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PlayStation (Games) Games Hardware Linux

Gitbrew Releases OtherOS++ PS3 Linux Dual Boot 240

Posted by Soulskill
from the kicking-sony-while-they're-down dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Gitbrew has proudly released otherOS++ Linux Dual Boot v1.0b1, enabling PS3 users to install an alternative OS to their console with full access to all system hardware, including all 8 CELL cores (making the PS3 the world's most affordable supercomputer). For more information check out the installation instructions and source code."
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Gitbrew Releases OtherOS++ PS3 Linux Dual Boot

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  • Benchmarks! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The PS3 suddenly became an interesting product again :-) Now lets give us some benchmarks of some scientific number crunching apps!

    • Re:Benchmarks! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday May 05, 2011 @07:04AM (#36033478) Homepage Journal

      The PS3 suddenly became an interesting product again :-) Now lets give us some benchmarks of some scientific number crunching apps!

      Not to me. Sony is at war with its customers; that's been evident since XCP. Hell, I felt dirty buying a broken Sony stereo for ten bucks, even though Sony didn't profit from my purchase.

      How do you know the PS3s don't have hardware rootkits? I know of no other company that's deliberately installed malware on its products. I avoid Sony like the plague and can't understand why anyone would buy anything from them, or how it's has stayed in business, let alone how it can actually have fanbois.

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        To be fair the options we have are:
        Sony: Evil, and incompetent.
        Microsoft: Evil and you get to pay for premium "internet access" for your games.
        Nintendo: Ugly + Shovelware
        PC: Rootkit your computer to play games.
        Not games: Heh. Right.

        • PC: Valve and Blizzard, gogogo.
      • I want to respond to the fanboi comment. I am not a fanboi of Sony's. I am however a huge fan of the PS3.

        I was a PC gamer for years. Never bought an Xbox, PS or PS2. I did buy a Gamecube for my son. The last console I purchased new that I intended to play was the Sega Genesis.

        I was tired of "chasing the dragon", by which I mean the constant upgrading of the PC to play the next generation of games. It was time to buy a console.

        The Wii wasn't an option as it was not intended for gaming on an HDTV.
        • Re:Benchmarks! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday May 05, 2011 @10:22AM (#36034914) Homepage Journal

          The 360 wasn't an option because the crime cartel that created it will not get my dollar.

          I don't get it. Yes, MS is a dirty company, but Sony makes MS look like Mother Theresa. Almost all of MS's victims were their competetitors, almost all Sony's victims were their customers. I avoid MS products because I simply don't like most of them.

          If I'd done to Sony's computers what they did to mine, I'd be in prison (my then-teenaged daughter worked in a record store and deliberately installed the software, never dreaming that a big, reputable company would ruin her dad's PC).

          One might consider that the rootkit was only possible because Microsoft's OS was insecure

          MS is insecure, true, but if you can convince a user to install your program with root priveleges, you can pwn any OS. Like I said, I had autoplay shut off, but my daughter trusted Sony. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

          Microsoft shipped a virus on their OS install disk but you give that a pass. They pushed a patch that changed their OS to allow a single, specially crafted image on a website to root your machine to help Federal law enforcement to install spy software on PCs.

          I hadn't heard of that one, would like to read about it and would appreciiate a link. Was the virus deliberate, or a stupid oversight?

          Does you altruism keep you from running Windows?

          It's not altruism, it's mistrust. And no, I have no Microsoft software at home (I'm forced to use their crappy software at work, though). I run kubuntu. When I bought a netbook last year, Windows was only on it long enough for me to figure out how to install Linux without a CD drive.

          The last MS OS I bought was XP (right after Sony rooted me and I couldn't get win 98 drivers for my sound and video cards), and the worst thing it did to me was to replace a perfectly good network driver with one that didn't work at all. But that was incompetence rather than evil.

          I got tired of chasing the dragon about the time the game companies all started treating their customers like crap, and just stopped gaming.

          Someone should submit a /. story "Who's more evil, Sony or Microsoft?" I would posit that MS is incompetent and/or don't care (they don't have to with their virtual monopoly), while Sony deliberately commits evil against its paying customers time and time again.

          I would imagine that Sony's console probably is a better made console than Microsoft's, but I have little experience with either (I think my nephew has both).

