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Gentoo on the PS3 - Full Install Instructions 239

An anonymous reader writes "My friend Jake just bought a PS3, and he wanted to install Linux on it. Since he didn't know much about Linux, it was my responsibility to help him with it. His requirements — Install a distribution which is easy to maintain and run. He wanted to make the full use of his Linux install, so he needed a distro which wouldn't hold him back with frustrating problems. The only solution was using a distro which had a better package management system, and did its work without bothering you, the end user. Having used Gentoo extensively, I knew that this would be the solution to my problems. What follows is full install instructions, plus personal opinions, on why Gentoo is better than Fedora Core or YDL on the PS3"
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Gentoo on the PS3 - Full Install Instructions

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  • Overkill (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ganniterix ( 863430 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @10:52AM (#17539216)
    I really think that someone taking his first steps in linux world should not be left out in the cold with Gentoo!! Gentoo has its benefits ... but being user friendly to beginners is definitely not one of them!!
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @11:08AM (#17539458) Homepage Journal
    Apparently, you can now develop Linux apps on PS3. High-end Cell machines, like a Cell Blade CBE from IBM, cost about $20-50K. And those CBEs are not really finished, stable HW architectures, and are in short supply, making their OS/SW environment very changeable.

    A good strategy is to start developing on a PS3, while CBE HW catches up. If development takes 6-9 months, by then the CBEs will be cheaper, more stable, better understood by both their vendors and the community for getting support and working around weak links. And that time can be used to fundraise and team recruit around a PS3 prototype.

    But the $64,000 Question (literally) is what it takes to port a PS3 Linux app to CBE Linux. Does anyone know yet? Whitepaper? Walking/talking expert for hire/bribe? If porting a PS3/Linux app to CBE/Linux is harder than porting an embedded x86 app to a Xeon, or an embedded R6000 to a multiproc R6000 server, then it might be worth it just to wait to start on the CBEs when they're ready. Though a PS3 running a supercomputer DSP app prototype could be cool enough to be worth the whole trouble, anyway.
  • Re:Why not a PC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dahl_ag ( 415660 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @11:24AM (#17539700)
    With 218GFLOPS available on the CPU (not considering disabled daughter cores) the PS3 has way more floating point number crunching power than your average P4. At least an order of magnitude more. While MOST users have no need for this power, some do. I myself play with designing neural networks that would definately benefit from this power. Other applications that come to mind include things like Folding@Home and SETI@Home.
  • by crush ( 19364 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @11:25AM (#17539704)
    There are such seriously uninformed assertions in the very premises of TFA that it's hard to take what the writer says seriously. For example:

    while they're not bad in any sense, they do have problems which are associated with any RPM based distro- dependency hell. I'm sure that any of you who've tried to install any applications would have faced the problem of missing dependencies sometime. And it's all too common to have a few packages totally missing from the repository which means that you have to search for their respective RPMs on the net, download them and install them separately. While functional, this can get a little frustrating over time.

    "Dependency hell" existed before YUM (which came from Yellowdog's Seth K. Vidal) solved the problem. YUM [] is explicitly a dependency solver. It builds on top of the RPM system to automatically find and install the dependent RPM packages.

    I knew it wasn't going to be Fedora Core or Yellow Dog since they seemed to have lots of problems when it came to media players.

    Fedora Core (don't know about Yellow Dog) explicitly chooses to stay away from software which relies upon non-Free, patent-encumbered material. As a project it considers things like Ubuntu's binary graphics driver distribution, or the inclusion of mp3 decoding software (which is encumbered by the Frauenhoefer Institute's ridiculous patent) to be against the GPL and Free Software. As a result it helps to foster the development of free alternatives, without which there would be a much smaller software ecosystem. This is sane, long-term thinking which steps away from opportunistic, short-term compromises which seek to cannibalize market-share from other Linux distros by spreading confusion and misinformation. Debian has a very similar attitude. There are some non-Fedora run repositories where people have packaged up things like the mplayer codec bundle, mpg321, flash etc. If you really have to have them it's easy to edit /etc/yum/repos.d to add the repository.

    The only solution was using a distro which had a better package management system, and did its work without bothering you, the end user.

    Look, if an ebuild isn't in the portage tree then you're not going to have much luck installing it unless you make your own. Ditto for an rpm being available to yum in a repository. Your article is uninformed fanboi-ism. To your friend: don't let him near your PS3!

    To anyone not using Gentoo, don't take this article as representative of the community, it's a great distro with many advantages and not everyone involved with it is as much as a moron as the article writer.

  • by 644bd346996 ( 1012333 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @11:44AM (#17540056)
    While samba's stability probably does not depend much on ldap support, the binaries will be measurably smaller, which is nice. Gentoo is frequently the only distribution where you can easily have an unusual software or hardware configuration without breaking the package management system.

    For example, my previous computer had a Voodoo 3, which requires the glide libraries to get accelerated 3d on linux. Gentoo is the only modern distro I know of that lets me use glide, and it is trivial to enable it. It is pretty neat seeing cairo and glitz running so smoothly on such an old box.
  • Re:dependencies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bobintetley ( 643462 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @11:47AM (#17540116)
    Look, I also like Ports, but come on - how long would it have taken for you to Google:

    apt-cache search
    yum search

    To search package names and metadata?

    I like and use both FreeBSD and Gentoo, but there's no need to disparage the great work done by other distros to justify your choices.
  • by smallfries ( 601545 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @11:59AM (#17540318) Homepage
    OK, I am a big fan of Gentoo and use it on all my boxes .... but this article is trash. It's not just the summary that is flamebait. The "reasons" for why Gentoo is superior to Fedora in the article are laughable. But the worst point, truely one of the worst tips that I've ever heard, is the idea that when the installation is too hard for a newbie they get can an "expert" to remotely install it for them on irc. Sure, tell people who don't know better than getting owned by a script-kiddie on irc is a reason to use Gentoo...
  • by bcmm ( 768152 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @12:41PM (#17541090)
    I use Gentoo and can't stand Ubuntu, but I still recommend Ubuntu to people with no experience or Unix-ish OSs. It's far better to start of using something that works easily and tinker with that till you know what you're doing, before switching to anything that actually requires tinkering.

    To be fair, I don't know what Gentoo's install is like now. Maybe you can do an install without knowing much.
  • by lcam ( 848192 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @01:50PM (#17542514)
    I use gentoo too, and like it very much and use it every day and might even be a "gentoo fanboy". I might even rant about how powerful, flexible and elegant Gentoo is, but when my friends where curious about linux I give them a knoppix CD. They can try out linux without disturbing their hard drive. I can't see myself recommending gentoo to a newbie; it is like measuring a parking space in millimeters (or in microns).

    My second favorate distribution is knoppix.

    I use knoppix when there is a problem for the same reasons some people use duct tape to fix something that are broken. Just as a temporary solution until a permanent solutions is arranged. The GUI gets in my way most of the time especially when I'm in a hurry. So I guess my most used boot parameter is: "2"

    The time required to setup knoppix is the time required to make sure the PC will boot from the CD. I'd like to see another distro beat that setup time. :)
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @01:50PM (#17542524) Homepage Journal

    Of course it will, think about how much they'll learn when they spend 3 days trying to get a game to work

    If you want to play a game on your WORKSTATION 3 running Gentoo OS, you push a button, and it becomes a PLAYSTATION 3 ready for inserting a game disc.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun