PS3 update locking out Linux April 1

Next firmware update for console will disable "Other OS" feature due to "security concerns"; owners who opt out will lose PSN access.

When the PlayStation 3 debuted in 2006, Sony played up the fact that alternate operating systems could be installed on the console. However, when the PS3 Slim was released last year, it lacked the "Other OS" feature, causing some grumbling from the Linux community. That grumbling turned to outrage today, when Sony Computer Entertainment announced the April 1 v3.21 PS3 firmware update will disable the Other OS option altogether.

Pre-Slimline PS3s had the ability to run Linux and other operating systems.

On the PlayStation Blog, SCEA director of corporate communications and social media Patrick Seybold said the move was due to "security concerns." Though no specific concerns were named, the move comes almost exactly two months after American hacker George Hotz, who famously unlocked the iPhone, announced he had hacked the PS3's operating system. In a BBC interview, the software wunderkind said the effort took five weeks and would allow hacked systems to play pirated games. Sony's PSP has suffered from similar exploits, leading to widespread piracy on the portable.

Seybold emphasized that the v3.21 firmware update is optional for current PS3 owners with Linux on their systems. However, consoles that do not have the update will no longer be able to log onto the PlayStation Network, play games online, use online features of games, play newer Blu-ray discs, or play copyright-protected videos from media servers.

The "Other OS" feature allowed technically savvy gamers to legitimately install the open-source Linux OS on the device, turning it into an alternate home computer. The US government also took advantage of the feature, with the Air Force ordering 2,200 of the powerful consoles to use as a linked supercomputer. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber Crimes Center is using a similar system to to crack encrypted child pornography.

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587 comments
watchawant
watchawant

@SolidTy Good prediction man. It came true!

SuperYeti22
SuperYeti22

WTF Sony? You f***ed the air force, and just because of that one loser in his mom's basement did that, doesn't mean that everyone will. Besides, people would just hack their PS3 OS, undo the update, and install linux

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

@jdarmf we all consumers and want to see products worth their price. i just simply wish there was a better way to go about it on both ends because consumers and companies are being screwed (...with consumers taking most of the abuse)

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

@jdarmf if we dont watch out piracy can impact gaming the same way as music. most people who pirate a game is not going to buy the actual game, heck some even have the balls to sell their stolen products or MOD systems. LoL. and i heard when you explain that's your opinion in your mind or how it is in your mind, but like your later say the world is cool, so piracy isn't a positive impact for any company thus the reason they will fight it. like i said before i understand where your coming from, and i actually agree with piracy to a certain extent, but bottomline i personally dont approve of it. i respect $ony, M$, Music, etc... as companies, and i respect them for trying to protect THEIR products from being stolen. think about it why would a producer put so much energy into making products when people ends up stealing it. that's why really GOOD music is hard to come by, artist put to much energy into other things or ways to profit instead of making good music

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

@jdarmf LoL... i actually do understand where your coming from and i have a few friends who have your frame of thinking. the biggest flaw in your way of thinking is how much faith you put in people's morality. not everyone is like you, and that's why piracy have a negative effect on business period. infact people who pirate like you are the minority, majority of piracy is to cut corners and save money whether it's a good product or not. i'm glad you brought up music because it's because of piracy that's causing most artist to struggle cause nobody buy CD's as much as they use to because they can download music for free. think about it... if an average person was given an option to buy a CD or download it for free... the majority would go the free route, and not think twice about buying the actually CD even if it's worth it. because of that artist whether they good or not have to do more than just produce albums and music just to survive. the music industry wasn't prepared for piracy and responsed to late, and now heavily impacted for it. i do however respect how the artists handle the situation. instead of making a really big deal out of it like there producers and stuff, they raise above it and made things happen despite it all.