          I don't feel I have the moral high ground; I use AT&T for internet access, and that makes me feel dirty, but Comcast is my only other choice and they're as evil and more expensive.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        can't understand why anyone would buy anything from them, or how it's has stayed in business, let alone how it can actually have fanbois.

        Looking at them solely from the PS3 angle, several reasons:

        (1) People buy the console because it plays the games they are interested in (particularly games exclusive for the console).
        (2) People in general don't care about OtherOS support as most people won't need the functionality, and so doesn't factor into their decision making.
        (3) If you spend a lot of money on ANYTHING

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      The PS3 suddenly became an interesting product again :-) Now lets give us some benchmarks of some scientific number crunching apps!

      How does having access to the 8 CELL cores make the PS/3 a "supercomputer"?

      Also, what do you think the possibility of running Fortran or some version of C++ and Fast Fourier Transforms on this thing would be? My wife's trying to do these shallow water solitary wave simulations and we've been using HP xw9300 workstations and it's taking frigging forever. I'm not joking. She's

      • by grub (11606)

        She's a mathematician and I'm a half a moron

        Don't be too hard on yourself, as a couple you're only 1/4 moron.

        :P
      • by fotbr (855184)

        The only way a PS3 is a "supercomputer" is if it's one of a few thousand hooked together.

        On a halfway serious note -- is her work something that could benefit from the simulations being re-written to take advantage of graphics cards, using NVIDIA's CUDA or whatever the ATI equivalent is? In some ways, it's astonishing how much computing power we devote to drawing triangles and putting pictures on them, so if her simulation can be written to take advantage of that power you might see a pretty good jump in p

        • by Fnord666 (889225)

          On a halfway serious note -- is her work something that could benefit from the simulations being re-written to take advantage of graphics cards, using NVIDIA's CUDA or whatever the ATI equivalent is?

          That would be ATI's Stream Software Development Kit [wikipedia.org].

      • by Dr Max (1696200)
        By networking 8 ps3's together (64 cell cores) you have enough processing power to model a black hole. A scientist was the one who pioneered the system as a replacement for expensive rent on super computer time. I would of given it a go but right about the time 2nd hand ps3 got cheap, Sony disabled the other os option.
      • by Mysteray (713473)

        How does having access to the 8 CELL cores make the PS/3 a "supercomputer"?

        Well the definition of "supercomputer" changes over time obviously, but I imagine you don't have to go too far back in time for a PS3 to qualify. The fact that I have one in my living room counts for a lot.

        For the types of thing that cells are good at, probably nothing even comes close to the installed cost (cycles/sec/$) of a pile of PS3s.

  • Defamation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 05, 2011 @06:28AM (#36033354)

    George Hotz widely distributed information on how to install another operating system onto the PS3 to run illegal versions of PS3 games and software.

    Libel much?

    • by malloc (30902)

      +1

    • Especially since the two are mutually exclusive. How exactly does one run a pirated PS3 game from within Linux? An emulator? GLWT
    • by Gravatron (716477)
      Is that not what most of the people who use the hacks he described do? He opened the door to mass piracy on the platform, that's undeniable. Without his hacks, we wouldn't be in the situation we are in currently.
  • Wow Sony really are getting 0wn3d royale with cheese.

  • by mikael_j (106439) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @06:30AM (#36033362)

    [...]including all 8 CELL cores (making the PS3 the world's most affordable supercomputer).

    I'm not sure I'd call a PS3 a supercomputer. If you clustered a bunch of them it might qualify but even so there are plenty of rendering and computation clusters out there that could easily beat a cluster of several dozen PS3's without their owners thinking of them as "supercomputers".

    Maybe I'm just old-fashioned but to me a supercomputer is something that cost millions of dollars to build and is capable of crunching numbers on a scale that a run-of-the-mill computer is incapable of (and yes, this of course assumes that the run-of-the-mill computer and the supercomputer are of the same era, to compare a Cray from the early '80s with a modern octo-core server with 64+ GiB of RAM wouldn't be fair).

    • by Tx (96709)

      I agree, 8 cores maketh not a supercomputer, otherwise an awful lot of us will have been working with supercomputers without even realising it. A low-cost supercomputer node, perhaps.

