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Linux Software

Linux for the PlayStation2:It's Official 214

Oliver writes "Sony officially announced their port of Linux to the PlayStaion2 game console. In the press release they mention that they were moved by demand the community petition (see this story) demonstrated with over 6000 signers. The PS2 Linux Kit page is currently only in Japanese and there's not much info thre yet other than some pictures. But according to it, a Beta version is going to be sold to 1000 members of the community in June for about $200. The Kit is going to consist of an external HDD/Ethernet unit connected to the PCMCIA slot, found on early Japanese PS2 models, a VGA adapterplus USB Mouse and Keyboard. Kits for oversee models are supposedly in planning. The kit will include a complete Linux/X11 environment with all sources, technical hardware manuals for the EE, GS and vectorunits plus a low-level API and Mesa drivers for graphics. " Won't work for us unfortunate american PS2 junkies. But its a sweet step.
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Linux for the PlayStation2:It's Official

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  • Game companies always sell the console below cost and reap the loss back from game sales. Hoards of people buying PS2 consoles just to run Linux will destroy the PS2 just as the hack to run Linux on the I-Opener destroyed Netpliance. Someone's going to get screwed. Either gamers with raised console prices or Sony with lost $$$ on console sales.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Two reasons, really.

    First one is public image. There's a lot of stuff produced for the Japanese hentai market that is, well, video game porn; none of the Japanese companies want their US division to have to buck the negative publicity of Mommy finding Johnny playing Three Sisters Story. (This also nominally gives them approval over other objectionable content, and I had heard scuttlebutt a while back about a deer hunting game actually torpedoed by Sony on these grounds... might not be true, however.)

    Second, and way more important... it's the money, man. If they release compatible systems, then their release of the US version at full price is competing with the bargain bin of Japanese product. Not much of a factor with role-playing games, but a game like Tekken plays the same in either language. It's the same reason why the MPAA puts region coding on Hollywood movie releases, only in reverse.

    (Don't say "just release them at the same time." I work for an anime company, I know how long translation takes. ^_^)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why the hell was this -1 offtopic? WTF are the moderators smoking?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Japanese are very protectionist with their economy and do not really allow foreign companies access. They release products in Japan before they do in the international market so they can work out all the problems a particular product has in an environment with no foreign competition. In the international market the defects a product has can hurt it against foreign competition and cause the Japanese to loose market share. That is why alot of the Japanese consoles have more design flaws then what they put out on the international market and why products are released in Japan first.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You got that sporking right.

    But, seriously, if moderators started reading
    the posts then we'd start to expect them to
    read the parent articles. And we can't have
    that now, can we?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Isn't it a little interesting that the BSD users did a port themselves (and it works), while the Linux DC port isn't functional, and the only other Linux/PS2 port was done by the company that made the PS2?

    "Do it yourself" my ass.

  • You must be doing something severely wrong if playing an mp3 isn't perfect on a P100.

    I used to play mp3s with x11amp (now called xmms) constantly while doing other work on a p90. Only time it ever skipped was under heavy disk IO.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You can't write games for the PS2 which use Sony's APIs without agreeing to their licensing terms.

    It is my understanding, however, that you are free to write/port your own libraries and use them. Should Sony attempt to prohibit this, it would be absurd. A little like Ford claiming that no manufacturer could make tires for it's cars without signing an agreement. Of course, sillyness or fear of embarassment never stopped a corporate attorney.

  • You're not making the distinction between the software region encoding and the console hardware.

    As for the hardware: Well, the Japanese units were made first, were clunkier to produce and left less room in the case for the broadband adapter. As the system was cost-reduced and size-reduced, there was space to put in the bay for expansion device, and this is the system that launched in America. Not surprisingly, this is also the system that will be sold from now on in Japan as well... It would not make sense to keep producing the older, more costly model. The broadband adapter was created for the older models because that's all that was around while they were working on it, and hence that's probably why their Linux kit uses it. Presumably the changeover to the American/new Japanese version of the console won't take long.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2001 @09:19AM (#264258)
    1. get rid of wife
    2. do whatever you want
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:02AM (#264259)
    Someone set up us the penguin.

    What you say!!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:31AM (#264260)
    * Press release

    On April 26th of 2001 it is the press release which is issued in the reporting authorized personnel address from corporation SONY * computer entertainment.
    April 26 of 2001 day
    Corporation SONY * computer entertainment
    " Place t Shaun 2 " business Linux kit (beta edition)
    In the Japanese country destined for the Linux community, release start

    Corporation SONY * computer entertainment (the SCEI), release we start from this year June " place t Shaun 2 " (the PS2) the business Linux kit (beta edition), destined for the Japanese domestic Linux community.

    Demand is moved aside large number that since selling the PS2, from everyone of the domestic Linux community, we would like to enjoy programming the Linux on the PS2. The latest Linux kit (beta edition) release, as you answer to the demand from everyone of that kind of Linux community, being something which is done with the purpose which supports the activity of everyone of the Linux community it does.

    As for the Linux since the being born, spread is advanced quickly in the entire world, activity of everyone of the developer and the user which relate to the Linux is spreading, the organization such as enterprise and the university as a non- profit-making activity, furthermore exceeding the border. The in that situation, the PS2 has observed, as the platform of the new Linux on Internet also the signature activity which requests the release of the Linux which operates with the PS2 is done. As one example, a certain Web sight (* 1) in, from this year March with the signature activity which is started, as of this day, with the Japanese sight approximately 4,500 names, approximately 1,500 name thing signatures have gotten together with the English sight.

