Home > Games > Fedora Core 5 on Sony Playstation 3 Fedora Core 5 on Sony Playstation 3 Submitted by Rahul 2006-11-19 Games 42 Comments QJ.net has posted a guide on how to install Fedora Core 5 on the PlayStation 3. There are also some videos of Fedora Core 5 running on the PlayStation 3. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 42 Comments 2006-11-19 8:45 pm IkeKrull No access to the 3D accelerator = waste of time. The PS3 will make a crap general purpose computer, or cluster node or anything except a render front-end/media-player/games machine because of it’s lack of RAM. And since theres no access to the 3D hardware, it can’t be used for those things. Hell, it will struggle to run Firefox and OpenOffice at the same time. I guess its good you have the option of running Linux, it can’t be a bad thing – and access to a Cell CPU will be educational, but talk about a huge waste of potential. If there was anything that might make people look at the Linux desktop seriously its a standard networked games platform with an out-of-the-box accelerated desktop. We’ve had the ability to use a games console as an underpowered Linux PC with poor graphics since the dreamcast. Way to push the envelope, Sony. Edited 2006-11-19 20:50 2006-11-19 11:51 pm d_Yn Let me slightly disagree here with your opinion. I don’t see the PS3 needed to compete on the desktop market, but running Firefox on a game console actually makes sense for me. Also, not so long ago there were computers existing with less than 200Mb RAM, they ran linux fine and I found them perfectly usable. Maybe a recent version of GNOME is a bit too heavy for such an environment, but there are way more lightweight approaches which can turn the PS3 into a perfectly usable home linux box. Personally I’m looking forward installing linux on a PS3 as soon as I get one here in Europe. 2006-11-20 12:03 pm Kroc Maybe if PS3 Linux takes off, it’ll force contributers to actually optmize Gnome / KDE a lot. No better way to write fast code then to have a slow machine. 2006-11-20 2:05 pm RandomGuy The PS3 is _not_ slow. It has a tiny amount of RAM, that’s the problem. Devs usually do some speed vs memory consumption tradeoff. If they started optimizing for the PS3, which has lots of processing power, that would mean that Gnome/KDE would actually run _slower_ on standard desktop machines with their slower processors and most of their RAM would go unused. I’m all for efficient coding but this would be the dumbest thing to do… 2006-11-20 6:37 pm Kroc There is nothing special about the PS3 except limited RAM. There is tons that can be done to optimize the disk usage and RAM usage in Gnome/KDE for all computers, not just the PS3. My point is that maybe with people using Linux on the PS3, these stupid claims “Gnome runs fine on 256MB!” will go away and contributors will get the nose to the grindwheel and chip away the needless resource wastage. 2006-11-21 4:32 pm leech Gnome does run fine on 256mb of Ram. Actually I had it running on 128mb of ram, and with the exception of some slower load times, it worked fine (this was Gnome 2.14 in Dapper Drake). It was actually usable, whereas WindowsXP was not even remotely usable, to the point that it literally took 5-10 minutes to load up, then another 5 minutes to start any applications! 2006-11-20 12:00 am zetsurin You jump to a heck of a lot of conclusions there. Let me ask: have you used or seen a PS3 running Linux yet? And are you familiar with the concept of software improving over time? I think at the very very least the PS3 will make a very capable media player for the TV in addition to being a games machine. Countless people slandered the PS2 for numerous reasons until it went on to sell 100+ million… 2006-11-20 12:17 am IkeKrull Hey, i don’t doubt the PS3 is a good games console – it makes a lot of sense for applications, like commercial games, that can take advantage of its graphics accelerator. But a media player? what a waste. No tuner, small HDD, no bundled software – you might as well roll your own MythTV box on a generic x86, itd be faster, cheaper and have hardware 3D with an Nvidia or Intel chipset. The PS2 sold 100+ million – how many PS2 Linux kits were sold? 2006-11-20 12:28 am zetsurin Well, I don’t need a tuner for playing back my media files, and regardless it could possibly be a matter of time until someone gets a USB based one working, such is the community spirit with Linux. Going forward I consider having all my DIVX encoded movies on blu-ray media to be pretty darn convenient and doesn’t even require HDD space. Anyway, someone already has a 300+GB HDD hooked up to their PS3. One thing I don’t want is a clunky looking PC sitting next to