PSN Remains Dark, But You Can Install OtherOS

PSN Remains Dark, But You Can Install OtherOS

The right to run Linux on a PS3, enshrined somewhere in the Mayflower Compact, Magna Carta and the Constitution, apparently, has been restored thanks to hackers, your friend and mine. Not that we can play games online, also thanks to hackers. But we can install Linux.

The patch now circulating is called OtherOS++ and is endorsed by figures such as Graf Chokolo, who vouches for its ability to “read/write anything in PS3 RAM.” He says it is “very useful for HV hacking.” It works by exploiting an older version of the firmware.

Install OtherOS has been the Don’t Tread On Me cause of an extremely vocal minority of PS3 users. Through Linux, Hotz was able to make his notorious jailbreak of the machine. Sony later removed in a system update about a year ago.

Both Hotz’s jailbreak and OtherOS’ removal provoked highly visible legal fights, and the hacking team Fail0verflow then developed and published a means for completely circumventing the PS3’s security, citing OtherOS’ removal as a reason. During the legal drama with Hotz, Sony suffered several cyber attacks, and the latest one – although of a much more massive scope – is associated with that campaign, in the minds of many users, if not Sony’s leadership.

When it comes back online, PlayStation Network will require a mandatory firmware update (and PSN account password change) before the PS3 is even usable. Who knows what effect it will have, if any, on OtherOS on older model PS3s.

One thing is clear: The hacktivist libertarian community’s self-righteous temper tantrum over this has assured we will never see anything close to Install OtherOS on any gaming device, ever again.

Hackers Revive PS3 OtherOS Feature [Games Industry]


  • “One thing is clear: The hacktivist libertarian community’s self-righteous temper tantrum over this has assured we will never see anything close to Install OtherOS on any gaming device, ever again.”
    And so it will continue to be that the “hackers” will continue hack every system released to run homebrew and linux, and that the manufacturers will continue their self-righteous temper tantrum’s trying to stop them.

    • yeah but sony decided to be nice and provide a form of other os to people.

      They abused it, so sony removed it. They have hacked it in anyway.

      Which basically goes to show, they shouldn’t bother trying to please these people because they refuse to use these things in a legitimate method. and consistantly lead to piracy.

      It’s like complaining that the govt took your drivers license away because you were speeding. You done something wrong and paid the consequences unfortuantly when it comes to game system additions we are viewed as a sole entity. As the community. and when the community broke the rules they lost Other OS

      • Your analogy makes no sense at all. They don’t remove the ability to speed, as such…so that doesn’t have any relevance to OtherOS.

      • Did they really abuse the rights of Other OS? I don’t recall hearing about that at all, and I think that’s just a misconception. Anyway, it’s a grey and white issue, not quite as comparable to the automotive industry as many seem to think, since driving a car dangerously and installing linux or hacking software for personal non-invasive-of-others-rights use are VERY far apart.

          • The initial hacks in PS3 Linux had little to do with piracy (though could have led to it) and had more to do with Sony deliberately hamstringing Linux by using the hypervisor to prevent access to the graphics chipset.
            I’m not a hacker, but I did (past tense, I had to lose it to keep gaming) use Linux on the PS3 and the lack of access the graphics chipset was a massive annoyance. The orriginal PS3 hacking in linux was all about trying to find away around the hypervisor so acceleration could be used.
            I’d like to see a PS2 emulator on the PS3 (PSX2 or something) and MAME, and ScummVM (with move support would be awesome) if they allowed this sort of thing folks like me would probably be okay with the lack of linux.
            Of course this will never happen, as if you’re running that sort of thing there is less money being paid to Sony (you won’t buy as many PS3 games).

          • Sorry. Our hardware, our right to run whatever damn OS we like on it

      • Who abused it?

        Sony found out they didn’t secure the OtherOS sandbox properly, so they decided to remove it rather than do the right thing and fix it.

        Just like how Sony didn’t secure the PSN properly and other malicious people exploited it.

  • “We will never see anything close to Install OtherOS on any gaming device, ever again.”

    I call mine a PC.

    What, what?

  • The right to run Linux on it was given to me when they advertised that feature on the box. If you’re happy for them to come and remove features then that’s your own stupid fault.

    Two things are actually clear –
    Nothing Sony say can be trusted and the majority of people are perfectly comfortable with sony s****ing all over their rights

    • listing a feature on a box gives nobody a “right” to a feature, if you read the user agreement it states quite clearly states that the software is free to be changed at their discretion and without notice, just like any other system like the PS3, there is no Electronics Constitution

  • In the end it is sony’s interlectual property and they have the right to add/remove features at will, provided they give the consumer enough notice that they are removing said feature. If someone took away one of my income streams illegally, in this case piracy resulting from being able to install other OSs, i would do the same.

    • Let’s not forget those controllers. They wouldn’t be able to play pirated games without those. So let’s remove those. Hell if we remove HDMI and AV ports they won’t be able to see anything they’re doing and thus can’t engage in software piracy either.

      • I think you have the wrong logic here, maybe a reader from the legal fraternity could help us out with this. My background is in software engineering so this is my take on it.

        You own the physical components of the Playstation 3, you own the physical components that make up the controllers and you own the various ports.

        You do not own their software. That is their intellectual property. You can use their software, but you do not own it. In fact, in theory they could take away the OS and leave you out in the cold. That is their right and that is what you accepted in the EULA. If you want to write your own OS for the PS3, feel free to do so.

        It’s little wanker 12 year olds like Anonymous that ruin everything for the general user. Rather than trying to hack the PS3 to run homebrew, they could’ve petitioned Sony for some sort of dev kit – a bit like what Microsoft offer. But in my opinion the whole “oh we just want to run homebrew software” is complete and utter bullshit, they wanted to pirate Spongebob Squarepants and Sony saw right through it.

        • Sony advertised Other OS as a feature. I’m not saying anyone is right here, but it’s a lot less black and white than you present it.

        • Lets get a few things straight.

          Before Linux was removed there was no piracy on the ps3. It is now rampant.

          Linux had nothing to do with the exploit that enabled piracy.

          I never claimed to own Sony’s proprietary code, however they knowlingly sold me a device that could run Linux and access the psn. I can now only do one of these things.

          If a car manufacturer sold you a car, then two years later told you, “we’re taking your engine, or your suspension. You choose.” Does it make it okay because the design for the engine is their intellectual property?

          No. Its clear as day to me. What they did was wrong. The solution is simple – I wont be purchasing any more Sony products and I urge others to do the same.

          • You’ve missed the point. The car manufacturer isn’t entitled to come and take your engine or suspension because you own them. The equivalent would be Sony coming to your house and taking your PS3 controller or HDD, which they didn’t do because you own them. They made changes to the software, which they own. The design of the engine is the car manufacturer’s property, and if you copy it and start making new engines based on that design, you’ll be hearing from their lawyers.

        • “If you want to write your own OS for the ps3, feel free to do so”

          The Linux community has done exactly that. We are free to do so at all!

          • No they haven’t built their own OS, they’ve copied Sony’s and built a derivative work based on it in clear violation of the licence agreement and copyright laws. They need to build their own OS from the ground up, with none of Sony’s code in it.

          • Just to clarify my comment, the Linux community have indeed built their own OS, it’s the creators of these custom firmwares that are ripping off Sony’s code, not the creators of Linux. My point is the creators of custom firmware need to be creating that from the ground up without Sony’s code in it. Then they can enable Linux all they like. But of course then it won’t play PS3 games.

          • 100% correct. They need to write their own boot loaders and their own drivers. Everything.

            If a user wants to run another OS, Sony has said they are OK with it, but as you said it won’t play PS3 games and it won’t connect to the PSN. But the hardware is yours.

  • personally I dont care whether install other os option is there or not. If I want linux I have a PC, if I want a console for gaming thats what I have. I dont try and make one thing do many things.

    yes I do have a ps3 and a 360 but I use them to play games on. I dont care about whether I loose the option to install linux or not. really why do I need to run doom on everything that has a cpu?

