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Linux on PS3 part 3: The Final Countdown


So if you got a chance to give the live CD a try, you might be thinking of commitment. The live CD is painfully slow, so installing Linux on the hard drive should give you a much snappier experience more in line with a Windows PC.

Step 1. Back up your data
Back up the data on your PS3 to an external device like a flash drive. You'll be wiping the hard drive in order to install Linux. Delete all those HD movie trailers and game demos first to minimize the size of the backup file. When finished, go to Settings > System Settings > Backup Utility and choose to Back Up your data. That's it. Before you proceed, go back to Settings > System Settings > Backup Utility and go through the motions of restoring the data you just backed up (to make sure it's not corrupt) without actually going through with the final confirmation.

Step 2. Create a Linux partition
This is easier than it sounds. Go to Settings > System Settings > Format Utility > Format Hard Disk and hit X, then confirm again. Choose "Custom" as your partition type, and then choose "Allot 10GB to the Other OS." This should be enough for Linux. At the next prompt, choose "Quick Format" and then confirm. You backed up, right?

Step 3. See yesterday's blog, and repeat steps 1-4.

Step 4. Install with the wizard
Once you're back in Linux, you'll see a desktop icon that allows you to install Linux from the live CD. This process uses a wizard. Step 4 of 7 will walk you through partitioning the hard drive. Don't worry, you're not really partitioning the entire hard drive, just the space you created in Step 2. So choose the partition option "Guided - use entire disk" and pick the radio button for the option that has a 10.7GB size. Finish up the wizard, and Linux will start installing.

The unattended install took somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour for me.

Well, we're pretty much done. A few last notes:
1. Don't forget how to boot back into the XMB: type "boot-game-os" (without quotes) at the start-up prompt. To boot back into Linux, go to Settings > System Settings > Default System and change your default system from PS3 to Other OS.

2. Once you've figured out the right display settings for you, you'll still have to type them in every time you start Linux. UNLESS you are willing to go into the terminal. This is the typey part of Linux which is the reason people didn't switch to Linux in the first place. But it's not that bad, and can be mostly avoided.

From the top menu bar, select Applications > Accessories > Terminal. Type "sudo gedit /etc/kboot.conf" (without quotes) at the prompt, and enter your password. This opens the boot configuration file in a text editor. In the section of the text file that starts with "linux=" (on mine it's the fourth line), find the string that starts with "video=ps3fb:mode:". Using the table at the bottom of yesterday's article, change the number after "mode:" to match your setup. In my case, the number for a 720p LCD connected with HDMI and booting in fullscreen is 131. So my config file says "video=ps3fb:mode:131".

One last tweak: in the same line, find the word "splash" and delete it. This will avoid a possible bug where the PS3 doesn't power off after you've exited Linux. Then save the file, and exit.

So there you have it. Feel free to PM me either with questions, or with awesome new applications or uses you discover. Don't forget about the Ubuntu documentation. Happy Linuxing!
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About MaxVestone of us since 9:23 PM on 06.03.2007

It's only a model...

Uncommon, some wear on the edges.

First game: TI Invaders (Space Invaders knock-off) for the TI-99 "home computer". Either that or the Pac-Man built into the glass-top tables at Mr. Gatti's Pizza.
First console: NES
First world-altering game secret: JUSTIN BAILEY
First Arcade: Aladdin's Palace
First "mature" game: Leisure Suit Larry
First PC: 386SX 16 mHz w/40 MB HDD, Win 3.0, & 640x480 VGA baby!
First FPS: Wolfenstein 3D
First game mastered: Street Fighter II Turbo - Hyper Fighting (SNES)
First LAN deathmatch: Duke Nukem 3D
Great Game Reawakening: Living in an apartment with all sixth generation consoles and 3 gaming rigs.

New Systems: Wii, DS.
Somehow now owns: PS3
Randomly owns: SEGA Nomad, Game Gear, Genesis II, Sega CD
Cannot afford but is thinking about intercepting return RROD coffin: Xbox 360.
Currently playing: Rock Band, Zack & Wiki, Unreal Tournament III