jdarmf
jdarmf

@KaizerJinn Oh and about the consequences, yea i know these things happen, infact i hope my choices will lead to the termination of greedy developers/publishers who think of themselves first rather than the gamers who will play their games. Unfortunately this thinking will lead to some negative effects on individuals which i don’t want but in life stuff happens. In capitalism and in life some must fail for others to succeed. This alone i feel sucks but it is the cold truth and someday i might be a part of it. I do what i do because it has a calculated purpose. I own over 30 xbox 360 titles, about 6 titles for ps3 (sorry ps3), and around 50 titles for the PC, and numerous xbox and gamecube titles. Unfortunately early on i learned that many companies don’t deserve the money that i have. So i educate myself on the product and choose whether or not to buy, and i am wrong for doing this? Yes on a legality level, but i think no on a morality level (something that gets ignored to much in todays society). Oh and like i said earlier some fail, but buy not buying crappy games im giving them knowledge, and it’s their choice on wether or not they want to use and learn from it. People and publishers have the ability to learn from their mistakes I am just trying to guide them in what they do. I know this logic may not make sense to you, but luckily we are all not the same, Im just trying to explain where im coming from.

jdarmf
jdarmf

@KaizerJinn Oh and about the consequences, yea i know these things happen, infact i hope my choices will lead to the termination of greedy developers/publishers who think of themselves first rather than the gamers who will play their games. Unfortunately this thinking will lead to some negative effects on individuals which i don’t want but in life stuff happens. In capitalism and in life some must fail for others to succeed. This alone i feel sucks but it is the cold truth and someday i might be a part of it. I do what i do because it has a calculated purpose. I own over 30 xbox 360 titles, about 6 titles for ps3 (sorry ps3), and around 50 titles for the PC, and numerous xbox and gamecube titles. Unfortunately early on i learned that many companies don’t deserve the money that i have. So i educate myself on the product and choose whether or not to buy, and i am wrong for doing this? Yes on a legality level, but i think no on a morality level (something that gets ignored to much in todays society). Oh and like i said earlier some fail, but buy not buying crappy games im giving them knowledge, and it’s their choice on wether or not they want to use and learn from it. People and publishers have the ability to learn from their mistakes I am just trying to guide them in what they do. I know this logic may not make sense to you, but luckily we are all not the same, Im just trying to explain where im coming from.

jdarmf
jdarmf

@KaizerJinn I understand that yes the main premise for wich pirating is done is wrong. However just like any legal situation , legality does not imply morality, so if your implying that i am wrong on a legality level then yes i am simply wrong. However life does not work in these extremes. Many artists especially if they are independent have chosen to allow their music, games, and other media to be available for free. This is how things should be in my mind. The artists that do this are confident enough in them selves that people will donate if they like their form of art. However there are way to many companies/publishers tring to destroy this idea, and their games by making them money driven. When i pirate games i do so to figure out if they have actually put heart and sole into their product. If i subjectively deem a game worthy of buying, I will buy it. If its crap i will stop playing it and those publishers wont recieve my money no harm done (unless the publisher wanted to screw me over). I hate to say it but if you buy used games your no better than a person who pirates. I say this because no royalties are actually going to the publisher, which are the entities who are getting ripped off by pirates. All your doing is supporting Gamestop, or Game Crazy. So if its so wrong why have people who deserve my money gotten it? Only the consumer has the power, and that power is knowledge, unfortunatley many publishers would rather me not have this knowledge.

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

@jdarmf LoL... sounds like your justifing pirating which is a crime... when someone does something wrong there will most likely be a consequence which not only they feel, but also others... it's happen countless of times throughout history. whether it's right or wrong for others to suffer can be debateable, however the ones committing these wrongly acts are BOTTOMLINE wrong... no debate on that, all they really doing is giving the government, companies, and etc... they power and justification to surpress everyone else...

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

@s_h_a_d_o LoL... i see where your coming from, and i actually agree, but i still stand by what i said... they are not forcing you to 'update', but they are putting some people between a rock and a hard place, however they are a company with an investment, and i guess they feel the ends justify the means as the saying goes, but the courts will have the final say in all this.

DFen
DFen

well lets see I play online more on the ps3 than my xbox360 plus I got the pc connected to my tv so the whole linux thing is pointless to me, however for ppl who use it and coming handy for they shouldnt really get rid of it its actually a cool feature....