    The Linux kit for the PS2 (beta edition), high-speed network * interface (the 100BASE-TX ethernet) outside it possesses attaching type HDD unit and the Linux beta edition installation disk (DVD-ROM), it consists of the VGA adapter, the USB keyboard and the USB mouse et cetera in order to indicate the image signal of the PS2 in computer display. Because of this, everyone of the user starts the Linux on the PS2 when it is connected to network, it is possible to enjoy Linux application. (* 2)

    Furthermore, image output of the Linux for the PS2 the XGA (the 1024×768 dot) and the like has supposed the computer display of high resolution. (* 3) and, outside is included in this kit attaching type HDD unit corresponds to the PC card slot of the PS2 itself. The recent model PS2 which is sold on this year April 18th (SCPH-30000) correspondence to the model of the expansion bay type which is included presently is in the midst of examining.

    In case of the release of this kit, in order to be able to assure the continuous communication of everyone of the Linux community, in order that the sale method of utilizing network is introduced preparation is being advanced. The commodity and sale method concerning details, the place t Shaun * dot the sight of the COM which is the group company of this corporation * Japan corporation (the http: Consecutively we guide the //www.jp.playstation.com/linux/) in. Concerning the first shipment quantity the demand which has been moved already aside on the net we plan 1,000 units on the basis of after that shipping continuously in accordance with the demand of everyone of the Linux community, we are defeated.

    As the SCEI continues and " place t Shaun " and " place t Shaun 2 " focusing on game * music * movie * publication * program and the like fused creates the world of new computer entertainment, you propose to the network society which was opened, global promote the construction of broadband * network powerfully and are defeated.
    (* 1) http: //www.peanuts.gr.jp/pslinux/
    (* 2) in regard to the source cord/code, following to that condition in regard to the part where disclosure is required the GPL (the GNU General Public License) or by other license conditions, it discloses, but the software component of the part where the SCE has had all rights is not included targetting disclosure.
    (* 3) connecting to the television for general home, it is not possible to utilize.
    From here the top

    Trade name " Place t Shaun 2 " business Linux kit (beta edition) SCPH-10270 K
    Standard price 25,000 Yen (classified by tax)
    Sale day June of 2001 (schedule)
    Kit contents Linux beta edition installation disk (DVD-ROM)
    Outside attaching type HDD unit (40GB)
    * 100BASE-TX broadband ethernet correspondence
    * By way of the PC card slot connection
    USB keyboard
    USB mouse
    VGA adapter
    Guide window Place t Shaun * dot COM * Japan corporation

    Copyright (C) 2001 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and PlayStation.com (Japan) the Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  • A) It's not meant for use with your TV, it has a VGA adapter. B) It's a dev kit. You use it to make PS2 games. That's about it.
  • I was thinking that a Rack of PS2s would make an excellent batch pool, if only we could put 512 Meg of RAM in them. Has anybody hacked their PS2 for more RAM?
  • Then when I tell you you're wrong, you won't take it personally? :-)

    The mouse and keyboard are cheap, standard USB components. No shock there.

    And while the HDD/Ethernet module sounds expensive, it's actually another loss-leading piece of game console hardware. This device was always part of Sony's master plan. I wouldn't be surprised if the Linux version of the module isn't "pre-release" hardware that's missing some game-specific firm/software (read "protection").

    I wonder if the VGA adapter already existed as part of the "TEST" PS2 package game developers use for debugging?

    We're not scare-mongering/This is really happening - Radiohead
  • by Keith Russell ( 4440 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @02:02PM (#264271) Journal
    Um, check the specs again.
    • DVD-ROM for all the software
    • USB keyboard
    • USB wheel mouse
    • 10/100 Ethernet adapter
    • 40GB hard drive w/ PCMCIA connector
    • PlayStation2->VGA adapter
    Not bad for $200. Especially when you consider that the hard drive/Ethernet PCMCIA card is probably a custom part.

    We're not scare-mongering/This is really happening - Radiohead
  • I wonder if standard USB hard drives could be used under PS2 Linux. If so, all one would need is to ditch the mouse or get a hub, and wouldn't need to wait for the 3rd party gear at all. All this kind of reminds of the NetBSD-on-the-Dreamcast story from awhile back.
  • by Glytch ( 4881 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:27AM (#264273)
    Yeah, this is nice, but does it run Li-

  • by deusx ( 8442 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @09:13AM (#264274) Homepage
    Umm, not sure if you already knew this or not... but that is Sony's strategy (or at least was) for the PS2.

  • by bonk ( 13623 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:29AM (#264279)
    My guess is that sony is getting ready to fight XBOX. The main appeal of xbox is that you don't need to buy a $50,000-$100,000 devkit to program for it - you just need to find a liscensed game seller.

    The cost of the devkit has been the main hurdle for people learning how to program consoles on their own. I wanted to learn dreamcast programming, but the devkit was more than my yearly salary. I wasn't interested in performing hacks and messy work around so i could program the DC to kinda work with linux/assembly.

    With this linux kit, it includes support for the low level api. and the psx2 is notoriously different/difficult to work with, so letting interested people mess around with development in their spare time is a GOOD IDEA in my opinion. I would definately buy the kit if it becomes available for non-japanese consoles.

    I wouldn't buy this for linux, i would buy it for the chance to program on the psx2.
  • by Raven667 ( 14867 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @04:41PM (#264281) Homepage

    So what? I don't care if they did it because the ghost of their dead grandmother told them to, it's still a good deal.

    In fact if they start selling a Linux distro for the PS2 they nice profitible, long-term revenue stream. Unless they did a poor job with the port (I doubt it) most people would be happy to purchase Sony Linux, and I doubt that anyone else would make much headway in the PS2/Linux market. They also might make a few bucks on the additional Sony-branded hardware (hard drive, keyboard, networking, etc.).

    There is also some possibility that it could be used like a TiVo or for interactive content (like Starship Troopers, "Do you want to know more?" with URLs embedded in the video stream) or just for normal web browsing. This would require your equipment to support DV (FireWire) video, since there doesn't appear to be a video-in on the device itself (maybe something that could be added via the expansion bay on the back?).

    The possibilities are endless, with a general purpose OS like Linux (or NetBSD) you can get the box to do anything you like, reliably and quickly. Niftilicious.

