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January 5, 2011 // 6:40 am - Today PlayStation 3 developer KaKaRoToKS has released the first PS3 Custom Firmware alongside a video of it in action below!

With KaKaRoToKS PlayStation 3 Custom Firmware, users can now run PS3 homebrew 3.55 signed packages (currently doesn't support PS3 game back-ups) via 'Install Package Files' on non-JailBroken PS3 consoles and access PSN for the moment.

Download: PS3Tools / PS3UPDAT.355Cfw.KaKaRoTo-1.3.pup (Removed app_home from XMB) / PS3UPDAT.355Cfw.KaKaRoTo-1.2.pup (More game_tool2.xml Fixes) / PS3UPDAT.355Cfw.KaKaRoTo-1.2.pup (Mirror) / PS3UPDAT.341Cfw.KaKaRoTo-1.2.pup / PS3UPDAT.355Cfw.KaKaRoTo-1.1.pup (Fixes Missing Game Data XMB Icons) / PS3UPDAT.355Cfw.KaKaRoTo.pup / PS3UPDAT.355Cfw.KaKaRoTo.pup (Mirror) / PS3UPDAT.341Cfw.KaKaRoTo.pup / PS3UPDAT.341Cfw.KaKaRoTo.pup (Mirror) / PS3 Category Game XMLs / GIT / PS3 Keys / PS3Keys GIT

Note: DO NOT try to install this from the service mode, it might brick your console, install it normally from the normal menu or the recovery menu. Regarding PS3 back-ups with CFW, from IRC: the payload currently remaps the Blu-ray to USB or internal if a back-up manager calls for it meaning don't expect support for them unless someone else adds it.

Additionally, Waninkoko has now updated FWTool for PS3 Firmware (not application) PKG files and it now decrypts, encrypts and signs properly.

To quote from his site: Great news! Thanks to the tools made by the fail0verflow team (and thanks to sven in particular for his work on the pkg/unpkg tools), the first “Custom Firmware” is now available for the PS3!

I see a lot of questions coming up really fast on my Twitter account, so here are the basic things you need to know :

Because of legal/copyright issues, I will not provide the custom firmware to anyone, however, I’ve made available all the tools necessary to transform an Official firmware update, into a custom one, just grab my ps3utils repository from github, compile, then run :


This will take the official firmware, unpack it, modify it, then repack it correctly (requires you to install ps3tools).

This requires Linux of course, but I’m sure others will do it for the masses and illegally release those files somewhere.

The advantage here is that you can do it for any firmware, if you want to keep version 3.41, then give it the 3.41 update, if you are on 3.55 already and can’t downgrade, then run the script on the official 3.55 firmware and it will create a modified 3.55 firmware.

You can put the file in a USB drive under the filename “PS3/UPDATE/PS3UPDAT.PUP” and then go to system update in the XMB, and it will allow you to install the update (even if you’re already on 3.55).

People are asking what are the features of this firmware, it’s simple, all it does is to add those “Install Package Files” options to the Game section of the XMB. It doesn’t do anything else!

This firmware will not allow you to run the currently available homebrew application. Once the homebrew developers re-package their files in a ‘retail’ .pkg format with signed executable, then it will work (this should be coming soon thanks to the work of the fail0verflow team).

Since the kernel is left unmodified, this means that this custom firmware is really meant for future homebrew installation, and it will not allow piracy. I plan on keeping it that way.

This is just the first attempt at custom firmware, and it only contains a minor modification to allow you to install pkg files directly, eventually we’ll get some more options added to it in the future. This is just starting to get interesting!

p.s: Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible!


Brief guide:

1. Download ps3 utilities and ps3 tools from github / team fail0verflow:

git clone

cd ps3utils
cd ..
git clone git://
cd ps3tools
cp pkg unpkg ../ps3utils

2. Grab the PS3 encryption/decryption/signing keys from github:

git clone ~/.ps3

3. Download PS3 3.55 (or whatever official firmware PUP)
4. Extract and copy “PS3UPDAT.PUP” to the “ps3utils” directory
5. Create the PS3 Custom Firmware (CFW) from the original/official update (OFW):

cd ps3utils

6. Copy and rename CFW.PUP to a USB storage device keeping this directory structure in mind: /PS3/UPDATE/PS3UPDAT.PUP
7. Connect that USB device to your PS3 and install from Settings -> System Update

If you’re currently running 3.41 (or earlier) you can either remain there and create a specific CFW PUP for that version, or you can upgrade to a later PS3 firmware version, like 3.55 for example. It’s whatever original PUP file you use — only you cannot flash a version lower than the current version installed on your PS3.

