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Sony Kills Off Linux Support in New PS3 Update

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 107 comments

So long Linux.

Sony has announced that the upcoming PS3 3.21 firmware update will disable the "Install Other OS" feature. Available on models released before the availability of the PS3 Slim, the feature is useful for people who wish to run Linux on their console and organizations who use clusters of PS3s as supercomputing networks. However, Sony today announced that after April 1, users running Linux would no longer be able to access their data. The company is citing security concerns as the reason the feature must be axed.

If you're desperate to hang onto your Linux install, Sony's head of PR Charlotte Panther, says you can choose not to upgrade to 3.21 when it becomes available this Thursday but details that certain features will no longer be available to you:

  • Ability to sign in to PlayStation Network and use network features that require signing in to PlayStation Network, such as online features of PS3 games and chat.
  • Playback of PS3 software titles or Blu-ray Disc videos that require PS3 system software version 3.21 or later.
  • Playback of copyright-protected videos that are stored on a media server (when DTCP-IP is enabled under Settings).
  • Use of new features and improvements that are available on PS3 system software 3.21 or later.

Those of you who do plan on updating are advised to back up any data stored within the partition used by Linux; you won't be able to access it after you update.

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Top Comments
  • 34 Hide
    -Alessandro- , March 29, 2010 1:41 PM
    ...and this is how you step backwards !
  • 32 Hide
    EvilMonk , March 29, 2010 1:43 PM
    I see it like that.
    Always removing features since the original PS3.

    First PS3 at E3 -> Quote from Wikipedia "The initial prototype shown in May 2005 featured two HDMI ports, three Ethernet ports and six USB ports"

    Released product -> "when the system was shown again a year later at E3 2006, these were reduced to one HDMI port, one Ethernet port and four USB ports"

    80Gb version, software PS2 backward compatibility.

    40Gb PS3, no PS2 backward compatibility and only 2 USB ports.

    PS3 Slim, no Other OS support.

    Wow sony, stop removing stuff of your PS3, I paid my PS3 Fat with the linux support on it, I shouldn't have features removed from my PS3 once I paid for them.
  • 29 Hide
    babybeluga , March 29, 2010 1:33 PM
    Epic picture.
Other Comments
    Display all 107 comments.
  • 29 Hide
    babybeluga , March 29, 2010 1:33 PM
    Epic picture.
  • 27 Hide
    Anonymous , March 29, 2010 1:40 PM
    This mostly hurts the individual enthusiast. Research groups that use the PS3 as a mini super computer probably don't depend on it's ability to play new games or interface with PSN.
  • 34 Hide
    -Alessandro- , March 29, 2010 1:41 PM
    ...and this is how you step backwards !
  • 22 Hide
    pcxt21 , March 29, 2010 1:41 PM
    Well s@#$t Linux and Battlefield 1943(Online) were the 2 reason I even have a ps3. I have to choose? This is Sony BS through and through, someone probably found out how to mod the console via Linux..
  • 12 Hide
    dbowlin17 , March 29, 2010 1:42 PM
    sony, go die in a hole. linux is king.
  • 13 Hide
    Regulas , March 29, 2010 1:43 PM
    ZZZzzz, I had one of the first PS3 models and installed the one flavor of Linux that was designed for it. It was OK but nothing to right home about. I will stick with my Linux running my laptop and leave the PS3 to do what it does best, play games and watch blue ray movies.
  • 32 Hide
    EvilMonk , March 29, 2010 1:43 PM
    I see it like that.
    Always removing features since the original PS3.

    First PS3 at E3 -> Quote from Wikipedia "The initial prototype shown in May 2005 featured two HDMI ports, three Ethernet ports and six USB ports"

    Released product -> "when the system was shown again a year later at E3 2006, these were reduced to one HDMI port, one Ethernet port and four USB ports"

    80Gb version, software PS2 backward compatibility.

    40Gb PS3, no PS2 backward compatibility and only 2 USB ports.

    PS3 Slim, no Other OS support.