    • by TeknoHog (164938) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @06:47AM (#36033418) Homepage Journal
      Right now, the best bang per buck in parallel computing seems to be found in GPUs. For the price of a PS3 you can buy a few TFLOPS of processing power. For one thing, the PS3 was launched in 2006, so it is hard to compete against modern GPUs. However, the Cell is an interesting piece of hardware in other ways, at least for tinkerers who want something else than a beige x86 box.
      • by hAckz0r (989977)
        I agree with everything you said, but keep in mind that the two processors (Cell,GPU) are architecturally very different. They both lend themselves to very different models of computation, and thus solving different problem sets. Each will excel above the other if pointed at the right problem set for its given design.
        • by Junta (36770)

          Each will excel above the other if pointed at the right problem set for its given design.

          x86 CPUs will Excel above Cell so long as microsoft won't port it

        • by DrXym (126579)
          They might be different physically but you can write OpenCL apps which will run on a regular CPU, GPU or even a Cell.
      • by poetmatt (793785)

        You can buy a dual core graphics card which has around 5 Tflops but the PS3 does not come near that. PS3 is also 8 specialized cores in a more efficient package though. If AMD or Nvidia decided to make card purely for FLOPS it'd beat any other technology designed for computational power by a large margin.

  • by neokushan (932374) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @06:38AM (#36033388)

    Look at the comments on the same piece of news, but from a site that's predominantly made up of PS3 fans...

    http://n4g.com/news/756574/hackers-bring-back-otheros-for-ps3/com [n4g.com]

    • by achenaar (934663)

      Well hoooooo leeeeee shit that's a large pile of stupid.
      Haven't seen a pile of stupid that big since... well I'm not sure I ever have.
      Crikey.

      • by Bengie (1121981)

        Even without OtherOS, PS3 is full of hackers; I don't see how it'll make any difference.

        The biggest group of willful sheople on the internet.

    • by Pvt_Ryan (1102363)
      Classiscs

      *leave us real gamers alone*
      Console Gamer != Real Gamer

      *Use a PC for linux and not the PS3*
      Why must I spend £300 for a console for games and £300 for a PC to use? can I not just spend £300 and have both?

      In response to someone saying "if hacker's only want homebrew then there is nothing wrong with that" this was posted:
      *And can you really trust them with those responsibilities?*
      Sadly noone responded to that with "you trusted sony with your credit card details"
    • by Mad Leper (670146)

      Funny because these are actually customers of Sony, you know, the ones that have been royally screwed by the thieves and hackers?

    • by sa1lnr (669048)

      Cheap laugh? I found the level of ignorance rather depressing.

    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      Looks like that thread [n4g.com] was started by one of the new Sony troll accounts. Take a look at Kayla [n4g.com]:

      OtherOS since it gives you full access to the machine, no more being tied down by Sony.
      How the @#$@ are we tied down by Sony?

      The account was registered just when PSN went down and they have posted nothing other than posts defending Sony. No other posts, no PS3 gamer tag. I bet there are others, but this one is the most obvious.

    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @10:11AM (#36034766) Homepage

      nobody needs OtherOS, it's just a excuse to enabling piracy

      The United States Air Force [physorg.com] are "nobody"? ZOMG teh USAF r haxxor u gays uze aimbotz!!!!!!!eleven!!!!

    • Look at the comments on the same piece of news, but from a site that's predominantly made up of PS3 fans

      There are 50 million PS3 consoles out in the real world.

      70 million PSN accounts. 17 million PlayStation Home social networking accounts. 8 million MOVE controllers.

      These numbers are credible - and nothing of the sort has ever been posted here for Homebrew or home use of the OtherOS.

      Firmware upgrades have kept the five year old PS3 feature-competitive with high end, stand-alone, Blu-Ray players.

      The mix of HD streaming media and other online services is quite good - Neflix at 1080p with full theater sound.

  • Seriously, "the world's most affordable supercomputer" what drivel is this?

    Last time I checked, having 8 multi-purpose cores did not a super computer make.

    I'll grant that the PS3 is an affordable supercomputer component, but it's no more "super" than my rack of 8 core servers -- In fact, in terms of flops it's no where close to my server rack's combined processing power...

    Considering that the PS3 is only a possible component in a super computer, and the fact that there are many cheaper components with which to build a super (cluster) computer I call bullshit on both "world's most affordable" and " supercomputer" claims -- That is, unless the PS3 now comes with dual identities, one of which is a crime fighting vigilante by night...

