Is installing Linux on PS3 worth the hassle?
October 30, 2007 6:53 AM   Subscribe

Should I install Ubuntu on my PS3? Is it worth the hassle of backing up all the files/savegames/demos on my PS3?

Also, is it easy enough to learn how to use Ubuntu in general to make it worthwhile to install on the PS3, along with drivers etc for general web-surfing and file-sharing with my Windows XP machine? What is the best way to backup the files on my PS3 in order to format the hard drive for an OS install?
posted by Grither to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I should mention that the harddrive has about 40GB of stuff on it already, but I would not have a problem deleting a lot of the demos...
posted by Grither at 6:59 AM on October 30, 2007

If you want to do it, I would recommend browsing around, as that will be the quickest way to success for you.

However, speaking as somebody who has been very involved with Ubuntu on the PS3, I can tell you that it's just not quick enough to be that useful. If you want to do it as a learning exercise, it can be worthwhile. However, because of the limited amount of RAM and the hypervisor preventing full access to the graphics cell, I just can't justify using it for anything other than goofing around.
posted by stovenator at 8:01 AM on October 30, 2007

stovenator has it right. I've shoehorned other open operating systems onto other interesting platforms (NetBSD on a 286 w/4MB RAM), Debian on an old SGI Indy), and really, once I had it up and on a network, the thrill was gone. Sort of a ' what?''. Like many other things, the journey ends up more interesting than the destination.

Having said that, a no-graphics Linux box would be useful for a few things if you were willing to dedicate the hardware to it full time. I'm thinking of things like a file or FTP server, web server, etc.
posted by jquinby at 8:15 AM on October 30, 2007

Thanks, I'm actually able to access that site at work, so I'll check it out for a bit, though I'm not finding any easy way to actually do the backup of the files already on my PS3.

And by goofing around, do you mean surfing the web, or figuring out how to get it to run properly?
posted by Grither at 8:17 AM on October 30, 2007

What do you want to do with it?
If you want to websurf on your TV, the PS3 has a web browser (admittedly an unspectacular one, but passable).
If you want to share media, you can run a Upnp server on your Windows box and view/play it on the PS3.

What benefit are you looking for out of Linux on the PS3? I looked into it when I first got mine, and as others have said, it doesn't really seem to add anything beyond the "hey I installed Linux on yet another device" factor.
posted by jozxyqk at 9:54 AM on October 30, 2007

If you want to share media, you can run a Upnp server on your Windows box and view/play it on the PS3.

TVersity, for choice.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:12 AM on October 30, 2007


Yeah it was more for the surfing the web kind of thing, since the PS3 web-browser is so god-awful. I thought it would be easier to share media with Linux as well.

That looks kind of promising as far as file-sharing made easier goes. Thanks!
posted by Grither at 10:17 AM on October 30, 2007

FWIW, it seems to me that if you want to try to do something for the educational value, putting Linux on a router, say one of the LinkSys routers, seems cheaper and just as valuable.
You can get routers now with 32Mb of ram which take a USB hard drive. They would be slow, but you could actually do stuff with them, I think. And they are about 1/5 to 1/10 the price of a PS/3.

For that matter, why not just buy a $100 Pentium III Windows system, and put
Ubuntu on it?
posted by vilcxjo_BLANKA at 10:10 AM on March 3, 2008

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