Ubuntu on PS3
A quick article showing how to install Ubuntu on a first gen PS3. This is obsolete as this feature was removed.
Note: Running linux on a playstation 3 is not a hack, it doesn't require any hardware modification, won't disable any feature on your Playstation 3 and is not difficult to do.
Sony officially support running linux on your ps3 with dedicated tools present in the XMB ( Cross-mediabar, the UI of the Playstation 3).
Caveat: for installing Linux, you will need to format your hard-drive thus losing all the data on it. Fortunately, Sony made a backup utility so you can backup your game's save data, game demos and other files very simply. ### What's needed?
- A CD-R ( or DVD-R, I used a DVR-RW ).
- USB Keyboard and mouse.
- USB drive or memory card if you want to backup your data beforehand.
- Component or HDMI cable if you plan on using the linux GUI ( ie, not use your Playstation 3 as a headless server ). As you can see, the Playstation 3 doesn't require any special hardware to use linux as the Playstation 2 did.
First, you have to download an iso image of Ubuntu for your PS3. You can get it there :
While it's downloading, it's now a good time to backup your data if you'd like to. Plug in a usb-hardrive or a memory card and: In the XMB, go to Settings -> System Settings -> Backup Utility, follow the on-screen instructions.
Once the backup is done and the image has been burned on a CD/DVD, go back to the XMB, and then:
- Settings > System Settings > Format Utility > Format Hard Disk.
- Choose Yes.
- Select "Custom partition setting" and then "Allot 10GB to the Other OS"
- followed by "Perform a Quick Format."
- Reboot the PS3 by pressing X on your controller. You can now insert the Ubuntu CD on your Playstation 3
- Settings > System Settings > Install Other OS Hit X when prompted to start the installer. This step actually install a bootloader on your system from the CD, it doesn't install the other operating system.
- Next, Settings > System Settings > Default System, select "Other OS" and reboot.
Don't forget to plug in your keyboard and mouse. You will then see a
kboot: on the screen, just press enter to boot from the CD.
From now on, it's a normal Ubuntu install, just click on the installer on the desktop, select the 10GB drive and wait, and then wait some more.
The installation is quite slow, much slower than on a comparable computer (I blame the blu-ray drive).
Caveat: if you are not using the HDMI output on a HDCP compatible screen, the live CD is going to default to NTSC/PAL resolution. Basically, the screen resolution will be too low for the installer application to display all of its window. Just press the "ALT" key on your keyboard and drag the window with the mouse to access the buttons on the lower side of the window.
After the installation finished and I rebooted into my ubuntu system, I had to make some configuration modification to display a decent resolution over Component cables.