  • All I can say is "blech"

    USB is very useful for low bandwidth devices (mice, keyboards, PDAs etc), but it chugs for even moderate loads. The PCMCIA bus is much more suited for things like HDDs, burners, etc.

    As an example, I present USB->Ethernet converters. Your 10/100Mbit converter actually runs at a max of around 12Mbit/sec. Add more devices onto the bus and you throttle it down even further.

    Note that I cannot speak for USB 2.0, but I say to hell with USB; give us FireWire instead.

  • But that further begs the question "what is the card for"? Is it a "mini-playstation" embedded in the developer's PC that can be used to play/debug games under development on without needing a blue playstation?

    It seems odd: if you can already do limited development on a stock PC and then play on a black playstation without any specialized PC hardware, then what does the card provide for commercial developers?

  • by leperjuice ( 18261 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:56AM (#264287)
    > Playstation 1 requires you to buy a $2k PCI
    > card for a PC. (Last I heard. It may have come
    > down quite a bit)

    I'm a little confused about that...

    You may or may not recall the Net Yaroze [psextreme.com] (the "black Playstation"). It was meant for hobbyist Playstation programmer and came with a stripped down set of libraries, special memory card and boot cd, and a serial cable to connect to a PC (and yes, you can use Linux [identicalsoftware.com]). That's all you needed.

    I had seen the blue [argonet.co.uk] (developer) Playstation at a friend's company and I was under the impression that it was just like the Yaroze except it had the full libs and could read gold (burned) cds, but apparently the card you speak of is also required. I'm unclear as to what it's for, considering that you can do crippled programming on the Yaroze with just a serial cable.

  • No need for it. They will distribute the source together with the binaries on the same DVD. Now go and read GPL section 3.
    By distributing source and binary together, they have fullfilled their duties, no need to provide it to "any third party".
    Of course, they can't disallow you from redistribution the source, so certainly somebody will upload it somewhere, but that's another story.
  • Since a large number of signatures prompted the Japanese release, then we have no reason to believe that the same thing can't happen here. So, I urge everyone to go and sign the USA list!
  • OK, so with either Firewire or an internal HDD as possibilities...it's likely that someone with the PCMCIA version will be able to create a non-PCMCIA version quickly. Good.
  • Also, any clues as to the size of the HD included?

    This is such a cool system. My first response was to get a PS2 as my desktop machine. I was thinking of getting a PS2 for playing GT3 anyway. But I was also thinking of getting a computer for desktop. Now I can justify getting a PS2. (The amount of RAM can be a problem, though.)

    This is one of few times that I'm glad I am a Japanese. I'm living in Germany. So, another consideration apart from justifying getting a PS2 was whether to get a German PS2 or to ask a friend to get one of those Japanese PS2s. The PAL/NTSC could have been a problem. (This can be solved by attaching the cosole to a VCR, it seems.)

    But now I decided to get a Japanese model. Luckily, one of my friend is going to visit Germany in June. Hope he can have a hand on that thing.

  • by MarcoAtWork ( 28889 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:49AM (#264299)
    Hmmmm... I have to be cynical, but couldn't this be a case of Sony noticing that there is a definite lack of quality titles for the PS2 (no flames please, fanboys please abstain) and trying to put out an affortable SDK to create some buzz?

    I might be wrong, obviously, but given the extremely low price of this SDK, and that it runs a very buzz-friendly OS, I have to wonder...

    after all, given that the XBox is a MS product, I assume that it would be very easy for MS to give out some sort of SDK that runs on a standard PC, since the hardware is pretty much the same.

    What do you all think?
  • by WyldOne ( 29955 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:18AM (#264300) Homepage
    Will the programs you develop in Linux be able to be played/packaged without the kit being attached to it? It would be cool to have a 'blank' game card that could be programed with the kit, then used without the kit. I would not care if the OS part was copyrighted if I could GPL my game, or in the worst case distribute my game in binary form.

    Considering the cost ($300ps2 +$200kit) it would make a extremely cheap development platform for new games.

    If this happened the X-box would be toast. EOL.

    You know the porting of games would come fast and furious after that. eg: UT, UT2, Half-life, Q4, Tomb Raider, Turok, Drakken, Doom, Leisure Suit Larry and the Land of the Lounge Lizards. (yeah, I know some are already ported)

  • by grahamwest ( 30174 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @11:10AM (#264301) Homepage
    Ok, here's a summary of the various PS1 and PS2 development hardware.

    You start work on a development kit - this is the expensive PCI card for PS1, or the big black tower (the T10000) for PS2. This hardware supports source-level debugging, has more memory, etc and is what you do your main development on.

    Once your game is well on the way to completion (eg. it can fit in the memory of the consumer hardware, it doesn't crash too often) you start to make bootable discs that run on what are called debug stations. The blue PS1 was the debug station. For PS2 the debug looks like the consumer unit except it says 'TEST' on the top instead of 'PS2'. The debug stations can operate from CD-R and DVD-R media (no copy protection). These are primarily so your testers can run the game before you submit it to Sony.

    The black PS1 (the Net Yaroze) wasn't even as full-featured as a debug station - it couldn't boot from CD-Rs. Plus, you could only download your own code to it after booting from a special black CD. Given that this PS2 hobbyist kit is for the consumer PS2, there won't be CD-R support there either.
  • Besides, what Linux maven will pay $200 for a Linux distro

    I paid CAN$130 for SuSE 7.1. I believe it was worth every penny and I probably would have paid more.

    Having one DVD to use instead of seven CDs is great, and the PS2 development kit is DVD, allowing a huge amount of stuff.

    If Sony pays as much attention to documentation as SuSE, I'd probably be a taker (the other reason I didn't mind paying $130, a massive amount of printed text). I signed that petition, too, and I don't sign those things unless I'm serious.
  • from previous /. articles, it became known that Sony was using Linux as their development platform of choice. Maybe their dev tools will also become available... if that were to come about, you could develop your own PS2 games... that would rock :)
  • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:18AM (#264310)

    Anyone else see the signifigance of this? A killer OS, combined with state of the art engineering for multimedia hardware. Complete right down to the low level information to program the fancy-pants features. Last time I saw that was in the near-mythical box of yore, the Amiga.. *dreamy sighs* I hope this makes it to North America. I can't believe sony did it either.. aye karumba!