KikkawaTakumi
KikkawaTakumi

''However, consoles that do not have the update will no longer be able to log onto the PlayStation Network, play games online, use online features of games, play newer Blu-ray discs, or play copyright-protected videos from media servers.'' So what version of the PS3 won't have this as an optional download?

acidrain1976
acidrain1976

Rotten news, indeed. Sounds like Sony is "making new friends" as usual, LOL.

yearof3000
yearof3000

didn't the developers of RAGE wanted to use the Linux OS on the PS3!!!

yearof3000
yearof3000

TevoxZi@ only the 20 GB, 60 GB, and the, and some (CECHExx) 80 GB models can play PS2 games

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

@MagicOneUp I thought PlayStation 1 -games count in Backwards Compatibility? Only the PlayStation 2 games won't work with PlayStation 3s.

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

each and ever firmware upgrade or should we say downgrade will make the ps3 less and less, first hardware BC, software BC, no BC at all and now no linux support. and even the hardware itself is getting less and less with each revision. whatever sony has promised at launch is not what the ps3 as of now. So the next time sony demoed the next ps at E3 is not particular the product you might be playing 2 years down the line... wake up

mischiefmeerkat
mischiefmeerkat

You people also need to stop praising sony and other companies for imposing these nazi DRM methods. Piracy isn't the sole reason they do things like this. it's to make a buck. If they can force you to re-buy games or movies rather than let you play ones you already own. they will do it, no hesitation. Watch them start selling "custom" OS's now that they locked them out

mischiefmeerkat
mischiefmeerkat

@ DiabloNeonX - for gods sakes don't give them anymore ideas =p I can totally see that happening too. In their mad race for every penny of profit they can earn i can see them forcing you to buy digital movies, and digital PS1 games maybe even disabling the HDD and charging for digital game-saves. No act is too low for a greedy company like them

DiabloNeonX
DiabloNeonX

Same old Sony. First they take away PS2 backwards compatibility (functionality advertised at launch), now they take away installing Linux (again, functionality advertised at launch). Correct me if I'm wrong, but when you upgrade hardware, aren't you supposed to be adding functionality and not taking away functionality? What's next? Disabling DVD playback so you're forced to buy all your movies on Blu-Ray or download them through the PSN store? Taking away PS1 backwards compatibility so you're forced to buy the PS1 classics from the PSN store?

thebeav3
thebeav3

@ jdarmf, I see what youre saying but case and point PSP

erix43
erix43

RE: sorry spelling.. I personally don't give sh*t what they release. I LOVE MY PS3 and games. I also believe in keeping the economy going by helping and PAYING FOR WHAT I GET. I DON'T STEAL, THEREFORE I AM!! AM NOT A LOSER. I PAY LIKE A HARD WORKING AMERICAN. You wanna pirate? Go play on your PC. This is console. SHUT UP LOSERS. PS3 is a GREAT CONSOLE. SO GO PLAY SOMEWHERE ELSE LOSERS/PIRATERS.

erix43
erix43

I personally don't give sh*t what they release. I LOVE MY PS3 and games. I am also belive in keeping the economy going by helping and PAYING FOR WHAT I GET. I DON'T STEAL, THEREFORE I AM!! AM NOT A LOSER. I PAY LIKE A HARD WORKING AMERICAN. You wanna pirate? Go play on your PC. This is console. SHUT UP LOSERS. PS3 is a GREAT CONSOLE. SO GO PLAY SOMEWHERE ELSE LOSERS/PIRATERS.

jdarmf
jdarmf

I also cant wait till finds Sony finds out that it can still be hacked and will release a patch to remove all gaming functionality from its system (JK) , but seriously they are taking functionality away from already capable machines because they are afraid of pirating, well looks like we all have been robbed of our ability to use that function. Good job Sony have fun sailing the high seas and stealing functionality from your consumers. OH Wait it was a choice, my bad, my bad.

Mugen76
Mugen76

@jdarmf Hackers are ALWAYS one step ahead of the curve. No matter how much you secure your system, somebody will be determined to hack it. Those guys are very well-organized and know exactly what they're doing. It also helps if something gets a lot of exposure on its tech like the PS3 did.

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

Well I can''t say it's a feature that I really had a chance to sit down, install and try (I have fiddled w/ Ubuntu on my laptop a few times)--however, I gotta say I do have mixed feelings about rushing to update. I suppose it's b/c it was always nice to know you had the option there; yet unfortunately it was something I'm not surprised was gonna happen. I knew the moment someone opened they mouth about 'hacking' something the PS3, that would've been the first thing to go (meaning the 'Other OS' option). Thankfully, I can say that at least I won't hurt too badly whenever I do decide to update (or get dicked into doing it, whichever comes first), as that was not one of my defining reason for getting a PS3. Though my heart does go out to those that do use it and will definitely miss having. It's a shame Sony had to go this route; but at the same time I can somewhat understand why.

jdarmf
jdarmf

Techinacally this cant even be blamed on a hacker, Sony should have spent more time securing their system instead of making empty promises when it comes to what their hardware can do. This makes me want to modify my PS3 to accept pirated games just to get back at sony . I see the problems with pirating, but i think that just like anything, if its worth buying then people will buy it. I know that acouple publishers can thank my purchases of legitamite games to the pirated copies i tried first. Also when it comes to pirating at least in my point of view, is that if im pirating it means i probably wouldnt go spend the money on that game in the first place, so im really not hurting the market share im just curious. Many publishers publish garbage, and they should not be rewarded for doing so. I know that people work for money, but is that the only reason people make games? I have poured so much money into this industry sometimes wasting money, and i hate to say it reviews can only go so far because for many they are subjective opinions about games. Pirating is good for gamers yet they fail to realize it. Its the check and balance system for the gaming industry. It makes publishers offer more insentives when it comes to buying the purchase through legitamate means, and also should make them strive to make an overall better product. As before i asked if game creators only make games for cash, if they do your going to purchase a really crapy uninspired game.

rancidoil
rancidoil

PS3- It does everything.........except linux and a bunch of other things that will soon be removed due to F***ing hackers & pirates! I want ALL of my damn features Sony! Pirates are going to get what they want any way. Dont punish all of us for the faults of others. PS3 doesn't to it all any more, so why dont you change your motto! Thumbs up for Sony's Bullsh*t!!!

Waranabatokwa
Waranabatokwa

@thebeav3 i agree man.. and this is coming from someone who used to be a pirate software user (just look at my ps2 collection) but ever since having a job, i am now buying original softwares.. i can now put myself into the shoe of legitimate buyers and i can now feel the bad effects of piracy..

elwyn99
elwyn99

People would probably be more upset if all of them realized this update is essentially the same as having someone break into your home and threaten you into letting them throw away a computer that you have laying around in your living room.. They're just breaking into your house and holding your family and friends (PSN) hostage until you agree to throw that cell processor based linux PC with an endless supply of free open-source applications... out into the trash! (even though physically it's going to continue to take up space in your living room...) Yep, there's definitely a reason to be a little ticked off.. and if companies can do this to their companies now, then the future seems pretty damn bleak.

thebeav3
thebeav3

@ s_h_a_d_o, Don't blame sony, blame the guy who unlocked it so that piracy could occur on the system. Sony is protecting itself and consumers who pay for their games.

s_h_a_d_o
s_h_a_d_o

@KaizerJinn However, I am being forced to choose between one functionality or the other, when I initially paid for a device with the ability to do both.

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

@s_h_a_d_o LoL... when you put it that way, i guess it is a problem from a legal standpoint... to bad they not technically forcing you to update*shrugs* i personally dont like the move they made, but i understand it and i concur because i hate piracy(to a certain extent) even more...(not to say that people who use the feature took advantage, but having the feature did make it easier...). $ony is a company and have to protect their investments... and i can respect that(...to a certain extent)

s_h_a_d_o
s_h_a_d_o

@parrot_of_adun

[QUOTE="parrot_of_adun"]Enormous debate? Care to elaborate?[/QUOTE]

Sure. have you perchance visited the forums at the Playstation Network?

