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Sony Kills Off Linux Support in New PS3 Update

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 12 comments
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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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  • 3 Hide
    ronaldwishart , 29 March 2010 22:26
    Well that sucks!!!!
  • 0 Hide
    tainted_peak , 29 March 2010 22:30
    Security concerns because it's not the standard OS or because Linux is too secure?
  • 0 Hide
    jamie_macdonald , 29 March 2010 22:38
    Linux, too secure?? rofl ...As with any "house" it's only as secure as it's "owner" ...security issue's are due to neglect of a user not because the host "OS" does not support security,

    Security scandals are for "numpties" ;) 
  • Display all 12 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    bv90andy , 29 March 2010 22:43
    Thank god I chose to buy a second xbox instead of switching to PS3, b/c that was the only thing that attracted me. Now Hackers will have one more reason to hack the PS3 to get their code into it... lets see where this goes.
  • 3 Hide
    jamie_macdonald , 29 March 2010 22:48
    I dont own consoles, but i have many freinds with them, in fairness the PS3 does perform a little better, Xbox Has more users ... thats about the only difference, they are still both "old hat" compared with a decent PC as allways.

    And as for "one mroe reason to hack", do hackers need excuses? i thought it was a case of hack practice for most ... and the odd rare idiot thinks "i'll get famous if i hack this" ...seems about the case to me... it's a non issue for non PS3 owners. But for PS3 owners its a bit "rude" to remove a feature that sold them the device to say the least.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , 29 March 2010 23:03
    I'm assuming this is another silly April fools. I'm not sure about the legalities of blocking off a feature that was used to sell the product..shouldnt you be entitled to a refund?
  • 1 Hide
    kelewan , 29 March 2010 23:19
    jldevoyI'm assuming this is another silly April fools. I'm not sure about the legalities of blocking off a feature that was used to sell the product..shouldnt you be entitled to a refund?


    No, you can choose not to update the firmware. It's the same as the "Sue Microsoft because my banned 360 HDD can't install games anymore"
  • 0 Hide
    jamie_macdonald , 29 March 2010 23:20
    Yeah it's a possibility i completely neglected jldevoy hehe!

    If not an April fool i would hope your correct, but often somewhere in the small terms and conditions there will be something stating sony can remove and add features as they please i fear. Is usually the case with these legalmumbojumbo companies like sony.
  • 0 Hide
    jamesedgeuk2000 , 29 March 2010 23:56
    jldevoyI'm assuming this is another silly April fools. I'm not sure about the legalities of blocking off a feature that was used to sell the product..shouldnt you be entitled to a refund?


    In the United Kingdom the answer is yes because the Sale of Goods act of Consumer Law states an item must be fit for the purpose it was sold. If you update or not you are still losing features on which the system was marketed so provided your console is less than 3 years old (the warranty on all electrical goods is a minimum or 3 years regardless of what warranty the store gave you, this is one of your statutory rights)you will be legally entitled to a refund. Wither the retailer will give you one without being taken to court is another matter
  • 0 Hide
    TheAngryKip , 30 March 2010 01:05
    Firstly I don't think this is an April fool. If it is, it's still only March so this would be classed as a misleading lie rather than an April fool. For those who don't know... April fools are only suposed to be done before midday on the 1st of April.

    And if this is a true story, then my respect for Sony has just dropped.
  • 0 Hide
    Willakan , 30 March 2010 01:27
    This is a true story - Sony disabled Linux because the first PS3 hacker, George Hotz, has now reached a level where he can bypass Sony's copy protection and deencrypt game assets. This was deemed unacceptable, so, as an act of damage control, Sony is disabling Linux to nip PS3 piracy in the bud, as Linux was the platform that most people would use to access the hacked hypervisor.
  • 0 Hide
    bv90andy , 31 March 2010 15:35
    jamie_macdonaldAnd as for "one mroe reason to hack", do hackers need excuses?

    Yep, if you watch the "xbox 360 security" on google video you'll see that they say the PS3 has not been hacked because they were able to do anything they wanted on the PS3 so there was no need to hack it, and that's why the 360 got hacked and the ps3 didn't.