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      my laptops graphics card is a super computer, according to slashdot editors..

      also, you have to hack your ps3 to achieve this.

      what's worst, a finnish publication published these news as "ps3 again supports linux", which made it seem like sony backed off from otherOs limitation.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @07:08AM (#36033496)

    Seriously, calling devices "supercomputers" reeks of either fanboyism or extreme ignorance. If a desktop device can do a given amount of calculations, that amount of calculations don't make something a supercomputer anymore.

    Please remember that the first supercomputer, the Cray-1, did 250 MFLOPS. So if that is what it takes to be a supercomputer then my cellphone qualifies. Of course it doesn't anymore, these days you need to talk multiple TFLOPS (or more).

    A PS3 is not a supercomputer. In fact these days, it isn't all that impressive. The best they claim is 25.6 GFLOPS per cell in theoretical performance, so 205 GFLOPS is the best you theoretically get, if there are no bandwidth constraints (which there are on a PS3) for single precision math. Ok well testing my actual Radeon 5870, I get 800 GFLOPS for single precision, 227 for double precision. That is an actual benchmark of the card running on my desktop. It also can handle a much larger problem set, having much more RAM (1GB on the card).

    Heck even my i7 benches at 80 GFLOPS on a real test, without using AVX, and of course is far more flexible than the SPUs since all cores are full featured.

    Not saying there is anything wrong with the Cell and indeed there may be some cases where it is the best choice. It is something of a hybrid between a pure stream processor like a GPU and a very general CPU like an i7. However trying to claim it makes the PS3 a "supercomputer" is stupid. Even if it were the most powerful chip out there, the PS3 still would be a supercomputer by virtue of the fact that if one made a large computer with a lot of Cells, it would be much faster (this has been done).

    However that aside, it really isn't all that fast. Modern GPUs out do it at stream processing many times over. My 5870, which is not the latest tech and just a consumer card, was about 4 times as fast in reality as a Cell is in theory, and that is running on a desktop system doing other things (I didn't boot to a special graphics benchmark or anything).

    • Seriously, calling devices "supercomputers" reeks of either fanboyism or extreme ignorance.

      I'm reminded of when Apple called Altivec capable CPUs "supercomputers." My brain wants to eat itself so it can forget such silliness.

      (if Apple does this again I'm still going to be an apple fanboi, but i will face palm on the way into the Apple store.)

      • Seriously, calling devices "supercomputers" reeks of either fanboyism or extreme ignorance.

        I'm reminded of when Apple called Altivec capable CPUs "supercomputers." My brain wants to eat itself so it can forget such silliness.

        (if Apple does this again I'm still going to be an apple fanboi, but i will face palm on the way into the Apple store.)

        Except that it wasn't Apple, but the US Government. Apple just used it in commercials. The G4 (PowerPC 7400) was capable of a gigaflop, and it was this that placed it in a category where US export policy considered it a supercomputer, making it illegal to export.

        • It wasn't the technical definition that got me, it was the implication that you were getting big iron performance out of small iron equipment.

    • When the PS3 was announced, wasn't it said that if it had been made 5 years earlier, it would have gone into the top 100 supercomputer list? I think that's what the summary is talking about - more a nickname from the past than an actual assessment of the performance now against todays supercomputers.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      you have to be a pretty complete fanboy to dedicate time to porting stuff to it.

      does it kickstart .iso's? that's what everyone wants to know.

      also is there povray support for those cores?

    • If the word "supercomputer" wasn't there, the article wouldn't be modded up. The point of the post is otherOS++. It's great to get the capability to run linux again AND be able to go online, frag some friends and get all your personal information stolen. Supercomputer, probably not, super cool hack, for sure!
    • So you compare a general purpose processor to a specialist processor and think it is poor (Cell to Radeon)

      But compare the Cell to an i7 and no comment ... the Cell leaves an i7 looking a very slow CPU ...

      That fact that it does not outperform a modern GPU (specialist processor) is irrelevant, I can buy a complete PS3 for £250 and is it something that can outperform an i7 (currently worth ~ £200 for just the processor)

    • You might be forgetting that the Cell was released in 2006. The multi-core CPUs from Intel today are only just now starting to reach the peak theoretical performance than the Cell. Also, your Radeon was released when? 2009? Given Moore's law (which is still in effect for parallel architectures like Cell and GPUs), the factor by which your Radeon beats the Cell isn't too bad. Also note that the compute performance of an I/O device like a GPU can be limited by the I/O bus; both in terms of bandwidth and

    • by dvdkhlng (1803364) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @10:46AM (#36035236)

      The best they claim is 25.6 GFLOPS per cell in theoretical performance, so 205 GFLOPS is the best you theoretically get, if there are no bandwidth constraints (which there are on a PS3) for single precision math. Ok well testing my actual Radeon 5870, I get 800 GFLOPS for single precision, 227 for double precision. That is an actual benchmark of the card running on my desktop.