    Just think, a standardized, high-power linux graphics computing platform targeted solely at games, but with the capability to do other stuff, too. Maybe I'll spend my GF3 fund on something like that and keep my PC for coding. Heh.

    Hope it's not a hoax..

  • Yes, in a way, this is the old "Beowulf cluster" joke, but with a new twist.

    If Sony releases this out in the open, with a version of Linux that can really drive the PS2 harware (especially the kick-ass PS-2 graphical chips) and connect to a LAN, you can actually build a rendering farm on the cheap!

    Think about it: Sony PS-2 + Linux kit = cheapo cheapo super-duper rendering workstation, with well-supported and well-known OS.

    Even better : link a cluster of Athlon PC (for number-crunching, monitoring and data transfer) and a cluster of Sony PS-2 and you probably have something that will blast away 90% of the super-computer competition, for a fraction of the price... Makes you wonder what Saddam Hussein is going to do with all the PS-2 Iraq bought a while ago.

    On a lighter note, think about SFX houses -- Hollywood-grade hardware with a twist.

    Of course, Sony will have to play ball, and release everything so that crazy coders can optimize, tweak and debug it. But they'll win a dedicated and loyal group of programmers in the bargain. Smart move!
  • by decipher_saint ( 72686 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:43AM (#264319)
    It never-EVER made sense to me that there is a difference between Japanese and American console units. I could never see a point to it, who cares if I wan't to buy Japanese software or a Japanese person wants to buy North American software? Are they worried about not being able to satisfy demand? To that I call B.S. If a system does well in Japan and crappy in North America and you have region specific hardware doesen't that mean the company now has North American only units it can't get rid of? Wouldn't it make more sense to standardize the hardware so you could move it to where demand is?

    I dunno, I know I don't see the whole picture, if someone out there can rationalize regional hardware for me...

    Ah well...


  • the boxes offer a vga/tv switch. I think you can actually get a plain cable that you just swap in/out, too.

    The hardware itself is all on your dreamcast.
  • offtopic? what? not that I care, because karma isn't going to buy me food, and I'm at the cap anyway, but....

    playstation. living room. boots linux. can be used as an mp3 player, or to run mame, or any other of a million emulators, thereby letting me play, say, intellivision in the living room again.
  • by AugstWest ( 79042 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:04AM (#264324)
    ...with X and XMMS and I'm golden. I don't even want the hard drive, I just want to burn bootable CDs/DVDs that I can load with MP3s and play them through the stereo in the living room...

    would be *really* nice to have a bootable MAME CD as well.
  • by passion ( 84900 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:09AM (#264327)

    Yeah, I got Linux running on my PS/2 years ago... I don't see what the big deal here is. It's actually a pretty crappy server, and is only any good as a terminal.

  • Not to dampen anyone's spirits (because this is really cool), but does anyone remember the stories about Saddam Houssein buying up a bunch of PS2 units? This could be dangerous, if someone sends him a copy of Linux for the PS2 . . .
  • As far as the TV formats are concerned, Japan and the U.S. both use NTSC (60 fps, 512x384 resolution). It's Europe that uses a different format (PAL; 50 fps, 768x576 resolution).

    They can fit it all on one disc. Some games have it already (an option for Japanese or English text/speech). Besides, the Japanese PS2s already have an option to display the interface in English (play DVDs, change settings, etc.) Besides, some people don't care if they can't understand the games. They'll buy them anyway.

    You know, the DVD spec only calls for lockouts for movie DVDs. Not games. DVD-ROM is a different specification. (The PS2 probably uses a different disc format, but AFAIK, no region codes are defined for DVD-ROM.) The lockouts on the PSX didn't have anything to do with any CD-ROM spec, now did they? It was all internal within the Playstation fileformat spec (some kind of weird interleaved knockoff of the ISO9660 spec).
  • by Animgif ( 96529 ) <Benton@Wink.Bus@UTexas@edu> on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:30AM (#264338) Homepage
    Great...now all we need to do is compile DeCSS for it so we can use the DVD functionality!
  • by Christianfreak ( 100697 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:31AM (#264341) Homepage Journal
    I'm hoping this will make it easy to for developers to port PS2 games to linux!

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • by gavinmead ( 112093 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:38AM (#264346)
    This sounds like an excellent starting point for Taco's convergence mania. It'll have the DVD player, the quality outputs, and a good development platform. Sure, it still needs a few things added for complete functionality, but as people were discussing, this could be a good "hub" unit, or at least a starting point for creating a comprehensive UI.
  • The only difference between NTSC3.58 and NTSC4.43 is the sound carrier frequency. The video portion of the signal is identical.

