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.