    • If you don’t want the most from your hardware that’s your decision, but don’t play down the significance of homebrew. Look at xbmc, started as Xbox homebrew and now its arguably the best media centre software available.

  • geohot’s ‘jailbreak’ is fairly unrelated to his earlier attempts at opening up the PS3 through OtherOs.

  • Well done Hackers… that’s what you were after.

    Now, kindly, please crawl back to the fetid cesspools you emerged from.

  • A few ruined it for many. And if the Linux users don’t admit it was a few of their own that ruined it for them this will happen again.
    They want to make use of this sort of feature, they need to make sure they help prevent abuse of the feature, instead of just ignoring it and then crying foul when the feature is removed.
    If the guy who found the hole in the Rift game launcher had found it, then shared it with the world instead of doing what he did (telling the world it was there but only sharing the how to with Rift devs) , do you think they would have been happy to let him keep poking around their software?
    (whether they could’ve stopped him issues aside of course)

  • Why is it necessary to even mess with Sony’s software or console. You want to use Linux derived software, buy a PC. I own a gaming PC, 360 and PS3, and each does what each was designed to do: play games set for those formats. People these days are too spoiled, believing that gaming companies owe them something. It’s the companies’ property to do with it what they please. It’s a priviledge, not a right, to be allowed usage.

  • Sony did a wonderful thing by opening the PS3 up to otherOS as someone said before there was no piracy when otherOS was a feature simply because all the bit names in in hacking/cracking want to do so to see what the hardware can do.

    Sony let them do this. I even had a friend who has done their PhD thesis on the PS3 as it was all about the cell processor. Cell processors are HUGELY powerful for the right tasks but hard to programs for. OtherOS also allowed armatures (like myself) to learn how to program for one.

    I am still on FW3.15

    I have no interest in piracy at all

    How ever I would like to play GT5, LBP2 and RDR. What am I suppose to do? Give up on Linux (which is helping my education and is also VERY interesting) or give up on new games and the PSN?

    People have been using analogies to do with cars but what I like to think is a better one is; what if people found a exploit to do with blue ray movies? (not saying it’s likely, but what if) would you be OK with them taking away that feature? Would you just say “they have the right to add/remove features at will”

  • Sony took away otheros before it was touched by hackers (at least publicly) by removing it from slims. It was never on slims because Sony said it didn’t have the ability to do it, it’s hardware wasn’t good enough, we proved them wrong.
    Geohot started his work on the ps3 after the release of slims without otheros.
    Then it was removed from phats.
    Sony already removed it from slims when we know it runs fine on them, they were going to remove it from phats sometime in the future, they were just waiting for a reason.

  • @ The Ginger – You are getting your PhD? It is your choice not to upgrade to keep linux and you agreed to the terms to use Sony’s Software not your Software! When you buy the PS3 only the physical hardware is yours not the software. It is clearly stated in the agreement you could choose to update to the new firmware if not then its your loss in playing newer games and playing on the PSN. They also reserve the right to change, remove any software which is there intellectual property without prior notice and anytime they choose to. How could they physically remove your blu ray hardware mate? Hackers try to justify things that are clearly illegal such potential wasted when they could be working for big companys like Sony to prevent people like themselves from breaching the system and effecting everyone else. They don’t care about other OS and our rights they just got all our information and credit card number explain that one to me if they really had the commons people interest why would they effect us in this way could you answer that Mr. or Ms. PhD?

    • Actually, it is mandatory to update the software in order to use things like PSN and play the latest games, so in order to continue to be able to use your PS3 for the purpose you may have originally purchased it, they are forcing you to give up other features of it, which is questionable practice ethically, even if is not questionable legally.

      As for the hackers in the latest incident, there is no real justification for either them doing it, or Sony’s security being so lax as to allow it to happen

  • @KR

    I meant the ability in the software to play blueray movies not the disc drive………

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