The PlayStation 3 is a video game console created by Sony Corp. Aside from playing games, it also offers an option to install other operating systems such as Linux. This guide gives instructions on how to install Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Edubuntu onto a PlayStation 3. The instructions contained in this page will work if you have the PlayStation 3 firmware version 1.60 or greater installed.
Users of standard definition TVs are recommended to use the alternate installer discs to install Ubuntu as you will have a very low resolution to go through the installer wizard of the desktop installer discs.
The links below are where the Live-CD images are located. Download the Ubuntu distribution you intend to install on the PlayStation 3.
Once you have downloaded the CD images, burn the images onto a CD.
NOTE: There is currently a problem with the desktop installer (Bug 106683). You will have to manually setup the partitions during the setup, else the entire system will lock up during the setup wizard. When manually setting up the partitions, select 10GB for the main partition and setup the rest to be used for the swap area (i.e. filesystem type SWAP).
Prepare the PlayStation 3
WARNING: These next operations WILL ERASE EVERYTHING on your PlayStation 3. Be sure to back up the data that you want to restore later once you've formatted the PlayStation 3 hard drive (i.e. your game save data, configuration data, etc.).
1. In the XMB of the PlayStation 3, go to [Settings] > [System Settings] > [Format Utility] > [Format Hard Disk].
2. In the following prompt, choose "Yes".
3. Next choose "Custom" to choose a custom partition setting.
4. At the following prompt, choose "Allot 10GB to the Other OS" to choose 10GB of hard drive space for use with the other OS. (NOTE: You may also choose to "Allot 10GB to the PS3" however it is not necessary as 10GB is enough to run Ubuntu.)
5. At the next prompt, choose "Quick Format". (Choosing "Full Format" will take longer to complete than a "Quick Format.")
6. Once you choose a partition setting from the previous step, the PlayStation 3 will format the entire drive and create two partitions, one for the XMB and the other for use with the other OS. Once formatting is completed, the PlayStation 3 will prompt you to restart the system. Press "X" on the controller and your system will reboot.
Install kboot and Boot into the Live CD:
1. Insert the CD you burned the Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, or Edubuntu image into the PlayStation 3.
2. In the XMB, go to [Settings] > [System Settings] > [Install Other OS].
3. The "otheros.bld" file will be detected on the CD by the PlayStation 3. Press "X" on the controller to select "OK" which is automatically highlighted at this prompt. After selecting "OK", the kboot boot loader will be installed.
4. In the XMB, go to [Settings] > [System Settings] > [Default System].
5. Choose "Other OS" as the default.
6. At the following prompt you will be asked if you want to boot into the Other OS now. Choose "Yes."
7. The PlayStation 3 will restart and boot into a command line prompt. The prompt will look like this.
1. At this prompt just hit enter. A live session of either Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, or Edubuntu will run (depending on what Ubuntu derivative you burned onto the CD).
At this point you will have a complete desktop session of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, or Edubuntu running off the CD on your PlayStation 3. From here you may choose to do a hard drive installation. Just double-click on the "Install" icon and a wizard will guide you through the setup process.
Booting Back to the XMB:
To boot back into the PlayStation 3 XMB, you must be at the kboot prompt. At the prompt, type "boot-game-os".
An alternative in case the above doesn't work is to turn off the PlayStation 3. Then hold down the power button on the PS3 until the PS3 beeps twice. The PS3 will boot into the XMB and prompt you to choose the default video setting.
This will get you booted into Ubuntu. A quick fix for this issue so that you don't have to type the above command to boot into Ubuntu everytime you boot is to go into a terminal session and type the following:
sudo sed -e 's/sdd1/sda1' -i /etc/kboot.conf
Playing Blu-Ray Films:
It should be possible to play Blu Ray film under Linux in a manner similar to HD DVD (which shares the same ineffective DRM restrictions).
Currently Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Edubuntu Feisty Fawn is still in beta so there will be numerous issues with running these distros on any system at the moment. Here is a list of known bugs that affect these distros with the PlayStation 3:
• Bug 102044: Kernel floods log and console with error messages from the card readers.
• Bug 106683: Setup will cause the system to lock up unless you manually configure the system's partitions.
• Bug 106694: After installing with an alternate CD, you will go no further from the initramfs prompt unless you type /boot/vmlinux initrd=/boot/initrd.img root=/dev/sda1 at the kboot prompt.