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Programming PlayStation (Games) Software IT Technology Linux

Installing Yellow Dog Linux on the PS3 90

Posted by Zonk
from the puppy-for-playstation dept.
johnnyb writes "A new series of articles is out on IBM DeveloperWorks on programming the PS3. The first article is up, discussing the installation of Yellow Dog Linux and first steps in programming the Cell BE Processor on this platform. From the article: ' It is unusual for gaming consoles to allow foreign operating systems to be installed on them. Since consoles are usually sold at a loss, they are usually locked down to prevent games from running on them without the publisher paying royalties to the console developer. Sony decided to open up the PS3 console a little bit, and allow third-party operating systems to be installed, with the caveat that they do not get accelerated graphics. Because of this, you can now install Linux on the PS3. You have to jump through a few hoops, but it definitely works.'"
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Installing Yellow Dog Linux on the PS3

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  • Re:Question... (Score:2, Informative)

    by jrwr00 (1035020) <jrwr00@NOspam.gmail.com> on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:13PM (#17463704) Homepage
    There are no drivers from nvidia, is uses a VERY new core, so your stuck with a Framebuffer
  • by seebs (15766) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:24PM (#17463936) Homepage
    No access to GPU at all; all you get is a framebuffer.
  • by THESuperShawn (764971) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:24PM (#17463938)
    Here's an article at YDL with info on the PS3 video modes with tweaks, recco's, etc... This provides a little more info.

    http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com/support/solution s/ydl_5.0/video-config.shtml [terrasoftsolutions.com]

  • Re:Question... (Score:2, Informative)

    by FunkyELF (609131) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:30PM (#17464066)
    I heard that it is purposely locked down with a hypervisor....whatever that means. You will have no access to the graphics with or without drivers.
  • Re:Question... (Score:5, Informative)

    by bucky0 (229117) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:38PM (#17464192)
    From what I understand, the PS3 hypervisor actually blocks calls to the GPU, outside of framebuffer calls. Sony did this with the PS2 linux kit as well, and said it was to prevent piracy, and to keep people from just running free linux games on the console (because they sell the consoles at a loss, if a bunch of people buy them up and then play free games, it would be a money losing venture for sony)

    That said, I think it's kinda dumb, especially since microsoft provides an extremely low cost way to develop Xbox360 games that use all the bells and whistles.
  • Re:Question... (Score:3, Informative)

    by mandelbr0t (1015855) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:38PM (#17464208) Journal

    It's mostly for developers right now (hey, it's even in the correct Slashdot category!).

    Personally, I think Japan is building a gigantic supercomputer out of PS3s ;) When Linux got onto PS2, the most common usage for them were clusters. Here's a picture. [uiuc.edu] I can only imagine what a rack full of PS3s can do. Of course, like the PS2, the PS3 is subject to restrictions. From the PS3 EULA:

    The PS3 system may contain technology that is subject to certain restrictions under the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, and may not be exported or re-exported to U.S. embargoed destinations. In addition, the PS3 system may not be exported or re-exported to persons and entities prohibited by the U.S. Export Administration Regulations.

    Have to make sure those Albanians aren't cracking RSA or some such thing.

    mandelbr0t

  • Re:Question... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:54PM (#17464448)
    The Cell's PowerPC core is massively dumbed down from its Mac namesake. It is not even the Celeron of its family. Running Linux, the PS3 is the equivalent of about a 1.1Ghz PPC Mac with no graphics acceleration. You can buy a Mac Mini that would kill by almost an order of magnitude any Linux benchmark running under Linux on the Cell. "Once they compile YDL for the Cell..." You really don't have a clue. That's like saying "Once the recompile Windows XP for my ATI Radeon, Excel will run much faster". The SPUs are glorified DSPs. They suck at running general purpose code. Heck, they suck at running medium-sized code with any kind of branching. Maybe someone will make a wicked fast SETI@home client or an awesome blur-filter for GIMP, but that's about the extent of the use of the SPUs in a computing environment (simple operations on a large data set that streams in and doesn't change much). And before you say "OpenGL and video decoding", remember the GPU is locked from use. And besides, if the SPUs excelled at handling 3D, why did Sony bother buying such a large, expensive, heat-generating GPU from nVidia?
  • Re:Question... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Otter (3800) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:59PM (#17464540) Journal
    Personally, I think Japan is building a gigantic supercomputer out of PS3s ;)

    That's precisely [hpcwire.com] what this YDL distribution is aimed at. (I submitted this story here multiple times back when it happened, figuring that eventually it would take priority over the day's Jack Thompson story, but no dice.)

  • by johnnyb (4816) <jonathan@bartlettpublishing.com> on Thursday January 04, 2007 @05:16PM (#17464804) Homepage
    As far as I'm aware, while there is an addon CD available for Fedora for the PS3, it is not an officially-supported part of Fedora.

    In addition, Sony hired YDL (actually TerraSoft) specifically to do this port, so the YDL developers have better support potential.

    I would stick with YDL on the PS3 simply because they actually have a commitment to the platform.
  • Re:Question... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Osty (16825) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @06:22PM (#17465808)

    especially since microsoft provides an extremely low cost way to develop Xbox360 games that use all the bells and whistles.

    Or most of the bells and whistles, anyway. Graphically, XNA gives you nearly as much power as a full dev kit since the graphical horsepower is harnessed via shaders. However you currently can't do any networking, nor do you have support for some peripherals like the Vision camera. All of that (and a way to properly distribute your games) should come along eventually, but it's a matter of the XNA guys being able to do it in a way that does not jeopardize the current revenue stream of retail and XBLA games while also making sure it's secure so that XNA won't end up as an enabler for Linux or pirated games.

    That said, XNA vs. PS3 Linux is just another manifestation of the different strategies Microsoft and Sony have for their consoles. Microsoft has constantly pushed the 360 as a game machine first while Sony likes to claim the PS3 is a full-fledged computer. Thus Microsoft gives users a way to build their own games for the 360 and Sony provides a way for users to harness the generic power of the PS3 with Linux (and other operating systems in the future).

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