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April 5, 2009 // 1:02 pm - Just before the weekend, slouken posted (linked above) the following PS3 Linux SDL video support patch news:

Hello. This patch provides basic support for video on the Sony PS3 Linux framebuffer.

Scaling, format-conversion, and drawing is done from the SPEs, so there is little performance impact to PPE applications.

This is by no means production quality code, but it is a very good start and a good example of how to use the PS3's hardware capabilities to accelerate video playback on the box.

The driver has been verified to work with ffplay, mplayer and xine. This piece of software has been developed at the IBM R&D Lab in Boeblingen, Germany and is now returned to the community. Enjoy !

SDL on Sony PlayStation 3


First, you have to install the Cell SDK:
• Download the Cell SDK installer RPM and ISO images to a temporary directory such as /tmp/cellsdk.
• Mount the image: mount -o loop CellSDK-Devel-Fedora_3. /tmp/cellsdk
• Install the SDK installer: rpm -ivh cell-install-3.1.0-0.0.noarch.rpm
• Install the SDK: cd /opt/cell && ./cellsdk --iso /tmp/cellsdkiso install

You need to install the SPU-libs before installing SDL:
• Go to SDL-1.2/src/video/ps3/spulibs/
• Run make && make install

Finally, install SDL:
• Go to SDL-1.2/ and build SDL like any other GNU style package.
• Build the configure-script with ./
• Configure SDL for your needs: ./configure --enable-video-ps3 ...
• Build and install it: make && make install

To do:
• mouse/keyboard/controller support

D.Herrendoerfer (d.herrendoerfer[at]de[dot]ibm[dot]com)

PS3 Linux SDL Video Support Patch Now Available!

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#8 - CrashCore - April 7, 2009 // 12:46 am
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Very cool, and nice work. I definitely will try this out when I get time. Oh RSX, how we long for control over ye....

#7 - sorceror - April 6, 2009 // 4:04 pm
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Quote Originally Posted by mateuszss View Post
It means using of graphic card? If yes maybe now there will be possiblity to play more PC games or emulating PS2 with linux.

No, the RSX (the video card in the PS3) is still not available to Linux. But the Cell CPU in the PS3 has a fairly standard "PPU" (basically a normal PowerPC CPU, like in non-Intel Macs) and a bunch of specialized vector processors called "SPUs" ("Synergistic Processing Units").

This new software uses those SPUs to do video work, instead of making the normal CPU do it. Not as good as having the video card do it (doing it in full hardware), but better than doing it on the main CPU (pure software). This is kinda-sorta between doing it in hardware and doing it in software.

There is work on trying to get 3D graphics done purely on the SPUs (, but it's a big job. It probably won't be as fast as the RSX, but it'll be a lot better than pure software OpenGL.

#6 - mihaiolimpiu - April 6, 2009 // 1:53 pm
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What I found is that for using this driver you have to specify it like this:

To test it with mplayer use:
mplayer -vo sdl:driver=PS3 moviefile

From what I read the speed improvement is minor... and I really really hate mplayer... VLC is my favorite!

#5 - mateuszss - April 6, 2009 // 1:39 pm
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It means using of graphic card? If yes maybe now there will be possiblity to play more PC games or emulating PS2 with linux.

#4 - ninjad - April 6, 2009 // 12:31 pm
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Hi everyone!...will this work on YDL 6 using gnome..enlight..etc? Trying to better my self with linux. thanks

#3 - mihaiolimpiu - April 6, 2009 // 7:55 am
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I'm running Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha, I will give it a shot when I have time... Hope I'll make it work as I'm a linux noob!

#2 - Ninjazin - April 6, 2009 // 6:09 am
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Has anyone tried this yet?

#1 - gtxboyracer - April 5, 2009 // 8:40 pm
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Definitely a step in the right direction!