  • Loading R5900 MMU routines.
    CPU revision is: 00002e14
    Primary instruction cache 16kb, linesize 64 bytes
    Primary data cache 8kb, linesize 64 bytes
    Branch Prediction : on
    Double Issue : on
    Linux version 2.2.1 (master@linux) (gcc version 2.95.2 19991024 (release)) #94 Thu Apr 19 12:13:01 JST 2001
    no initrd found
    Console: colour dummy device 80x25
    Calibrating delay loop... 392.40 BogoMIPS
    Estimated CPU clock: 294.240 MHz
    Memory: 30724k/32760k available (1216k kernel code, 752k data)
    Checking for 'wait' instruction... unavailable.
    POSIX conformance testing by UNIFIX
    PlayStation 2 SIF BIOS: 0200
    Linux NET4.0 for Linux 2.2
    Based upon Swansea University Computer Society NET3.039
    NET4: Unix domain sockets 1.0 for Linux NET4.0.
    NET4: Linux TCP/IP 1.0 for NET4.0
    IP Protocols: ICMP, UDP, TCP, IGMP
    Linux IP multicast router 0.06 plus PIM-SM
    Starting kswapd v 1.5
    PlayStation 2 device support: GIF, VIF, GS, VU, IPU, SPR
    Graphics Synthesizer revision: 00005508
    Console: switching to colour PlayStation 2 Graphics Synthesizer 80x28
    pty: 256 Unix98 ptys configured
    Real Time Clock Driver v1.09
    rtc: Digital UNIX epoch (1952) detected
    usb.c: registered new driver usbdevfs
    usb.c: registered new driver hub
    usb.c: registered new driver usb_mouse
    usb.c: registered new driver keyboard
    usb-ohci.c: USB OHCI at membase 0x1f801600, IRQ 42
    usb-ohci.c: GrowLocalMem 64K bytes
    usb.c: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 1
    usb.c: USB new device connect, assigned device number 1
    hub.c: USB hub found
    hub.c: 2 ports detected
    RAM disk driver initialized: 1 RAM disks of 10240K size
    loop: registered device at major 7
    PlayStation 2 IDE DMA driver
    hda: ST340823A, ATA DISK drive
    ide0 at 0xb4000040-0xb4000047,0xb400005c on irq 41
    hda: ST340823A, 38166MB w/1024kB Cache, CHS=4865/255/63, (U)DMA
    LVM version 0.8i by Heinz Mauelshagen (02/10/1999)
    lvm -- Driver successfully initialized
    scsi : 0 hosts.
    scsi : detected total.
    Partition check:
    hda: hda1 hda2
    VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem) readonly.
    Freeing unused kernel memory: 48k freed
    usb.c: USB new device connect, assigned device number 2
    hub.c: USB hub found
    hub.c: 2 ports detected
    usb.c: USB new device connect, assigned device number 3
    keybdev.c: Adding keyboard: input0
    input0: USB HIDBP keyboard
    usb.c: USB new device connect, assigned device number 4
    input1: USB HIDBP mouse
    PlayStation 2 Sound driver
    Adding Swap: 136516k swap-space (priority -1)
    eth0: MAC address 00:04:1f:ff:fa:bc
    eth0: Auto-negotiation complete. 100Mbps Full duplex mode.
    PlayStation 2 SMAP(Ethernet) device driver is loaded.

  • Maybe their dev tools will also become available
    These ARE the dev tools; everything else is written for individual game (engines). Hope you're up on your assm programming.
  • GPL talks about media costs and that's pretty much what you can charge for GPLed software.
    NO. That's what you can charge for the SOURCE CODE. The software itself can be charged whatever you'd like.
  • Almost; I can charge what I'd like for the software, but the source needs to be made available, and all I can charge for the source is media and handling and the like. The binaries I can charge as much as I'd like.
  • Gods damn you , would you please get it through your heads that the GPL does NOT mean 'free software' in any way? It means 'software comes with source; source can be done with as you please.' Say it with me, folks; GPL SOFTWARE CAN BE CHARGED FOR.
  • by fluxrad ( 125130 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:29AM (#264359) Homepage
    I suppose i'm still waiting for Sony's port of Gran Tourismo 3 A-spec. Where do i sign?

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • It never-EVER made sense to me that there is a difference between Japanese and American console units.

    Mostly because copyrights are licensed regionally. How else are you supposed to keep American rights to a movie franchise from being infringed when you have licensed only the right to distribute in Japan? And what if someone asks for tech support or game tips for an obscure Japanese game with which the American subsidiary is not familiar?

    The translation doesn't even have to be good [pineight.com]. I just want all Sony's Japanese game to be belong to Americans.

  • Okay, this rocks. Assuming Sony will get this out in multilingual formats, this will *really* help speed acceptance and build an incredible amature developer base for new games and apps.

    Quite frankly, I don't think this is going to happen like this. Linux is already available for PCs. Linux running PC-owners have a far higher proportion of programmers with the ability to write games than the ps2. If we were going to see a plethora of games for linux, developed by amateurs, they would already be here. As it is, we have a handful of Loki ports, and a few relatively simplistic games (cannon smash, tux racer etc).

    Where it may help is if it is competitive with the native development of ps2 games. A conventional games company looking at developing a game for ps2 would weigh up the points of doing it under linux on ps2 or not, and one point that may swing it is that, "if we do it under linux, we can pick up all those geeks on slashdot too".

    For myself, I would rather see something like the dreamcast linux that is currently available. I don't need a hard disk on a console, just a network card. Because I know all I'll use it for is as a sitting room front-end for my real computer to play mp3s, occasionally look at the web etc.. which isn't exciting, but I'd put money it's what a lot of people want.


  • by Ron Harwood ( 136613 ) <[ac.xunil] [ta] [rdoowrah]> on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:31AM (#264369) Homepage Journal
    1. Learn Japanese.

    2. Buy a PS2.

    3. Get kit.

    4. Convince wife that it is all "educational" and is not because of any "cool factor".

  • I agree, a USB HDD is a joke. Also, Sony should not limit themselves to PCMCIA boxes either. Linux has Firewire(tm) available as an experimental susbsytem in Linux kernel 2.4.3 or at http://linux1394.sourceforge.net/. Recently added is the SBP-2 module for support for all kinds of storage devices including HDD, CD, DVD, DVD-RAM, and flash memory readers. There is an unofficial ip1394 module too, but it is not yet fully standards compliant.

    Now, I wonder if their X server supports the XVideo extension?


  • Can you say Vector Unit? The PS2 has 2 Vector units especialy made for 3D calculations. In essence you can do 4 floating point operations in 1 cycle. The 300MHZ*4*2 + 300MHZ = 2.7Ghz 4 = 4 operations per cycle. 2 = 2 Vector units. 300MHZ = the main CPU. /PS2 - Developer

    Well, the Athlon (3dNow) and PentiumIII and IV (SSE and SSE2) have vector SIMD instructions as well. I don't know the specs offhand, but I think they can each operate on like 4 floating-point numbers at once... so thats like an effective... what... 4ghz or so worth of floating-point ops from a 1ghz PC, using your kind of math?

