Hacker Working To Save PS3 Linux Support

Next month, the PS3 will be ditching its Linux operating system support - something that the console has had since it launched in 2006. There must be a way to stop this, no?

On April 1, Sony will release the next firmware update for the PS3, bringing it to v3.21. It seems the sole purpose of this update is to remove the "install other OS" feature from pre-Slim models of the console. Hacker Geohot is already working on a fix, sister site Gizmodo points out.

Geohot, a key player in jailbreaking the iPhone, is totally hacked off by Sony's decision to remove Linux, blogging:

When 3.21 comes out, I will look into a safe way of updating to retain OtherOS support, perhaps something like Hellcat's Recovery Flasher.

Those who are keen to try out Geohot's fix (at their own peril, mind you!), stay away from Sony's April 1 firmware update. Sony is quick to point out the install is "optional", but then, if you refuse to upgrade, you'll no longer be able to sign into the PlayStation Network or play any PS3 games (or Blu-Rays) that require v3.21 (or higher). Not really optional!

Many, however, are pointing the finger directly at hackers themselves for Sony deciding to remove the OtherOS support from the PS3.

PS3s Running Linux Could Be Saved If Hacker Geohot Finds The Cure [Gizmodo]


    Meh, hackers vs indian givers.... No real biggie to me personally. I just wish SONY would do a decent update for a change!! Give me an option to get rid of the stupid list fading out thingo, in my huge list of music and movies, I cant find a damn thing! While yer at it SONY put in some more damn codec thingy-ma-jingoes so more videos work.... Oh, and SONY please make mouse and KB support a requirement (or option) in all new games!!

    (SONY comes here to kotakuAU precisely to read my requests dont they??)

      If you want Mouse & Keyboard support, why not just play a PC?

        My thoughts exactly. If a game is to be on a console, it should have its interface designed so that it make effect use of a controller.

      But if they don't fade out all the menu items, you won't be able to see your premium theme's background properly. You did pay for a premium dynamic theme, right?

    Looks like Sony really has missed the point of updates. They are to improve and add features to the product, not remove them.

    Speaking for myself, I don't run Linux on my PS3, but I would love to at some point so I can try programming the Cell processor.

    While there is a Cell Simulator avaliable which can be ran on 64-bit machines (Intel Core 2 and later processors for those wondering), a simulator is not always an effective means of developing code.

    So the moron resposible for the feature being removed, which is being used my hundred or thousands of people for legitimate uses, is going to 'hack' the machine more to keep the option there.

    Maybe if you hadnt fucked around with it in the first place the feature wouldnt be removed, and you wouldnt be inconveniencing people. Selfish idiot.

      You realise the problem here is that the PS3 is a closed system, so Sony can do whatever they feel like. The "idiot" who hacked it is trying to open it up so we don't have to deal with Sony's shenanigans.

        Then dont buy the hardware - stick to the PC. This "self-righteous" bullshit thats thinly disgused to hide piracy activities is really starting to wear thin.

        Dont buy a PS3, its actually that simple. And what more do you really want the PS3 to do? Oh, yes - "emulators" *cough*pirate sofware*cough*.

        Geez, anyone could mistake Sony trying to protect their system from mass piracy and thus protecting their business investors (ie software providers) as a bad thing. In one hand PC owners complain thier system is being abandoned by developers because of piracy, and then in the other hand you chastise a company who has a solid and secure (and thus piracy free) system which actually doesnt hinder the way YOU play games on it (ie there is no region locking for software, so there is one of the main excuses for console modification gone).

        But then, hey, this is nothing but a big pat on the back for the "hero" who hacks the machine and a whole bunch of internet nobodys who "support" his "great work". Sure, some of you may say that hacking and pirating helped the PS1 and PS2 consoles (of which they sold incredible amounts, however they were mostly a one horse race) but now, in this generation, a secure system should be seen as a good thing. I bet Microsoft (and to a lesser extent Nintendo) wish their machine was as secure as the PS3.

        And see how this has actually affected a reader like "brad.d" (below). He was using Linux no worries on his console, until some 'idiot' used that as a method for hacking the machine. Now brad.d, contrary to what he may say, will be completely inconvenienced without future software enhancements to his machine and has to rely on this hero to ensure he can continue to use Linux, when, in fact, if this hadnt occurred, Brad.d could continue to use his PS3 to its full potential running both Linux and the latest firmwares. I dont see how this is Sony's fault - and I dont see why brad.d is actually encouraging this guy in his work when he should be blaming his for this in the first place.

        Sometimes, just sometimes, the little hacker guy is more evil than the big corporation. Sometimes. And maybe this is one of those times.

          He isnt hacking it for piracy, he is hacking it so that homebrew and such is able to run on it. Thing is, there are people who enjoy using linux on their PS3 for one reason or another. There are people who hack their consoles not for pirating games but for running homebrew, for having that one central entertainment centre. For example, I know a guy that hacked his old xbox when it first got working snes emulation because it was easier to set it up with emulation and get copies of all his snes games and put them on the xbox than to have both the xbox and snes set up and also it meant that he had all his media playing on his xbox too. While the ps3 already does allow for very good network media play, that isnt the point, and neither is piracy. I know it will be used by some for piracy but thats not why this guy is doing it.

            Are you suggesting that Linux, in its current state on the PS3, is unable to play homebrew software that has been written for Linux?

            I actually dont know the answer to this question, as I have never FULLY explored using Linux on the PS3 - but I would wonder what would the reasons for using Linux on the PS3 be right now if it was unable to run code that was designed for it?

      While the George Hotz's hack almost definitely led to this firmware update, the decision to remove OtherOS support was Sony's.

      This isn't the first time someone has managed to bypass the hypervisor in OtherOS. Previously someone managed to access the GPU, which could have led to a similar exploit by programming the GPU to overwrite memory via DMA. That was a software only hack and Sony responded with a targeted fix that closed the hole.

      It is quite likely that a similar targeted fix could have been written for this vulnerability too. However I suspect Sony had instead been looking for an excuse to kill OtherOS support. At the same time as they announced the new firmware, one of the Sony engineers responsible for Linux on PS3 announced that he had been reassigned. So I suspect cost cutting played a part in the decision too.

    there is no chance in hell im gonna update my 40. i love having linux on it. hopefu;;y geo brings us something we can use. luckiy i have a slim too which can get updated to still play online etc.
    wow, turns out the slim was a good investment into the future ;)

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