So if you’re already at 3.55, where you’re unable to downgrade, then for the moment you have no other choice but CFW (or OFW) 3.55. 3.41 on the other hand: upgrade or create CFW 3.41 and for the interim you’re still able to jailbreak and run unsigned homebrew. Other things to note:

1. This CFW does not modify the kernel in any way, meaning all the current compiled homebrew out there will not install or run using “Install Package Files” from the XMB.
2. With the above point in mind you should know this CFW does not enable backups - straight homebrew.
3. Current PS3 homebrew and new homebrew will need to be “retail” packaged and signed; that’ll happen with fail0verflow's tools.
4. This is only the beginning.

Video: KaKaRoToKS Releases First PS3 Custom Firmware!

Video: KaKaRoToKS Releases First PS3 Custom Firmware!

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#133 - kingbooforums - January 6, 2011 // 12:43 am
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I think it was like specifed already you CAN run pirated games. But you need 3.41 although I am not sure if it needs to be jailbroken already or not.

#132 - haloboy - January 6, 2011 // 12:07 am
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So are there any .pkgs to use yet? It's been less than 24 hours and my packages folder is still empty! LOL I cant wait for this to get big, but I cant help but think it is still just the beginning.

#131 - jarvis - January 5, 2011 // 11:54 pm
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Big thanks to KaKaRoToKS for being the first with a custom firmware version :-)

I may be in the minority here, but I would much rather see us being able to sign pkgs and install them (homebrew - emulators please!), and be able to run Linux with full access to hardware then I want to see copied ps3 games being able to run. Maybe I'm getting older now, but if no one supports the developers, we won't have great systems like this.

Maybe I should clarify - a system that has potential to be great, after we remove all these pointless Sony barriers and add back features that Sony took away. I know piracy is inevitable because of this, and based on Sony removing features I think they are going to get exactly what they deserve, but Sony != all game developers.

#130 - Stevolab - January 5, 2011 // 11:41 pm
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i mess around with PLC's at work... i always make 2 or 3 copies of original files... to cover any possible screw ups. I would love to try and mess around with different flashes... but if they don't work i wouldn't be able to replace them with originals unless i would be able to force a connection to the motherboard... if i could study how the process worked.

i might not ask dumb questions... as it stands i have no idea what programs are needed to compile and decompile pkg's let alone read the encryption... there is so much that i don't know where to start... i'm a self teacher... learned plc's and ladder logic on my own and want to start working on ps3 stuff so any thing that will help me do that is great!!


#129 - lucifer316 - January 5, 2011 // 11:29 pm
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i have been installing and running compiled programs on the ps3 since the jailbreak has been available.

#128 - deadpixel99 - January 5, 2011 // 11:23 pm
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The system is fully open now, anything is already possible.

#127 - Stevolab - January 5, 2011 // 11:06 pm
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So if this cfw lets you install signed pkg's and that pkg happens to be a pkg someone wrote to force a system mode option you would be able to downgrade any ps3... correct? That would make anything possible...

#126 - Firmware150 - January 5, 2011 // 11:04 pm
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Quote Originally Posted by nipsen View Post
Sincere thanks to everyone (except geohot).

It's GeoHot that started the PS3 scene. Everything; the USB Exploit and the key discoveries, are owed to his research started last January.

#125 - condorstrike - January 5, 2011 // 11:03 pm
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There is a rumor that Geohot is working on a CFW... hopefully Jailbreakable.

geohot you able to work on getting homebrew to work from xmb ? :P
[10:18] after sven fixed makepkg (or well, now pkg)
[10:18] sorrowuk: i am

#124 - nipsen - January 5, 2011 // 10:48 pm
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no, the point was making the (small) changes needed to allow installing signed packages. Then use that to install and run your compiled programs on the ps3. Which, unhelpfully, has not been very easy for a while.

AsbestOS fills a void here as well, so this is turning out to actually be useful in the end after all.

Sincere thanks to everyone (except geohot).