my TV running Windows. I do need a games console so this works as a nice consolidation for me: one device to do the job. The Linux situation is a bit different here also, as you don’t need to buy a kit. You download the disc and away you go. Edited 2006-11-20 00:30 2006-11-20 11:05 am siki_miki >Well, I don’t need a tuner for playing back my media files, and regardless it could possibly be a >matter of time until someone gets a USB based one working, such is the community spirit with >Linux. That should work almost out of box. DVB or VLB drivers for many devices are in-kernel and USB support for PS3 is already there (maybe not yet in PPC distro’s, but kernel patches are out there and users will only need to patch and recompile a kernel-it will probably be merged in 2.6.20 if not already in .19). 2006-11-20 12:30 am techlush i believe every ps2 linux kit that was made available was sold. running linux on ps3 is obviously a lot easier and better supported by all parties involved. i think ill be trading my xbox360 for one of these things as soon as they become more readily available 2006-11-20 7:38 am popper “But a media player? what a waste. No tuner, small HDD, no bundled software – you might as well roll your own MythTV box on a generic x86, itd be faster, cheaper and have hardware 3D with an Nvidia or Intel chipset. The PS2 sold 100+ million – how many PS2 Linux kits were sold?” you seem to miss the point, it will make a perfectly good (and this is key)Hi-Def media player and streamer for that matter. want your choice of tunner, fine go out and get any USB tunner that works with the current DVB linuxTV,plug it in and run up the compiler and make the drivers, or fine someone that has already done it for you (anyone done this yet with a yuan tv2go ? Bus 004 Device 004: ID 14aa:0220 AVerMedia (again) or C&E , a rebadge like this one http://linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/User:Woodsb02 ). im not sure if theres a working java that can run on ps3 yet, but if/when there is you can also add in the java apps JTVLAN http://www.jtvlan.org/?PHPSESSID=d8a9f92dd331e41bfb986148eaa54945 and DVB Web Scheduler http://www.digtv.no-ip.com/webscheduler/ to give you a perfectly fine base for your DVB re-recording/streaming with VLC as the lan streaming/recoring engine etc. thats just one option of many im sure given some small amount of time and a willingness to try…. if your interest is in playing VC-1 then one interesting point with the ps3 as apposed the 360(although unless theres a way to got it on the 360 there and running its unusable i suppose),is that ffmpeg since version 0.4.7: had AltiVec optimizations (by Magnus Damn and others). http://ffmpeg.mplayerhq.hu/changelog.html VC-1/WMV3/WMV9 video decoder is in there too, wmv3 is also altivec optimized. as for your ps2 comment wel your fully aware that that cant have linux or any other OS for that matter easly installed on it as the ps3 can and done so invalid from that point of view perhaps…. 2006-11-20 6:20 am popper you make some assumptions it seems ,you are not aware that IBM/sony/YD5 are using ps3 as part of the first cell super computer. http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/967146.html ” Announcement: 10 October 2006 HPC Wire offers a “breaking news” bulletin, Terra Soft, Sony to Build World’s First Cell-Based Supercomputer. Terra Soft to Build World’s First Cell-Based Supercomputer Tomorrow, Terra Soft will officially announce the construction of the world’s first Cell-based supercomputing cluster. In the fall of ’05, Terra Soft was contacted by Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. (SCEI) to develop and manage a supercomputing cluster built upon the IBM Cell Broadband Engine and the Linux OS. This spring, Terra Soft was contracted by Sony and in August completed the construction of a 3000 sq-ft supercomputing facility capable of housing 2400 1U systems. In this remodeled extension to the Loveland, Colorado headquarters, Terra Soft will construct a test cluster and a substantially larger production cluster, dubbed “E.coli” and “Amoeba” respectively.” “The clusters will incorporate, in part, Cell-based PS3 systems. The Cell Broadband Engine provides a “1 + 8″ multi-core processing environment, enabling optimized code to function at a superior level of performance over traditional single or dual core CPUs. With all 8 cores on a single chip, the code processes do not lose performance by dropping down to the memory bus as with historic, multiple CPU configurations. ” ” The final cluster components are to arrive early November with the cluster slated to be fully operational with the close of the year. As a guest of IBM at the annual Supercomputing 2006 (SC06) trade show, Nov 11-17 in Tampa, Terra Soft will showcase Yellow Dog Linux v5.0, Y-HPC v2.0 beta, and Y-Bio v1.1 on a small cluster of PS3s. More information about YDL, Y-HPC, and Y-Bio are available at Terra Soft’s website, http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com.” 2006-11-20 6:45 pm Alleister You are making the false assumption that whats good for a supercomputer is good on the desktop. Worse even, there is practically no Linux software out at all that makes use of Cells added Cores and few will ever support it for many reasons. 2006-11-20 7:55 pm popper “Alleister:You are making the false assumption that whats good for a supercomputer is good on the desktop. Worse even, there is practically no Linux software out at all that makes use of Cells added Cores and few will ever support it for many reasons.” nope, no assumptions on my part… just makeing it clear that there are industrial versions of the cell ram layout etc, as for your point about ‘practically no Linux software out at all that makes use of Cells added Cores’ what do you expect , its only been available to the public for a few days, what else would any reasonable person expect other than that…. in time, and with effort, some devs will learn how to use these new userland concepts and/or adapt the long standing supercomputer commercial multi cpu concepts and practices to the comsumer markets. the key is time and effort, its probably a good thing if your having FUN too…… 2006-11-21 6:22 am Alleister No, Cell extension boards are around for some time for PCs running Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Also the Linux Kernel has already been ported to Cell but can’t make much use of it’s added Cores for Technical reasons. In generell, most desktop problems can’t be parralelized all that much. What is worse, optimizing for Cell is very difficult and absolutely Cell specific so it can’t be done in a way so that other multi Core CPUs gain from it. 2006-11-19 9:10 pm santana No access to 3D accelerator for now The only thing preventing it is supervisor, and in time Sony could be pursuaded to give up on that. However, I don’t see why would PS3 be a “crap general purpose computer”. This first distros poping out are “just” using PPC in Playstation 3, and it IS a 3.2 GHz PPC. Yes, it has just cca 200Mb of main memory, but it is ultrafast XDR memory. From what I’ve seen, Fedora5 runs pretty nicely on it (considering all of the graphichs is unaccelerated and going through framebuffer). Big plus is that every PS3 has HDD inside. I kind of miss your point about PS3 being “crap cluster node”. It should actually be a GREAT cluster node. Cell is actually made from scratch for that. Terrasoft is building supercomputer based on Cell chips as we speak. Now, keep in mind that no Linux distro for now is actually tuned to Cell processor, and software isn’t even touching SPE’s. There should be 6 SPE’s avaiable for guest OSes on PS3, and some really crazy stuff could be done with them, like making Mesa using 3-4 (or all 6) of them. See for example how raycasting is being done realtime using just Cell CPU. The mere fact that PS3 HAS Linux from the first launch day gives hope that we will see some great stuff done with Linux and PS3. 2006-11-19 9:54 pm helf yeah, even without hardware vidoe accell, I still want to use one for a general purpose PC. it’ll be great. If someone can come up with a ‘video driver’ that uses a few of the SPEs for video work, then you could get decent performance. (someone said gf3-4 performance somewhere.. which would be plenty for me…) 2006-11-20 3:41 am lucas No access to 3D accelerator for now The only thing preventing it is supervisor, and in time Sony could be pursuaded to give up on that. yeah, those wonderful open source drivers for ati/nvidia hardware are proof of that! the only thing stopping it now is the “supervisor”! [/sarcasm] 2006-11-20 9:36 am kokara4a Since there’s no 3D I wonder if the VRAM can bu used as a swap device. It should be pretty damn quick and will efectively add >200MB to the main memory. Any thoughts? 2006-11-21 8:17 pm Finalzone Now, keep in mind that no Linux distro for now is actually tuned to Cell processor, and software isn’t even touching SPE’s. There should be 6 SPE’s avaiable for guest OSes on PS3, and some really crazy stuff could be done with them, like making Mesa using 3-4 (or all 6) of them. See for example how raycasting is being done realtime using just Cell CPU. Speaking of SPE, a patch has been submitted for future GCC 4.3. If the patch is accepted, future software will take advantage of SPE. http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2006-November/msg0… More video with Fedora Core 5 running on PS3 http://www.engadget.com/2006/11/19/fedora-linux-up-and-running-on-p… Edited 2006-11-21 20:20 2006-11-22 7:31 am kaiwai So, all things being equal; if the patch is accepted into 4.3 and Fedora Core 7 includes GCC 4.3 as the default compiler, along with an official release for P3, the performance *might* improve. With that being said, Linux and the software needs more optimising – if one can play a dvd, surf the net, and do a little openoffice writing, then all good for most people out there. 2006-11-19 10:13 pm fithisux definite that the memory could not be upgraded? Any clever solderers out there? 2006-11-22 7:16 am kaiwai Even with the memory upgrade, if possible with a soldering iron, there would still be the issue of frimware. What they should have included was atleast 512MB or maybe even the possibility of an unsupported upgrading it. PS3 has potential to be a great product; too bad like most Sony products, crap management ends up castrating it from what it could possibly achieve. 2006-11-20 6:27 am popper appart from the first cell super computer cluster, theres also these. keep the ps3 price in mind when you ignore these cards as cant also play games, its mearly to show that the exact same setup is being used on these industrial versions. http://www.ppcnux.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=6592 “IBM presents the BladeCenter QS20 Dual-Cell BE blade” “This includes 2x Cell BE CPUs with 3.2 GHz and a total of 2 PPEs and 16 SPEs, 1 GB XDR RAM with 3.2 GHz data rate, two Gigabit connectors” TAKE a look at this block diagram, its the same setup. http://www.mc.com/images/products/Cell-blade-block-diagram.jpg want a Cell on a PCi card fine if you can afford it that is. ” http://www.mc.com/mediacenter/pr/news_details.cfm?press_id=2006~*~@… Mercury Computer Systems Brings the Cell BE Processor to the PC Workstation Architecture Mercury’s latest Cell BE processor-based offering enables supercomputer-like performance for rendering, imaging, and other compute-intensive applications ” Edited 2006-11-20 06:47 2006-11-20 7:04 am IkeKrull The PS3 is unsuitable as a cluster node for the same reason that the XBox and the PS2 are – lack of RAM and I/O. The XBox runs the same ~1GHz CPU as was standard issue in render farms of the day, but nobody used them, despite the fact they were price-competitive, because at that time a single frame video would typically use at least 256-512MB of RAM and a frame of a film would happily take at least 1GB-2GB of RAM and usually more. An x86 PC with an identical CPU but with 2GB RAM would absolutely destroy an XBox for rendering performance, because the XBox was limited to 64MB of RAM (unless you were very handy with a soldering iron) and 100Mbps ethernet. And the PS3 has the same problem, relative to the hardware used for cluster nodes these days. Really, show me someone using actual consumer PS3s to do real work, and i’ll believe you, but your Terrasoft example isn’t that. They are using the 2U beta PS3 units given to developers long before consumer hardware was available. They are most certainly not building consumer PS3s into the production cluster – unless, and this is a stretch – they have used Sonys proprietary game dev kits to use PS3s as visualisation processors for the system – precisely the capability that this Linux offering deprives developers of. I doubt this is the case, however. The simple truth remains that the PS3, like every other game console ever made, doesn’t have enough RAM or I/O speed to make effective cluster nodes. But thats why its a game console, optimised for graphics, and thats why not giving developers access to the graphics hardware, beyond a couple of very narrow avenues of research, is crippling it. 2006-11-20 7:46 am JernejL It doesn’t seem to boot any faster that it did on my 1.7Ghz amdnumbercruncher.. 2006-11-22 7:42 pm mabank This is only a test… sorry… 2006-11-20 9:58 am remenic Ah yes, good point kakara4a. Even IF we could use the SPE’s to do GFX, we’d have to fill our 256 megs of RAM with textures. Let’s say that we reserve 64MB for textures, that means we only have like 190MB left of main ram. Wow, killer machine! Even if RAM is fscking fast, to fill it with new data, you’d probably have to read from disk, which is terribly slow. No, it seems to me that Linux on PS3 is good only for media-center like purposes and emulators. Not for openoffice and Firefox. 