    Wow sony, stop removing stuff of your PS3, I paid my PS3 Fat with the linux support on it, I shouldn't have features removed from my PS3 once I paid for them.
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , March 29, 2010 1:46 PM
    After April 1st?
  • 20 Hide
    troger5troger5 , March 29, 2010 1:50 PM
    Everyone bought this thing for different things. My reason was Blu-ray movie playback. So is something like below going to happen sometime? Very bad business to sell something and remove those selling point features. People should be able to return the product. It would be like buying a car because it has a 5.0 litre engine, then the company recalls the engine and give you a 2.0. Not the same product.
  • 7 Hide
    invlem , March 29, 2010 1:51 PM
    The only reason I see for this change is to prevent hacking (such as a possible back door into the system).

    Why else restrict a feature thats been part of the system for last 1.5 years?

    That or they're too lazy to maintain 2 OS variants, one with the linux feature for the Fats, and one without on the slims.
  • 4 Hide
    troger5troger5 , March 29, 2010 1:51 PM
    sorry, site messed up on me, whats next blu-ray playback removed....
  • 5 Hide
    pharge , March 29, 2010 1:58 PM
    "However, Sony today announced that after April 1, users running Linux would no longer be able to access their data."

    ugh..... tell me that is just an April fool's joke..please!!!!

    Though I have yet to install a Linux OS on my PS3 80G, it is still sad to hear the news...
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , March 29, 2010 2:00 PM
    I will have to a agree, some of us paid top dollar for features that were advertised on the box. If they take away the features i paid for, can i have a refund, since my PS3 will no longer work as advertised.


    Sigh... I fear I'll wake up and see a "All PS2 backwards compatibility have been removed for security reasons" Which would remove the primary reason i bought a PS3 early (Secondary was Linux...and eventually games i wanted to play were released). Class action lawsuit time.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , March 29, 2010 2:03 PM
    average lifespan of a console is 5 years why would sony make a bonehead move like this? Disgruntling the homebrew crowd is a sure fire way to get your stuff hacked
  • 1 Hide
    lukeeu , March 29, 2010 2:05 PM
    I hope it's a April 1st joke. Sony almost made a perfect PowerPC nettop for the masses, had ready made OS for it with OpenOffice, Firefox, Opera, KDE, printer drivers and stuff. All that was missing was more RAM and a second PowerPC core and PS3 would be a real alternative for your PC.. it plays blueray, crysis and is 3D ready after all... and now they are scrapping it instead of making $$ of it.
  • 4 Hide
    Milleman , March 29, 2010 2:07 PM
    There will probably be a hacked version of the BIOS available somewhere soon. Linux-people are tough breed and won't let this be an obstacle.
  • 17 Hide
    Hilarion , March 29, 2010 2:07 PM
    Doesn't bother me as I don't own one but it's wonderful to see a company removing usability from a product that they have already sold to people who expected that usability when they purchased their product.

    Oh, I'm sorry.... That's right... People don't "OWN" the product they have purchased. It belongs to (insert the company here) and not the person to whom they sold the product..

    This is a very bad trend.
  • 17 Hide
    mitch074 , March 29, 2010 2:10 PM
    Until now, hackers were not too interested in cracking the PS3; it did run Linux.

    Now that it doesn't, I becha on April 10th there will be a crack available. And in July, a crack that allows booting the 'regular' firmware or a complete Linux stack.
  • 19 Hide
    SlyMaelstrom , March 29, 2010 2:18 PM
    In an effort to further reduce intrusions and threats, Sony will be releasing firmware 3.33 which will disable the use of the Playstation Network as well as Blu-Ray playback for both games and videos. All content downloaded on your PS3 will also be erased to reduce the risk of further infection from data infected in previous versions of the firmware. Next year, it is expected that Sony will release the long awaited 4.0 firmware which will activate a five second self destruct sequence on your PS3. This, shortly followed by the release of the Playstation 4.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , March 29, 2010 2:23 PM
    Does the next update remove support for PSX/PS2 games?
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