    So the PS2 is still outgunned in terms of horsepower, and you haven't even solved the issue of the PS2's paltry (by render farm standards) 32MB of RAM yet.

    Plus you'd.... uh... kind of have to write (or at least port) your own rendering software to run on the PS2. But hey... hopefully someone will prove me wrong... show me your PS2 render farms guys! :-)

    http://www.bootyproject.org [bootyproject.org]
  • you can actually build a rendering farm on the cheap!

    Ah, no. Not even close. Sorry. You're confusing real-time graphics with pre-rendered graphics, here. When you render graphics with a 3d modeling/rendering app like Lightwave or 3DSMax (for example) the CPU is doing all of the rendering computations when you render your final image.

    Your 3d-accelerated hardware (the PS2's obvious strength) is used by LW or 3DS for real-time previews while you're creating and animating your scene. But when you're rendering your image, your shiny GeForce5 with 256MB memory and a 600MHZ GPU is nothing but a fancy slot-warmer. It does nothing. Your GeForce5-equipped machine is not going to render any faster than an identical PC with a S3 Virge chip.

    Also, rendering is a true memory hog. Anyone doing serious rendering has at least 128MB of memory, if not 256 or 512MB. The PS2 has 32MB on board making it less than useless.

    I'm sure the PS2's CPU is pretty powerful, especially for the floating-point operations needed for 3D rendering, but... it's only 300MHZ. I seriously doubt it's going to render faster than a 800mhz Athlon that you can buy for like $100 these days.
    So, in summary, "no."

    http://www.bootyproject.org [bootyproject.org]
  • by d.valued ( 150022 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @03:58PM (#264376) Journal
    Let's put this in perspective.

    I have two rigs I use with daily frequency. Both run Linux, the 2.2.14 kernel, and are virtually identical in the software arena (yes, one has WordPerfect and XEmacs, but I don't use them that much ;)

    One is a C433 with 96 M ram, a PCI sound card, and a Voodoo2 3000 accelerator card. I can play Q3A and it sings (except for a minor sound problem.. damned /dev/dsp!) I can cram through an oversampled MP3 (like, oh.. 256 kbps stereo) and it sounds quite bloody good.

    Now, the other rig is a P100 laptop with 40 MB ram and 350+M swap (for now.. i needed the insane swap to get certain apps running right!). I play a regular 128 kbps stereo MP3, and it belches out the audio in fits and spurts. Audio sucks even on lower quality MP3s because the ability to process the large amounts of data ain't there.

    Then comes in the handheld MP3 player. Of course it plays 'em good; after all, THAT'S ALL IT DOES!

    Moral of the story: A properly engineered dedicated device can do more with less processing power than a non-dedicated box.

    I mean, think about it! MPEG-2 decoding is insane on system resources! Loads of ram and tons of cycles are needed to chew through the frames and the damned CSS coding!

    A dedicated DVD player is built to crank out IMAGE without the overhead of an OS and multiple uses (beyond CD player, but a 386 can play a CD!!)

    Windows.. Good for targeting rocks.
  • You know, I'm sure that only the other day I was reading pages of lengthy and semi-literate diatribes about how Sony were one of the greatest evils on the planet (mostly because they don't like you stealing music & films from them).
    Suddenly, they put out a Linux kit for the PS2 and they're the best little bunnies in the whole wide world, you just want to hug them and kiss them and call them George...

    Baa for me. Go on. Let me hear you say Baaaa!

    Hacker: A criminal who breaks into computer systems
  • by -=OmegaMan=- ( 151970 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:53AM (#264378)
    The Dreamcast has had this for a while, albeit in a less professional (and much cheaper) version.

    Dreamcast Linux [sourceforge.net]

    NetBSD, too, if you swing that way. ;)

    Dreamcast NetBSD [netbsd.org]

    Raw links for the Goatse paranoid:


  • by Two Sheds ( 153382 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @09:43PM (#264381)
    This kit is only for the original Japanese models, which have a PC Card slot in the back and need the external hard drive & ethernet box.

    The US, Euro (I guess?) and latest Japan models have an internal bay for the hard disk and ethernet port, so they'll require a different kit. I'm sure it's being worked on, if only because they'll need it in Japan.

    That's why I wanted a PS2: SSX and this.

    ("... and the no-feet guy told me there was this thing called a budget and WNYX was way over it.")

  • GSCube is actually a collection of 16 PS2s working together in a cluster (feel free to make Beowulf jokes here). Basically, it is a monster graphics renderer used for CG like the Final Fantasy: Spirits Within movie coming out this summer. It doesn't play games. You hook it into a SGI computer and it pumps out graphics like nobody's business.

  • http://www.jp.playstation.com/linux/naiyo.html

    Use http://babel.altavista.com to translate it.

  • by L Fitzgerald Sjoberg ( 171091 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:48AM (#264387) Homepage

    As far as I know, right now you can't write games for the PS2 without the permission and strict supervision of Sony. Will the existence of PS2 Linux change this, or will any attempt to distribute games for it meet with a heavy kibosh from a swarm of Sony lawyers? I'm not too excited about an Open Source OS for the PS2 if I can't run Open Source software on it.

  • by Fervent ( 178271 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @08:58AM (#264389)
    This may seem like an odd question (setting aside the "cool factor" of having a PS2 with Linux... which, right now, doesn't seem too amazingly cool without a keyboard) but why would Sony want to do this? They're losing money on the console sales, but $200 to turn a machine into a Linux workstation isn't nearly as profitable as selling a bunch of $40 games. (Besides, what Linux maven will pay $200 for a Linux distro).

    Strangely enough, this isn't too far out of Sony's master plans. The GSCube, their 3rd-generation console, runs almost entirely on Linux according to this month's issue of Wired magazine. It's a large, ugly beast but very powerful -- many many processors.