2006-11-20 11:21 am kokara4a Well, I see it slightly differently. We don’t take from the main memory cause the only acceleration I’m interested in is video scaling which can be done in a streamed fashion. Also, VRAM is only used as a framebuffer so there’ll be around 250MB of it which is not used. Now imagine a virtual disk driver which exposes that memory as a block device. And you mount it as a swap disk. For sure, it will be much faster than any HDD. Or will it? Sony seem to have screwed up the design of the CELL and/or RSX WRT VRAM memory access (referred to as local memory here http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=32171 ). It seems that when the CELL is reading directly from VRAM it only gets 16MB/s (not a typo as the picture there says). Nevertheless, if the RSX is doing the pushing we can expect great things. The only question is whether the RSX is exposed enough to be programmed to move data around. Then the future looks much better for the PS3 as a general purpose computer. Edited 2006-11-20 11:25 2006-11-20 2:24 pm Michael …Now imagine a virtual disk driver which exposes that memory as a block device. And you mount it as a swap disk. For that matter, why not stick a gig or two of RAM on as a USB device and use it in the same manner? Should manage better than 16MB/s ! I think that’s the most practical way to expand the memory – no soldering required. 2006-11-20 2:54 pm kokara4a Should manage better than 16MB/s ! Yes, twice faster . But of course, you are free to do this regardless of any other optimization. My suggestion is based on the idea that the VRAM is unused resource and can be acessed very quickly. In fact, if my speculation is right (i.e. that you can make the RSX move the data) it’s at least 100 times faster. If not, maybe we can still map the VRAM directly in the address space of the CELL and treat the PS3 as (very-)NUMA architecture! Geeks will be happy. 2006-11-20 11:19 am Leo43 The PS3 will make a crap general purpose computer, or cluster node or anything except a render front-end/media-player/games machine because of it’s lack of RAM. And since theres no access to the 3D hardware, it can’t be used for those things. What did you all expect ?! Sony is loosing up to 300$ on every PS3 sold. The only way for them to make money is on software ! Not to mention that this machine underwent something like 5 years development, hundred of millions were invested into its development… did you expect them to release specs, and allow anyone to take full advantage of the machine without giving them back a single buck ?! Before complaining, answer this: have you ever seen a *single* console hardware manufacturer include a menu “use your favorite OS” in its machine ? Of course it’s limited, but no one has done it before… And there’s really no need to complain. Sony had no interest in doing it. Still, it’s there… Edited 2006-11-20 11:21 2006-11-20 11:47 am bolomkxxviii If Sony was serious about this it would have: 1) Added sockets for more memory. The sockets would be relatively cheap to add and they could sell the memory at a nice profit margin. 2) Worked with YD or someone else from the beginning so on lauch day a fully functional OS (with 3D) was available. Sold in a kit (OS, Memory, keyboard & mouse) Sony would have had another source of profit for the PS3. I bet a bunch of gamers would buy the kit simply for the extra memory thinking it would make their games run better. 2006-11-20 3:35 pm jimveta Now I don’t have any experience actually on the Cell so feel free to correct me.. but seems to me the reason it’ll run not as well as the clockspeed suggests from what I’ve read is Cell’s design–long pipelines, weaker branch predictor and weaker SMT compared to P4, 2-4 times longer latencies in int instrs compared to P4, and perhaps worst of all given the previous, no OOOE .. relative performance wise, I don’t think things like compiling a kernel, AI programs, or rendering web pages, processing XML, or heavy OpenOffice work, will be as fast on a Cell even if it had more RAM (or Xbox 360 for that matter) compared to a modern intel/amd cpu running at much less clockspeed.. but it probably won’t really matter if the absolute performance is still acceptable I guess Edited 2006-11-20 15:36 2006-11-20 3:48 pm danboid Yes, I agree that it would’ve been great if Sony had put more RAM in the PS3 but why oh why are people slagging it off so heavily saying absolute rubbish like “It’s not good enough to run Firefox and Ooo” Yes it most certainly IS good enough to run those and without breaking a sweat. My dads PC only has 256MB RAM and he runs Ooo and Firefox side by side very nicely and under KDE too thank you very much so the PS3 should handle both these apps easily as well. I’m amazed by the number of people who seem to be COMPLAINING that you can install OSs on the PS3! Are you people insane? How can this possibly ever be a bad thing? Sony have done everyone a huge favour here and have broke new ground by making it so straightforward on a console. If you don’t like it then don’t buy one, your complaining isn’t helping anything. Everyone is expecting YDL5 will come with an accelerated 3D X server but I can’t say that I’ve actually heard YDL say this specifically. Anyone know any more about this? I really want to know how well mencoder, lame and Blender currently run on the PS3. Obviously they’ll run much, much faster when they get optimised for the Cell. Whats the craic with OSX? Sony said themselves it should be able to run it but for legal reasons I somehow can’t see them releasing a PS3 OSX GFX driver. 