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iPhone Hacker: I'll Hack to Keep Linux on PS3

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 68 comments

iPhone hacker George Hotz promises PS3 users a work-around for Sony's decision to nix OtherOS support.

Yesterday Sony announced that the next PS3 firmware update, 3.21 would disable support for the PlayStation's "Other OS" feature. A lot of people don't use this feature at all, so it was no problem for most. However, those that do, value the fact that they're able to run Linux on their console.

Though Sony didn't specify why it was disabling OtherOS (aside from mentioning it was for security reasons), many speculated that it had everything to do iPhone hacker George Hotz' recent revelation that he had hacked his own PS3.

Yesterday Hotz took to his blog to apologise to PS3 users.

"First off, I want to apologize to all the people who use Linux on their PS3. Before releasing, I weighed the pros and cons, and considered the possibility of an impact on OtherOS support. My logic was this. OtherOS support had already been removed from the Slim(not for technical reasons; I believe it only existed in the first place to promote the Cell for IBM) The builders had apparently no intention of including it in future products. So for the purposes of openness why not release? Not like anything else has(or probably will be) done on the PS3."

Hotz goes on to question Sony's decision to remove OtherOS support.

"What security concerns? It's not like the exploit can be run even close to without the users knowledge. You have to open the fucking thing up. How could this harm users? Your blog post doesn't list positive reasons for upgrading like I think most users expect. Instead it lists things you will lose if you don't upgrade. Seriously?"

An hour later, Hotz blogged again and told users interested in keeping Linux support to steer clear of updating.

"A note to people interested in the exploit and retaining OtherOS support, DO NOT UPDATE. When 3.21 comes out, I will look into a safe way of updating to retain OtherOS support, perhaps something like Hellcat's Recovery Flasher. I never intended to touch CFW, but if that's how you want to play..."

Will you be waiting for Hotz' hack or will you update when 3.21 comes out on Thursday?

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 39 Hide
    dylansaliba , March 30, 2010 2:17 PM
    DON'T piss off the Linux kids!!!! EVER!!!!!!!!! Now its really gonna be hacked WIDE open. Silly Sony.
  • 26 Hide
    notty22 , March 30, 2010 2:17 PM
    Ok this smart young man will probably never work for Apple or Sony.
    But he may someday buy one of them if he can apply his genius to
    the business world.
  • 22 Hide
    Steven Bancroft , March 30, 2010 2:25 PM
    I really admire Geohot's dedication to his projects. It's quite possible that Sony is removing the the Install Other OS feature because of his hack (which from what I've heard hasn't produced any sort of piracy yet). Instead of simply walking away, he is dedicating his time and resources to keep people happy. His work with the iPhone is legendary, and now focusing on the PS3 can only bring good things to the community. He doesn't ask for a dime and has refused to sell his hacks for $10,000+ offers. This is why I love grey hat hackers. Keep up the good work Geohot!
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    notty22 , March 30, 2010 2:17 PM
    Ok this smart young man will probably never work for Apple or Sony.
    But he may someday buy one of them if he can apply his genius to
    the business world.
  • 39 Hide
    dylansaliba , March 30, 2010 2:17 PM
    DON'T piss off the Linux kids!!!! EVER!!!!!!!!! Now its really gonna be hacked WIDE open. Silly Sony.
  • 22 Hide
    Steven Bancroft , March 30, 2010 2:25 PM
    I really admire Geohot's dedication to his projects. It's quite possible that Sony is removing the the Install Other OS feature because of his hack (which from what I've heard hasn't produced any sort of piracy yet). Instead of simply walking away, he is dedicating his time and resources to keep people happy. His work with the iPhone is legendary, and now focusing on the PS3 can only bring good things to the community. He doesn't ask for a dime and has refused to sell his hacks for $10,000+ offers. This is why I love grey hat hackers. Keep up the good work Geohot!
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 30, 2010 2:47 PM
    I figured it had much to do with this. Oh well. I don't mind the update.
  • -7 Hide
    tommysch , March 30, 2010 2:55 PM
    Consoles are junk, get over it.
  • 6 Hide
    eyemaster , March 30, 2010 3:02 PM
    No choice to update since I wanna play online games.
  • 2 Hide
    Tindytim , March 30, 2010 3:12 PM
    I won't be personally. I didn't even attempt to install Linux on my Fat until I heard it would be removed, since I hadn't really had the time to tinker. But I installed it the other day, and learned a bit about using Dualshock 3 controllers with Linux over bluetooth, so while I don't have a BT dongle for my current desktop, when I get one, it's something I look forward too.

    I will wait a few weeks (considering he did the crack in 5 weeks that no one else could) and if there isn't anything fruitful I'll upgrade.
  • -1 Hide
    captaincharisma , March 30, 2010 3:14 PM
    i know a way of keeping Linux on the PS3. Don't update the firmware!!!!!
  • 8 Hide
    huron , March 30, 2010 3:19 PM
    Do you think we'll ever get to the point that people will just realize they can't control every bit/byte of data on things they manufacture/sell? It's amazing to me that this affects such a small user base and isn't really even a threat, yet it's a become a battle.
  • 3 Hide
    michaelahess , March 30, 2010 3:22 PM
    Hacking isn't the cause of this,and consoles aren't junk, they have a purpose and do it well, in the case of the PS3, awesome media player, not so much with games though.

    Even if he hadn't created the hack Sony would have done this, those that believe otherwise obviously are new to Sony's antics.

    I have Linux on two of my PS3's, just cause I can, I rarely use it, but it's fun to do so from time to time. Will I be upset about loosing support for it? No, do I think it's right? No.

    As usual Sony is doing the WRONG thing after coming up with a good piece of equipment. They are 100% consistent with this, and I don't see them changing.
  • 10 Hide
    bustapr , March 30, 2010 3:26 PM
    captaincharismai know a way of keeping Linux on the PS3. Don't update the firmware!!!!!

    Well, if you dont update, you dont get to play online, play games that require this specific firmware, no chatting, no PSN, and a bunch of other stuff. So most users will have no choice but to update.
  • 6 Hide
    sliem , March 30, 2010 3:38 PM
    This is easy decision... do you use PS3 to play game and watch BluRay or do you use PS3 for Linux?

    If you choose the former, then update.
    If you choose the latter, then wait for his patch.
    If you say both, then wait for his patch.
  • 1 Hide
    EvilMonk , March 30, 2010 3:42 PM
    I won't update my PS3 FAT, I can still play all my games on my PS3 Slim but I just wish for GeoHot to release something that can take advantage of his exploit on the PS3.
  • 12 Hide
    rockinthepe , March 30, 2010 3:52 PM
    it's unethical to pull supported features after a product has been bought, Chevy cant recall Camaros to limit top speed to 60 mph and threaten to void your warranty if you don't comply. Some people bought the ps3 because its sony, some bought it for the games, some bought it for the features. there's a very thick line between companies protecting their rights/interests and violating the rights of the consumer, this is yet another step over that VERY thick line. for $350 people don't intend to "rent" rights to a video game council they expect that they own it, that it's their property. this is exactly how con-artists operate, the only difference between them and sony is that sony isn't prosecuted. I don't own a PS3 i'm just tired of seeing consumers being taken advantage of every chance anyone gets. my 2 cents on the issue.
  • 1 Hide
    HavoCnMe , March 30, 2010 4:01 PM
    Well first Hotz needs to make a software hack, right? Now he wants to skip hacking the PS3, but make a new hack that doesn't remove Linux support? Right?
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