    But still, PS2 + Linux doesn't make a whole lot of business sense.

  • The kit will include a complete Linux/X11 environment with all sources, technical hardware manuals for the EE, GS and vectorunits plus a low-level API and Mesa drivers for graphics.
    Ever consider reading the article? The GPL lets you charge for copies, besides it says that Sony is providing a lot more than just linux on a DVD/CD.
  • If you have been paying attention, a basic programming language (BASIC I think) was added to the Euro model just to get it considered a computer, thereby dropping into lower tarifs.
  • Currently, Iraq cannot buy consumer U.S. computing equipment.

    Oh, bull. They "cannot" or they're "not allowed"? Do you really think a law applying to consumer electronics is going to be respected by a country as unbalanced as Iraq? No big conspiracy; I'm just talking about simple smuggling. There are enough countries in the world with enough PS2s and enough people interested in turning a quick profit off Iraqi military interests.

    If there truly is a miltary demand for a particular item, it will be filled... money moves commodities... if foreign weapons can be smuggled into Iraq, then I suspect foreign toys can be smuggled in also.
  • i.Link is just Sony's name alternate name. (I believe) that for all technical purposes, they're the same thing.

    REAL /.ers only have a karma of 49...
  • Hi all,

    I work as Tech Support Droid for Blitz Basic (see sig), a compiled Basic currently using DirectX for its graphics (damn fast, and Blitz 3D's in beta; also damn fast and good looking). I know that the author was very interested in porting to Indrema, and shocked when I told him it was dead.

    Blitz isn't open source; it's a commercial product, currently only for Windoze, but future ports are a big possiblity (though it'd be next year at the earliest). If you have Windoze, try out the demo from the web site.

    This is my personal, unofficial, unapproved spam-poll -- post here if you'd be interested in this (assuming current Windoze version price, around £30/$50, maybe slightly more, dunno), so I can pass the responses on if there's a lot of interest...

    Of course, it's not up to me (er, especially the PS2 Linux outside Japan part), so don't count on it -- just trying to gauge interest...


  • You obviously didn't read the editorial comment:

    The Kit is going to consist of an external HDD/Ethernet unit connected to the PCMCIA slot, found on early Japanese PS2 models, a VGA adapterplus USB Mouse and Keyboard.

    so it isn't un-'amazingly cool without a keyboard' and it's not just a distro, it's a hardware/software bundle...

  • Okay, this rocks. Assuming Sony will get this out in multilingual formats, this will *really* help speed acceptance and build an incredible amature developer base for new games and apps.

    What crack are you smoking? Do you honestly think Sony really needs the "kudos" generated by a few long-haired open source zealots to ensure acceptance of the PS2? Nonsense. And the thought that any of them will actually fork out money for this is rediculous, after all if it's not free it's not worth having.

  • Well, the PS2 has Firewire, so I am sure someone will write drivers for Firewire HD's. The only thing is it seems that the Linux community has more experience writing USB drivers (just my impresison, could be wrong) so I would assume that they would come first. And for gaming I would think 12Mbit/sec would be sufficient.
  • Double your pleasure. It's two, two, two boxes in one.

    When it comes to paying taxes, PS2 is a computer.

    When it comes to slapping on tarrifs, it's a game.
  • The PS2 is one of the WORST DVD players that you can buy. My $149 Apex kicks it's ass in terms of features and picture/sound quality. The PS2 doesn't have the video RAM to accomidate the limited textures in Tux Racer.
  • place t Shaun 2

    I think that should become the official /. nickname for the PS/2.


  • Yeah, this is nice, but does it run Li-

    At first I thought you were referring to LILO and that error where it only displays LI.


  • by update() ( 217397 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:36AM (#264415) Homepage
    Yes, I understand the cool factor. Yes, it would be great to have a Beowulf cluster of these?

    But is there any practical value for this? It seems to me that when you're buying a keyboard and external hard drive to run Linux on a system displaying on your TV, you would be better off using the PC you already have. (I'm skeptical that there is a large base of PlayStation Linux customers who don't already have a PC.)

    I'm not knocking this - I'm trying to understand if there's anything behind statements like conservative fractions in the company are hindering the Public Release of the port, fearing revelation of their trade secrets and not seeing the advantage for SCEI releasing the software.

    Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

  • Indrema's problem wasn't the lack of funds per se, it was the lack of an intelligent approach to actualizing the dream. Hype and VCs were brought into the picture way too early, before the hardware was finalized or the prototype constructed. They should have built a cheap, working demo unit (wooden box, breadboards, copper wires - but functional) first and only then sought financing to bring the device to the mass market.

    Furthermore, Sony isn't "supporting Linux"; it's responding to slow sales, lack of interest and the fact that much PS2 development is done using Linux. It's a pure utility thing - no ideological fantasies, people.

  • by humantraffic ( 220145 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:47AM (#264417)
    Now I'll be able to get Tux Racer and 36 different versions of solitaire for PS2. Plus all the games people were developing for the Idrema...

    I'll never be off my PS2 ever...
  • There is already a dreamcast program that can play mp3s... or vcds for that matter. I think someone has a mame port going to... plus there's linux as reported here.
  • Why not extend this and include the libraries and compilers needed to create a native ps2 application? Just compile it on the ps2 and zip it out the ethernet to your cd-burner. You'd probably be best suited to do the 3d modeling, animation, mapping, textures, etc on another machine, but this could be feasible.
  • by Fatal0E ( 230910 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:01AM (#264423)
    6000 sigs aside, maybe the Indrema (or the principles behind it) where the motivating factor.

    Think about it, whats the best way to insure the longevity of a game these days? Ask Sierra studios and they'll tell you the answer is a community of home grown developers. This practice can easily translate to a console. Sony is protecting themselves against the Xbox and Gamecube by 'opening' their console to people who could develop apps and games at home.
  • I wondered why this site suddenly appeared a few days ago...

  • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:46AM (#264428)
    Okay, this rocks. Assuming Sony will get this out in multilingual formats, this will *really* help speed acceptance and build an incredible amature developer base for new games and apps.

    Nintendo currently requires you to buy or lease an expensive (bigger than my yearly salary) SGI-based development kit. Playstation 1 requires you to buy a $2k PCI card for a PC. (Last I heard. It may have come down quite a bit) Microsoft's going to let you develop on a PC, but let's be honest here. How many developers have the best 3D gaming platform money can buy?

    Letting users run linux and a HDD *on* a PS2, however, means that entriprising hackers can start building games and/or other apps. What's *really* great about this is the fact that quite a few of these new apps are going to be written for the X environment on the Linux kit. It seems to me like that would make it an easy port to GTK, etc...

    Ohayou gozaimasu, our Nihonjin friends. How about some prelim reports on the functionality once you get your hands on these guys?
  • by leviramsey ( 248057 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:32AM (#264431) Journal
    The software is free, but the hardware required to run it (HDD, etc.) isn't. Fully legal under the GPL.
  • by rochlin ( 248444 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @10:01AM (#264432) Homepage
    The white elephant that isn't being discussed here is that Sony is doing this for TAX purposes.

    The need the Playstation 2 to be classified as a computing device rather than as a consumer electronics/entertainment device (For Great Britain - I don't know about the European Community as a whole).

    This was discussed in Slashdot before. Where's that group memory thing (or I guess I'm one cell of it...)

  • There is something pretty twisted when an entire thread is moderated down because it's not part of the "giant linux circle-jerk." Browse this thread at -1 and you will see some interesting comments...
  • I think you read it backwards... it can help acceptance of linux and increase the number of game developers for linux. If you have to fork out $2000 for a decent new computer, why not instead upgrade your PS2 for $200 to have a gaming computer you can develop on?

  • My (possibly wrong) understanding was that you can charge for the product when it's delivered on some sort of media (like a boxed version of RedHat) but it has be available free somehow (like an ftp site). So Sony charging $200 for their kit, including HD and ethernet and the media and a colorful box and shrinkwrap is fine, but they should somehow offer the software aspect free somehow, like ISO's on an anonymous ftp site.

    Given that, I'll still buy the kit, because it'll be easier to get the hard drive and ethernet that way and I'll pay Sony for their work in porting the OS to a new platform. But when the next release of PSLinux (or whatever the distro will be called, I can't read Japanese) comes out, I'll probably just download and burn the ISO files.

    And their are a lot of "Offtopic" moderations going on here for what I would consider "Ontopic" posts. Has the power fallen into the wrong hands?

  • How many BogoMIPS does a PS2 get?

    Seriously, would this be speedy enough for someone wanting to run a a normal desktop system (KDE2, Koffice, Konq or Mozilla, & ssh)? Also, any clues as to the size of the HD included? I can't read Japanese :(

    If it is fast and has a decent amount of drive space, a PS2 would make a great low-end office box. Sony could be opening up a whole new market for themselves; a smart business move on their part.

    On a side note, PS2s running Linux could take the place of Indrema, and boost the market for Linux gaming. It should be pretty easy for existing games that run on the PC (Loki's ports, etc) to be used on the PS2...just burn em to a cd along with a bootable kernel image, and off you go! Now, who's the enterprising soul who wants to port SDL to the PS2?

  • yeah but will they sell it to Saddam Hussein?
  • You're right the Japansese do you a different TV format - its called NTSC 4.43 - but I'll tell you right now 99.99% of all US NTSC TV sets will display NTSC 4.43 just fine.

    How do I know this? - I've got japanese hardware including a J-sony PSX that works just fine on every tv set I've plugged them into in the US.

  • by matt-larose ( 308335 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @06:28AM (#264442) Homepage
    I cant wait to get my hands on one of these puppies.. but why the difference between american/japanese launch date ? im sick of it!
  • by infinite9 ( 319274 ) on Thursday April 26, 2001 @07:50AM (#264446)

    you can actually build a rendering farm on the cheap!

    But remember the game console pricing model! Lose money on the hardware, make money on the software. If people start snapping these up as cheap graphics workstations, something has to give, since those people aren't likely to buy anywhere near enough games to match the number of consoles. Sony either needs to charge for the linux software dvd or charge more for the hardware. I bet it's the former. Or pehaps charging a high price for the disk/ethernet add-on hardware.

  • Come to Michigan - we have plenty. I was just in Best Buy yesterday and they had about ten PS2s on the floor. And, if we don't have them here, you can always go to Canada - I understand they're not moving all that fast over there...
  • Your description is not quite true. Have you seen or programmed one? I assume not. And it is not technically a cluster. The current gscube actually has 64 EE+GS chipsets working together, and it is running a unix-like OS ;-)
    PS2 devkits are very much aligned to Linux. Infact a great number of development teams use linux as their development platform. All executeable PS2 files are 'elfs', YES - generated by GNU based compilers and linkers.
    At E3 last year it was a 16 EE+GS set.. and it did render the bar scene in the "Ants" movie at 2000x1200 at 60fps .. which is pretty kool. But this development system is trialing what the next console is going to be.. the Sony EE manager actually said they want to have a 1000 times the power of the ps2 in the next generation console.. hrm.. 1000 EE+GS chip sets would be an easy way to achieve this although rather odd way to do it.. you'd prolly need 2000 to achieve the 1000 times factor :-)
    The gscube may not be a home consumer product, but it is definitely a development system for future products.

    this is the future workstation.
  • As far as I know the PS2 has 4 mbyte graphics memory and 32 mbyte of main memory (RDRAM). Should be sufficient to run most apps, but maybe not star office. ;) Dreamcast has 24 mbyte SDRAM. 8 mbyte of it are graphics memory.

"I think trash is the most important manifestation of culture we have in my lifetime." - Johnny Legend