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Next PS3 Firmware To Disable Linux Installs

The great Sony/Linux experiment comes to a close next month.

Sorry, I'm too tired to come up with a snarky 'It Only Does...' joke. 
Sorry, I'm too tired to come up with a snarky 'It Only Does...' joke. 
When Sony shipped the PS3 Slimmy last year, people noticed that it seemed to be missing a feature its portly predecessor had: the "Install Other OS" option, which allowed users to install Linux and... you know, I don't really know what people used it for. I suppose a version of Boxee or XBMC or something might be neat. Or maybe a PS3-ready version of MAME?

Regardless of its purpose, Sony has announced that the next version of the PlayStation firmware, v3.21, will remove the Other OS functionality from the older PS3 units, as well. Users won't be able to access any sort of alternate OS partition following the update, and Sony has recommended that any users looking to upgrade should back-up their data from that alternate install before proceeding.

The reason cited is "security concerns." This is probably related to the hack released back in January by "George Hotz," who also released a pretty snappy iPhone jailbreak tool last year. The hack used code running in an Other OS install to eventually grant users full low-level access to the PS3's guts.

So, if you value your Linux install, you'd be better off not upgrading when v3.21 hits on April 1. Of course, if you don't upgrade, you'll lose all of your online access and, eventually, newer PS3 games that require a higher-level firmware install won't run, either. Not to tell you how to live your lives, but a PS3 that doesn't play current PS3 games doesn't sound like much fun at all. 
 
Did any of you ever install another OS on your PS3? What did you use it for? I always thought about doing it, but then I also bought the PS2 Linux kit and never actually installed it.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+

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Jeff

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Edited By Jeff  Staff
Sorry, I'm too tired to come up with a snarky 'It Only Does...' joke. 
Sorry, I'm too tired to come up with a snarky 'It Only Does...' joke. 
When Sony shipped the PS3 Slimmy last year, people noticed that it seemed to be missing a feature its portly predecessor had: the "Install Other OS" option, which allowed users to install Linux and... you know, I don't really know what people used it for. I suppose a version of Boxee or XBMC or something might be neat. Or maybe a PS3-ready version of MAME?

Regardless of its purpose, Sony has announced that the next version of the PlayStation firmware, v3.21, will remove the Other OS functionality from the older PS3 units, as well. Users won't be able to access any sort of alternate OS partition following the update, and Sony has recommended that any users looking to upgrade should back-up their data from that alternate install before proceeding.

The reason cited is "security concerns." This is probably related to the hack released back in January by "George Hotz," who also released a pretty snappy iPhone jailbreak tool last year. The hack used code running in an Other OS install to eventually grant users full low-level access to the PS3's guts.

So, if you value your Linux install, you'd be better off not upgrading when v3.21 hits on April 1. Of course, if you don't upgrade, you'll lose all of your online access and, eventually, newer PS3 games that require a higher-level firmware install won't run, either. Not to tell you how to live your lives, but a PS3 that doesn't play current PS3 games doesn't sound like much fun at all. 
 
Did any of you ever install another OS on your PS3? What did you use it for? I always thought about doing it, but then I also bought the PS2 Linux kit and never actually installed it.
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Burns098356GX

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Edited By Burns098356GX

Does anybody actually use Linux on the PS3? Seems weird they claim its for a security concern, didn't they have somebody try to hack it but failed?

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jmrwacko

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Edited By jmrwacko

Sounds real scummy to me. Well, at least Sony isn't charging for PSN.

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ITSSEXYTIME

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Edited By ITSSEXYTIME

Sony really needs to stop removing features.


Seriously, what's next they going to patch out backwards compatibility from older PS3's too?



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chogi

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Edited By chogi

i don't use it so no harm no foul.

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RE_Player1

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Edited By RE_Player1

O no what will I do now!!!!! Wait a minute I play games on my ps3 instead of installing operating systems. 

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Th3_James

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Edited By Th3_James

Read that a few hours ago, I think it's just stupid that sony would do something like this. I have a 60gb ps3, and wouldn't put linux on it, but why take away functionality for people who are considering doing so.

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nintendoeats

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Edited By nintendoeats

Crap. As a gamer historian I want to keep this feature available. As a person using his PS3 I want to keep getting updates (So that I can play games online, get patches, use the store). I can't afford a replacement PS3, and I certainly can't afford one that has backwards compatibility like mine. Shit.
 
EDIT seriously, if we install this patch this feature will be gone FOREVER. Thats forever. On all PS3s. Imagine if Nintendo could unilateraly remove support for the duck hunt gun, or in a more comparable example the SNES mouse. Thats a part of history completely eliminated. It may not be important, but it happened god damnit. I will not permit the internet to engage in revisionist history. Crap crap crap crap crap.

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Rayfield

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Edited By Rayfield

PS2 Linux kit? Christ, there's been so many useless console accessories I had no idea existed until I heard that you bought one, Jeff.
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Hailinel

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Edited By Hailinel

I never really saw the purpose of the option to begin with.  Its removal won't affect me since I never used it.

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Corpulate

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Edited By Corpulate

i guess all around i didn't really care to much about that option in the first place so seeing it gone wont make much of a difference.

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tebbit

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Edited By tebbit

I always thought that being able to install Linux was a cool idea that i'd absolutely never use, and it turns out I was right. Backwards compatibility on the other hand, was something I though I would use on a regular basis, but that didn't really work out so good either.

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SeriouslyNow

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Edited By SeriouslyNow

It's too late anyway.  George's code will likely be used to allow for spoofed firmware updates so that people can use whatever firmware they want and have the updater see whichever firmware is most current.

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Quacktastic

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Edited By Quacktastic

Weird.  I bought it but never installed it.

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Sanryd

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Edited By Sanryd

I never saw the real benefit to having the option anyway, whatevs.

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welly

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Edited By welly

I don't use the feature, but damn, bullshit.

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DoctorWelch

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Edited By DoctorWelch

Sony just being assholes. Once you put a feature on the system thats it. Its over. You decided to put it in there when you released the console so deal with the consequences.

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megasoum

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Edited By megasoum

Riiighhht..... April 1st... Why does that date rings a bell to me? Ohhhhh right.

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nintendoeats

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Edited By nintendoeats
@Megasoum: Given that I am the only person in the world who is aggravated by this, its a pretty lame April Fools joke. Also it happens to be March 29th.
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RavioliSumo

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Edited By RavioliSumo

Does anyone actually use Linux? 

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Xeiphyer

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Edited By Xeiphyer
@Burns098356GX said:
" Does anybody actually use Linux on the PS3? Seems weird they claim its for a security concern, didn't they have somebody try to hack it but failed? "
Did you read the article? People have been trying to figure out how to access the full power of the PS3 and trying to dig through all their code and stuff. Its dangerous because this could potentially lead to the ability to pirate PS3 games, although realistically that will never be much of a concern. I doubt many people are willing to buy a blueray burner, a stack of empty bluerays (both of which are still retardedly expensive), and then downloading a PS3 game which can be upwards of 50GB. I very much doubt that would ever catch on, at least for the next few years or so =P Maybe when we get really hardcore internet and blueray becomes the new standard.
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ZipCrash

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Edited By ZipCrash

Thanks for removing features Sony! I love the PS3 hardware but this is getting bad. First you remove ALL backwards compatibility and now this? I guess I can't ever connect my 80GB fat to the internet and hope it never breaks or else I loose features.

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Yzzerdd

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Edited By Yzzerdd

Sad to see a feature get taken away because of some kid high on e-fame, I sure hope the very vapid PS3 community let's him know how much they "appreciate" his work.

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Quacktastic

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Edited By Quacktastic
@tdk08 said:
" I never saw the real benefit to having the option anyway, whatevs. "
I was looking into putting a Snes emulator on it but eventually quit caring.  I mean, I have a computer.
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gike987

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Edited By gike987
@nintendoeats said:
" @Megasoum: Given that I am the only person in the world who is aggravated by this, its a pretty lame April Fools joke. Also it happens to be March 29th. "
The orginal announcement says the firmware will be released April 1st.
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xyzygy

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Edited By xyzygy

What if you already are using Linux? Do you just get kicked back to the PS3 OS?

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WickedCobra03

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Edited By WickedCobra03

That is actually totally stupid.  Did they just look at the total userbase using this feature and decide that there were not enough people using this feature to make it relevant or something?  I dunno.  Like said, for history sake, once everyone patches this, your PS3 is patched and going back will probably be pretty tough.

