Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Jun 2013 15:20 UTC, submitted by sheokand
Games Pretty cool stuff: the PlayStation 4 apparently runs on a version of FreeBSD 9.0 modified by Sony and renamed to 'Orbis OS'. Second generation developer kits use GNU GRUB to boot, and allow you to boot into a graphical or a console mode. Not much else is known at this point, but it's a fun bit of information, and perhaps a boon to homebrew developer and hackers.
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dnebdal
Member since:
2008-08-27

Well, obviously, the BSD-license does allow Sony to just rake in stuff and never contribute. Alas, that's the whole point with the BSD-license and the people who chose the license chose it for a reason. It's irrelevant what GPL-folks think of the matter, they are not the authors of the software being used here.


That's kind of the point, yeah. As of today, there's a non-zero chance of Sony contributing something back, while if FreeBSD was GPL they wouldn't have used it in the first place. It might also benefit the public at large, since it's a better use of resources than Sony trying to reinvent the wheel again.

Now, Sony might certainly decide to contribute exactly nothing back, but that's not really a worse outcome than if they'd used an inhouse or commercial+closed OS in the first place.

Edited 2013-06-24 18:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

jessesmith Member since:
2010-03-11

There is a discussion on this topic over in the FreeBSD forums and it looks as though some of the code is being contributed back to the FreeBSD project. Which makes sense, rolling the changes back into FreeBSD means Sony doesn't have to maintain a large fork, contributing means less work for them in the long run.

Reply Parent Score: 5

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

There is a discussion on this topic over in the FreeBSD forums and it looks as though some of the code is being contributed back to the FreeBSD project. Which makes sense, rolling the changes back into FreeBSD means Sony doesn't have to maintain a large fork, contributing means less work for them in the long run.


That's great news! And it would confirm my (semi-biased) belief that GPL isn't mandatory for companies to "do the right thing" - since publishing the source modifications benefits everyone, including the original author, when the bugs are squashed and code is improved.

Reply Parent Score: 2

HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

There is a discussion on this topic over in the FreeBSD forums and it looks as though some of the code is being contributed back to the FreeBSD project. Which makes sense, rolling the changes back into FreeBSD means Sony doesn't have to maintain a large fork, contributing means less work for them in the long run.


Excatly! It's actually a big shot in the arm for the BSDs, which have always been the poor cousins to Linux in terms of the amount of dev time devoted to them.

It's good all round. We get to hack the PS3 to within an inch of its life + more dev work for BSD. Nice.

Reply Parent Score: 3