there's anything I can do for you, or, more to the point, to you, you just let me know.
  • Susan: Can you hammer a six-inch spike through a board with your penis?
  • Chris: Not right now.
  • Susan: A girl's gotta have her standards.

A smart move! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358579)

It shows that they want to be able to align the Wii with the fringe element of homosexual male computer enthusiasts. This might get the as many as a dozen customers who would have otherwise overlooked the system. Woohoo!

If this is true... (4, Interesting)

ADamiani (983317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358611)

What are the implications for PC-based Linux as a gaming platform? The reason I usually see people explaining games not being published to run on Linux is that there just aren't enough of them to make it economically viable, creating a chicken-and-the-egg problem. Does this slice through that particular Gordian knot?

Re:If this is true... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16359121)

Nope. In the end, you still need a large audience of people running Linux ready to purchase games. (Not that it would ever be easy in Nintendo's case in the first place considering the controller.)

It's not so much a 'chicken-and-the-egg' problem, it's an installed user-base problem.

What? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358619)

No it won't. The devkits use the same RTOS from the GameCube.

Where is the source for this?

But... (1)

Null537 (772236) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358709)

...does it run linux^^^^^windows?

Translation (4, Insightful)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358735)

Wii is the first system from Nintendo that we can continue to be involved in (via operating system updates) after the customer buys it. This means that Wii will greatly expand and diversify the ways in which people will enjoy games in the future.

Translation: Firmware updates to prevent hacks, a-la PSP.

Who let's this sh... through? (4, Interesting)

Britz (170620) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358751)

A proprietary from of the Linux kernel? That can only come from someone who has just maybe Slashdot a bit and doesn't know a thing about Linux, free software or mabye software at all.

Any Linux kernel is per definition (of the GPL) free. That is the whole point of the GPL. There can't be a proptietary version. If they include the Linux kernel, they will have to include the source to it and to all the components that directly link to it, like drivers (proprietary drivers exist, but there is a discussion, sometimes on Slashdot as well, if that is legal). If they ship userland stuff along they can keep the source, for example for a gui.

What they can do is lock it all up so you can't mod it. Then the device will only accept signed modifications (like upgrades) from CDs or their server. Wether you do this with open or closed source doesn't matter. It might be easier to find security holes to smuggle in your mod this way. But OTOH they already mod the PSP this way even though it is closed source.
That is the big discussion about the GPLv3 btw. I guess what the FSF wants to achieve is that if you use GPLv3 code you may not lock down your device this way.

...Bad article summary (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16358819)

and judging the posts here, no one fucking reads the article, THERE IS NO MENTION OF LINUX, and any other mentions of linux on the wii are purely rumors, prolly made up by people who want to envision linux existing in everything, as if it's some success for opensource.
No, the day your average person uses linux and prefers it over windows would be a success, otherwise, it's being used because it's just there and is merely a backend. nothing more.

If nintendo were putting XFCE or busybox on the wii (let's be reasonable, gnome or KDE would kill it) then you could make some noise.

But this is nothing but a stupid rumor, and has no relevance to the story, chances are the submitter added linux in to get attention.

Sensationalism? say it isnt so!

Maybe That's Why WII Graphics Appear to Suck (4, Funny)

Carcass666 (539381) | more than 7 years ago | (#16358959)

Maybe Nintendo couldn't get fully-functional, reliable drivers for current chipsets like the rest of us.

This is getting way too predictable (3, Insightful)

acvh (120205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16359069)

Story: Company is allegedly thinking of using Linux as OS for new hardware device.

Response: I want the source. I want the source.

More responses: This does/doesn't violate GPL.

More responses: This is why we need/don't need GPL v3

Conclusion: The story was wrong, the device doesn't use Linux, there might be a way to boot Linux on it, but we don't know yet.

So now they can pull a Tivo (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16359077)

This may be a bad sign. Now they can turn off features by remote control, insist that you connect frequently to get updates, introduce new bugs remotely, and try to force you to sign up for new "revenue streams". Just like Microsoft and Tivo.

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