      As somebody who programmed Cell CPUs for signal processing (including to, but not limited to PS3s), let me tell you that the PS3's memory bandwidth is so close to unlimited, that you usually don't have to think about it. At least as long as you move data only on the Element Interconnect Bus, between the 256KB local SRAMs of each CELL core, which is sufficient for most of what I did. It moves up to 200 giga bytes per second, maximum 16 bytes per 2 cycles in and out per core. The DMA engines that do those transfer have their own 1024bit (!) read/write port into the SRAM, so they burst 128 bytes per cycle into the SRAM, and don't have to steel many RAM cycles. The wikidedia article has more details.

      In my experience, you can usually come pretty close to the 200 GFLOP/s of the Cell-CPU. When relying on C-Compiler with SIMD intrinsics, you usually manage 100 GPFOP/s for algorithms that have as many read/write opcodes as arithmetic opcodes. Smaller problems can mostly be handled on registers only (per CPU we have 128 16-byte registers!) and will run even faster.

      Also note that many algorithms nowadays are not bandwidth but memory latency limited. Having the Cell's per-core DMA engines do background transfers to large local S-RAMs, mostly eliminates these latency problems and is much cleaner than relying on CPU caches guessing what parts of RAM to prefetch next. BTW these are user-space DMA engines that undergo page translation and are fully compatible to unix vm concepts. Still programming directly accesses DMA registers and doesn't need any kernel calls.

      Try to do that with your GPU!

  • Why would I spend $300 on hardware that Sony is constantly butchering, when I could spend it on a PC CPU (or now that OpenCL is getting stable, GPU)?
  • by fostware (551290) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @07:47AM (#36033656) Homepage

    Look at it this way... at least you can use your PS3 while waiting for your PSN account to be reactivated ^_^

  • So how long until Sony decide to request the logs and account details for everyone on /. who saw this story? Then how much longer until they leak all that data?
  • I can't wait for Sony to sue Gitbrew, and then a few days later all Sony assembly lines suddenly spinning up and down uncontrollably to the tune of "this is a triumph" or whatever other tune the hackers fancy...
    • by Gravatron (716477)
      Now that depends, can you use this firmware to pirate games? If so, then they should sue, if not, then it's not worth their time. and if someone hacks their factory? Have him arrested, as he's committed a crime. Seriously, why do so many slashdotters love criminals?
  • by moniker (9961) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @08:44AM (#36033968)

    Apparently, Geoff Levand was one of the people behind this release [1]. Geoff Levand is the programmer who worked for Sony supporting OtherOS and made the ill-fated and oft-quoted promise that Sony would never ever remove OtherOS from fat PS3s. [2] Looks like Geoff just kicked his former employer in the nuts. Go Geoff!

    [1] http://psgroove.com/content.php?1029-PS3-Dual-Boot-GameOS-Linux-CFW-Released [psgroove.com]
    [2] http://lists.ozlabs.org/pipermail/cbe-oss-dev/2010-February/007202.html [ozlabs.org]

    • by moniker (9961)

      Or quite likely... this is someone screwing with Sony and using the handle Geoff Levand.

  • I just what to know how well XBMC for linux runs on this thing now that full access to the hardware is possible (I don't own a PS3... yet).

    The XBMC team has stated numerous times that they aren't interested in supporting XBMC on a hacked platform anymore, but this is different since we might be able to run the vanilla linux version on it (and if any optimization is required for it to run smoothly, maybe it can be done at the OS level - outside of XMBC).
  • Sadly, that's the way the news works these days, it's not news unless it's sensational news. Well reasoned and accurate statements are cold and boring, who the hell wants to read that? Urmm...personally, I do and I know a lot of people that do. People with the ability to think critically. Which unfortunately is a minority everywhere. Hence, no place is immune from the sensational headlines being needed to garner page hits. *sigh*

    I followed and read the path of links all the way to the core announcemen

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