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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12th June, 2005, 10:25 AM
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PS3 Add-On HDD to run on Linux

It is common knowledge the PS2 and PS3 can have a hard-drive installed. However Sony president Ken Kutaragi has stated in an interview with Impress PC Watch that the PS3 hard-dive will have Linux installed.

“Since E3, Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi has been calling the PlayStation 3 an "entertainment supercomputer" rather than a gaming console. Now, he's revealed a new plan to make sure that it's acknowledged as one.”

Read more at http://www.gamespot.com/news/2005/06...s_6127219.html

Whats your take on the situation guys?

Is Sony trying to 'stick it to Microsoft' on another front?
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Old 12th June, 2005, 12:53 PM
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Nope. I reckon that Sony is trying to sidestep certain EU taxes with their console, in the same way they did with the PS2. Basically, being classifed as a computer means there's less duty to pay on it.

Also, it means there's a certain body of enthusiasts who will buy the machine in order to run Linux on it. I already know people who use their PS2 with Linux as a web server!
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Old 12th June, 2005, 12:58 PM
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If it runs Linux, could it run F@H?
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Old 12th June, 2005, 01:58 PM
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I guess we shall find out.
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Old 12th June, 2005, 03:37 PM
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Hopefully the PS3 disk drive will be slightly more useful than the PS2 drive turned out to be. I got a PS2 drive for free from Sony for beta testing Final Fantasy XI. I know that only a handful of games ever supported it and most of those games only supported it in menial ways. For example, I know that the Resident Evil Online games supported it to speed up load times, but it was never needed for any game but FFXI. Then Sony came out with the newest PS2 model, which cannot support the PS2 hard drive, effectively killing any support that may have been in the works for the drive. Effectively, this means I have almost 40 GB of free space on my PS2 drive waiting to be used. That space will never actually be used for anything other than a space for game backups, though.

Let's hope that the PS3 drive works a lot more like the Xbox's drive and much less like the PS2 drive. The linux thing sounds really interesting. The question is: will you be able to effectively be able to run the PS3 like a linux computer (i.e. install pretty much whatever you want, browse the web, etc.) or will the shipping version of linux be very limited as to what you can do?
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Old 13th June, 2005, 12:34 AM
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Its Linux, so somewhere, Sony should release the source code, for all our brutalising ideas.
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Old 13th June, 2005, 09:45 AM
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The PS2 linux allowed you to do what you wanted - There are some alternative distros that use the original PS2 linux loader to bootstrap themselves. Presumably the PS3 linux will be in the same vein.
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Old 13th June, 2005, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rondog
If it runs Linux, could it run F@H?
No. Not unless someone persuades the people at Stanford to recompile the FAH cores to support the PS3's processor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rondog
Its Linux, so somewhere, Sony should release the source code, for all our brutalising ideas
Oh but they do, as far as they have to under the GPL. A lot of Sony hardware runs on a *nix variant - the PSP I'm listening to music on at the moment has borrowed heavily from NetBSD - those parts that are owed to NetBSD are made freely available on Sony's site. Of course, it's useless to developers as the closed-source, Sony-customised bits are most definitely not freely available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
The PS2 linux allowed you to do what you wanted - There are some alternative distros that use the original PS2 linux loader to bootstrap themselves. Presumably the PS3 linux will be in the same vein.
Sony's Linux is rather like its normal BSD-derivative OS: restrictive. There is a certain brand of geek out there that believes we should be to access the full potential of our hardware. Good luck to them! The fact that the Linux they produce for the PS2 (and probably for other Sony hardware) is less well performing than the native OS and not of any lasting use is neither here nor there
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Old 13th June, 2005, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitain
No. Not unless someone persuades the people at Stanford to recompile the FAH cores to support the PS3's processor.
Would they be willing to do it, if they have enough people ask for it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitain
Oh but they do, as far as they have to under the GPL. A lot of Sony hardware runs on a *nix variant - the PSP I'm listening to music on at the moment has borrowed heavily from NetBSD - those parts that are owed to NetBSD are made freely available on Sony's site. Of course, it's useless to developers as the closed-source, Sony-customised bits are most definitely not freely available.
So, Sony customizes a version of Linux, patents it, and decided not to release the source code?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitain
Sony's Linux is rather like its normal BSD-derivative OS: restrictive. There is a certain brand of geek out there that believes we should be to access the full potential of our hardware. Good luck to them! The fact that the Linux they produce for the PS2 (and probably for other Sony hardware) is less well performing than the native OS and not of any lasting use is neither here nor there
What do you mean, access the full potentional of our hardware?
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Old 13th June, 2005, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitain
Oh but they do, as far as they have to under the GPL. A lot of Sony hardware runs on a *nix variant - the PSP I'm listening to music on at the moment has borrowed heavily from NetBSD
Since when has NetBSD been licensed under the GPL? It's licensed under a Berkeley-style license, which makes no requirements that the source code be available. However, a copyright message must be in place. For the PSP, it would appear that the IP stack is NetBSD based, like many other (non-Sony) devices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NetBSD License
* 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
* notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
* 2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
* notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
* documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
* 3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software
* must display the following acknowledgement:
* This product includes software developed by the NetBSD
* Foundation, Inc. and its contributors.
* 4. Neither the name of The NetBSD Foundation nor the names of its
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* from this software without specific prior written permission.
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Old 13th June, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rondog
So, Sony customizes a version of Linux, patents it, and decided not to release the source code?
Patent? No. Copyright, yes. It's the same as all these Linux distrubutions that float a nice graphical installer and setup utility on top of their releases. The installer/utility is all their own work and is not derivative of any opensource product, so they are not obliged to publish the source. The bits that aren't derivative of a moddied *nix

Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
Since when has NetBSD been licensed under the GPL? It's licensed under a Berkeley-style license, which makes no requirements that the source code be available. However, a copyright message must be in place. For the PSP, it would appear that the IP stack is NetBSD based, like many other (non-Sony) devices.
It was on that bit of paper in the box... I think. One more thing to look at when I get home.
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Old 13th June, 2005, 02:17 PM
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I don't think I have that bit of paper any longer I'm afraid. I don't remember it being written in the manual though.
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Old 13th June, 2005, 02:25 PM
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Sony's Cell CPU is extremely powerful, and Abit are one company who have already stated interest in the Cell CPU for future products. See Custom PC.
If Abit and co. do begin development of motherboards that can make use of the Cell CPU, what will happen next? Will Sony become the third CPU company? Or will AMD and Intel come up trumps?
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Old 13th June, 2005, 02:55 PM
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What OS would you run on a Cell system?
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Old 13th June, 2005, 03:10 PM
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something numa based.
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Old 13th June, 2005, 03:24 PM
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Such as?
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Old 13th June, 2005, 03:33 PM
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heck, i dunno, but with the small amt of ram available, and 8 cores, it makes sense to me. linux will run numa, will it not?
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Old 13th June, 2005, 04:18 PM
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With a small amount of RAM, and a single main core, what benefit does NUMA offer? IBM has Linux running on the PowerPC core, but it doesn't appear to use any of the vector units if I understand correctly. That's down to the application code to sort out.
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Old 13th June, 2005, 04:27 PM
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AFAIK, it's still multiprocessing in the ps3. the powerpc core is not like a cell...sure, the interface is about the same, but the end that the board does not see is quite complex...and somehow, each of those processing units needs to fetch data...from the same cache. that's a numa-needing console, if you ask me, but you'd know better than i.

as i understand it, the local cache on the chip itself would be the local cache, and the XDR would be the remote cache. becasue SMP does not scale as well w/ 8-12 cpu's, numa offers an viable alternative. this is not a powerpc regatta, after all.

maybe MIPS64, or a varient thereof?
besides, i think the ps2 uses numa...no? i just educate myself....


the PS3 cores will not always be doing the same tasks, given the application that it is running...AFAIK, each core's use is programmable, and when i heard that, NUMA stuck in my head. I don't know much about either technology, but both seem to go hand in hand
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Old 13th June, 2005, 05:06 PM
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The Cell processor used in the PS3 has a PowerPC core surrounded by a bunch of programmable vector units.

Why would the PS2 need NUMA? The MIPS core and the two vector units are on the same silicon.
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