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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GRUB 2
by PhilPotter on Mon 24th Jun 2013 19:41 UTC
PhilPotter
Member since:
2011-06-10

Someone at the Phoronix forums mentioned something that is actually a very good point - GRUB 2 is GPLv3. They can't ship it in the finished product, so either they:
(a) change the bootloader for the release console or
(b) allow people to replace the bootloader on a release console with one of their own.

Given their leaning towards BSD (if this is legit) - I suspect they will go for (a) (although (b) would be awesome!).

Reply Score: 3

RE: GRUB 2
by Flatland_Spider on Tue 25th Jun 2013 00:16 in reply to "GRUB 2"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

This is a screenshot of the DevKit booting not the PS4.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: GRUB 2
by PhilPotter on Tue 25th Jun 2013 09:41 in reply to "RE: GRUB 2"
PhilPotter Member since:
2011-06-10

I realise that, but given the whole BSD discussion I thought it was worth pointing out.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: GRUB 2
by Soulbender on Tue 25th Jun 2013 03:51 in reply to "GRUB 2"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

They can't ship it in the finished product


I'm not a lawyer but....why not?
Does GPLV3 prohibit commercial use?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: GRUB 2
by r_a_trip on Tue 25th Jun 2013 06:50 in reply to "RE: GRUB 2"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

No, the GPLv3 has an anti-tivoization clause. You need to give people access to the build-system and any signing keys used to sign the software. The guess here is that Sony wouldn't want to ship the PS4 with an unlockable bootloader.

Although they could use the BSD licensed OS parts to check if the GRUB bootloader has been altered and then refuse to load the rest of the system. That would technically satisfy the licensing stipulations on GRUB2. It probably would really mess up RMS's day though...

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: GRUB 2
by PhilPotter on Tue 25th Jun 2013 09:40 in reply to "RE: GRUB 2"
PhilPotter Member since:
2011-06-10

If they did, they would have to include the keys necessary to sign and run your own version, ergo - complete control of the platform. GPLv3 doesn't exclude commercial projects per say, but this is a big limitation if a company's aim is to sell a locked down box.

Reply Parent Score: 3