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nintendoeats

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Edited By nintendoeats
@ZipCrash said:
" Thanks for removing features Sony! I love the PS3 hardware but this is getting bad. First you remove ALL backwards compatibility and now this? I guess I can't ever connect my 80GB fat to the internet and hope it never breaks or else I loose features. "
Actually the backwards compatibility thing is still a hardware issue. The "emulation" PS3s still contain the PS2 graphics synthesiser, but not the Emotion Engine itself. The PS3 is not capable of emulating both pieces of hardware (as powerful as the PS3 is, those were some very complicated chips).
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HeyLookIJust

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Edited By HeyLookIJust

I for fun installed it on my PS3 a few months ago, and let me say, that was a HUGE waste of time.  Because it is a PowerPC type thing it hardly runs anything and only runs flash with workarounds, and on top of that it is very slow because so much of the system is limited by sony in alternate OS situations.  I had more fun watching install bars than actually doing anything after it was installed.

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Nettacki

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Edited By Nettacki

It's probably a really bad April Fools joke. Don't believe me? Check the release date for this update.
 
Also, check the blog. You'll see that firmware updates are always posted by Eric Lempel. It just so happened that this one was posted by Patrick Seybold. The change in posters, at least to me, tells me of a massive prank being pulled by Sony at large here.

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deactivated-5ffc9b0923f9f

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Next update: disabling PS2 compatibility in older models

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deskp

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Edited By deskp

a better prank would be  telling us they'd add suport for installing windows 7

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insane_shadowblade85

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I completely forgot about Linux on the PS3. I don't see this as a big deal when it happens.
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Cyborgmatt

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Edited By Cyborgmatt

PS3 has no ga- linux.

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misplacedcircus

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Edited By misplacedcircus

I have never known a company to reduce the amount of features a product has, and Sony did it at least twice. Wow.

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LaszloKovacs

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Edited By LaszloKovacs

My Yellow Dog installation has saved my ass multiple times when I had hardware trouble with my PC, and it's unfortunate that Sony's removing the feature.

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metalsnakezero

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Edited By metalsnakezero

To me it was one of the few features that never had any purpose on the PS3 and by deleting it means they want to cut off any unwanted fat.

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Edited By MassaBR

I installed Linux on my PS3 when my MacBook broke. I used it for about two weeks until I got the MB back. I also played around with CBE development for a while. I kind of lost interest quickly, but I had fun for a couple of weeks with that as well. 
 
It's incredibly frustrating that a feature I paid for when I bought the system is being taken away just like that. Sony is such a clueless company these days, it's no surprise they're in the shape they're in financially.

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Emilio

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Edited By Emilio

Does Sony even know what it wants? First they do this, then they don't. Then they do that, then they don't. 
 
Fucking make up your mind on what features you want, dammit.

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whyzenheimer

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Edited By whyzenheimer

I can understand the people that used it, or bought into the system wanting the feature, being upset.  I personally don't care one bit.

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Radar

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Edited By Radar

Get rid of the web browser while you're at it, Sony. It's equally as worthless and broken as LinuxPS3

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Nettacki

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Edited By Nettacki

Hello?? Is no one realizing that this might be an April Fools joke? I mean, check the release date: April 1st...

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FCKSNAP

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Edited By FCKSNAP

I tried Myth Ubuntu on it but it didn't work very well. Can't say I really used it since. :-/

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Krakn3Dfx

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Edited By Krakn3Dfx

Never used it, if they remove it to stem off potential piracy issues, I'm fine with that.

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Red12b

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Edited By Red12b

 

Well that sucks, I would try and use the PS3's Browser and be able to watch videos online through my TV but the PS3's browser sucks big giant donkey appendage, 
 
Boo I say, Boo to that man.

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cornbredx

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Edited By cornbredx
@Xeiphyer:
until the backbone is updated (which is so expensive it may not be finished in my lifetime, but it is constantly being speculated on and talked about as it would increase the bandwidth for everybody and create much cheaper internet services if they were actually able to do it with much faster speeds) this will not catch on on the internet. It may make black markets more popular again however... not that they ever lost popularity but as far as games... anyway shhhh 
 
No seriously, with enough seeds on a bit torrent this is more possible even today then you think. There are ways for it to happen. I remember when it was thought rediculous in the mainstream opinoin to download a 1gig file ("What! That takes forever!"). That is normal in pirating circles now.
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Yukoei

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Edited By Yukoei

Why would they take away features?

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Nettacki

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Edited By Nettacki
@Yukoei:  April 1st, people. April 1st.
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landon

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Edited By landon

Whats linux...