2006-11-20 6:30 pm jwhazel >I’m amazed by the number of people who seem to be COMPLAINING that you can install OSs on the PS3! Are you people insane? I prefer the term, “realistic”. Why would I want a system which has no optimized kernel or programs for it when I can already run linux on cheaper hardware that I know will work well. “Because you can”, doesn’t really satisfy here. >Whats the craic with OSX? Sony said themselves it should be able to run it but for legal reasons I somehow can’t see them releasing a PS3 OSX GFX driver. The craic is that everytime somebody releases a computer with architecure similar to macs, people think it will magically run OSX. Same thing happened shortly before the xbox 360 came out (check old post on osnews). Supposing they could get it to work, Unoptomized OSX running on a system with 256mb ram and no video acceleration… where do I sign up? 2006-11-20 8:20 pm popper “>I’m amazed by the number of people who seem to be COMPLAINING that you can install OSs on the PS3! Are you people insane? I prefer the term, “realistic”. Why would I want a system which has no optimized kernel or programs for it when I can already run linux on cheaper hardware that I know will work well. “Because you can”, doesn’t really satisfy here. >Whats the craic with OSX? Sony said themselves it should be able to run it but for legal reasons I somehow can’t see them releasing a PS3 OSX GFX driver. The craic is that everytime somebody releases a computer with architecure similar to macs, people think it will magically run OSX. Same thing happened shortly before the xbox 360 came out (check old post on osnews). Supposing they could get it to work, Unoptomized OSX running on a system with 256mb ram and no video acceleration… where do I sign up?” ‘I prefer the term, “realistic” as in if you buy the PS3 you can realisticly run these OS on it no problem, if you dont you cant… as for the ‘everytime somebody releases a computer with architecure similar to macs, people think it will magically run OSX’ comment , thats closer to the truth than you imagine. after all, any PPC based machine such as the Pegasus that can run these PPC based linux (and indeed Genesi/Peg is the main reason today why you can get most PPC distro’s as current) can also run Mac-On-Linux just fine, so it should work just as well on the PS3 (and the Xbox360 if they ever work out how to remove MS restrictions one day). anyone with a PS3 and linux installed care to try Mac-On-Linux and report back?, might be interesting, as this might open up even more options… lets also not forget that clock for clock AltiVec can always beat MMX* so it might be nice for someone to test the PS3 Altivec unit and even the 360 if they can one day… ;P Edited 2006-11-20 20:37 2006-11-20 7:10 pm IkeKrull I’m not complaining that Linux runs on the PS3, I just think Sony has made the wrong move by crippling it by not allowing access to the only piece of hardware in it that makes it a useful machine. Let me put it this way – would you buy a $500 graphics card for your PC so you could run console applications? 2006-11-20 10:06 pm t-la I love this discussion. When you read threads about Vista, you find great trolls trying to explain that the memory used by vista is soooooo huge. Linux can run smoothly on a 486 with 8MB. And suddenly, 256MB on a 3,2Ghz is not enough… 2006-11-21 12:45 am thebluesgnr Except that it IS enough. I have a K6-III with 192MB that runs the latest Fedora Core release just fine for web browsing, e-mail, office, music and photos. The only thing that sucks about it is the old monitor. And by the way, you can’t run a modern general purpose GNU/Linux distribution on a 486 with 8MB, as the minimum memory requirements for Debian (for example) is 32MB. I’m sure you could find a different version optimized for your 8MB 486 if you look hard enough. 2006-11-21 11:36 am REMF i am delighted that Sony have allowed linux to run on the PS3. i will be even more delighted when they allow access to the 3d accelerator. if they do so, i will buy a PS3 and some games for it too.