[QUOTE="parrot_of_adun"]And out of curiosity, why would anyone here actually need this feature?[/QUOTE]

Your guess is as good as mine. However, my comment was made because there may be gamers like myself, for whom the facility to install and run an "OtherOS" was a contributing factor towards the purchase of this particular system, and for whom the protection of consumer rights, the preservation of legal principles, and the potential repercussions of unrestricted corporate actions such as this, are of major concern.

elwyn99
elwyn99

You can still get new games while avoiding any direct monetary support to Sony by using game trade sites.. such as www.swaptree.com where it basically just costs a couple of dollars shipping.. Maybe Sony will be sorry for being a !

elwyn99
elwyn99

They’re stealing parts of our own home entertainment systems within our own living rooms! And this IS stealing as compensation is not being provided. Seriously, anyone who wants to get your message across. It’s quite easy at: www.bbb.org and also, although not quite as fast to fill out: www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov Check Sec. 238_4 Swi.tch after sale. No take-backs. Don’t give up guys!

toffy666
toffy666

the next update from sony will lock ps3 games and we will not be able to play games untill we travel to japan and get a card that u ll have to update every 2 hours..................................blah blah blah i think sony is going down???????

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

Some say you can still update your games, without FW upgrading.

devildothack
devildothack

I was thinking of purchasing the PS3 because of this special feature compared to the 360 (you can still do it but its a longer process to install it on 360). I'll sit tight until someone releases a special firmware adding this feature back. @parrot_of_adun Pretty much is for everybody that doesn't want to buy a second computer. Just install linux on the PS3 and use it like a regular computer. Granted, sony disable access to the graphic chip so linux games can't use all of the ps3 features..for everything else, it works fine.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

i would have liked to instal windows 98 but now i cant thanks sony

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@s_h_a_d_o Enormous debate? Care to elaborate? And out of curiosity, why would anyone here actually need this feature?

KWHCoaster
KWHCoaster

Meh. You want a Linux box, build a Linux box.

arivaltobeknown
arivaltobeknown

George Hotz should be blaimed for this after he announced that he had hacked into the system through the OS but hey I dont blame him he had sony on their toes. Well sony is still on their toes and they know it cause George Hotz is a force to reckon with

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

I thought it was a matter of course that Sony doesn't give a flying rats #% about the tiny number of people who use Linux on PS3. They only allowed for it as an F-U to Microsoft.

s_h_a_d_o
s_h_a_d_o

@kusanagi_san ToS/EULA agreements can be found invalid if a company is deemed to have broken federal law - there is currently enormous debate about whether or not $ony may have in fact done just that, by pulling a "bait-and-switch" on their customers.

snake3rules
snake3rules

[quote]Wait! So you mean that if I would have bought a PS3 I could have been using linux on it and doing..... Oh, that's right, there's nothing to do on linux. Linux is a pain on computers. What's the point of putting it on a console? [/quote] since stupidity reigns supreme in these comments, allow me to help you: The linux division can be used for any number of things, the most extreme of which is to backup or copy your blurays and convert them into many other formats watchable on tv, computers, etc... and with 100 percent quality and no loss... In other words, it has TREMENDOUS unique value for many people who don't have blury drives for their pcs, or many other things. I personally ahve taken 1000's of high res captures and screens from my favorite movies, and have them as a slideshow in my BG ... now I cant do that without investing in a linux pc, a bluray drive, external capturing software or something else... so that a quick, high price they have cost me, and for a BS reason of gaming piracy ( that all techies seem to be acknowleddging.couldnt possibly fix the problem and can constantly be rewritten around ... in other words, BS.... Im honestluy not sure if I should update or just get a new cheap slim ... all said and done, it could be more expensive to find an alternative. P.S. @ sntncd -- I feel your pain but you forget that soon new blurays and offline games will not work if you dont update ... even if passively, soon almost all new blurays and games will require the presence of the newer firmware, and we will be screwed ... but I feel your pain, trust me.

sntncd
sntncd

awful decision, many companies use this feature. Actually, I only bought the PS3 for it (and GOW3). I will not update my console. Whatever, if I want to play online, I'll use the xbox360 XD

XanderZane
XanderZane

Don't care about Linux. The problem we were hearing was that the patch was causing some of the PS3 games not to run. Besides removing Linux OS from the PS3, what else does this update do anyways? I probably won't load it onto my PS3 for at least another month or so.

kusanagi_san
kusanagi_san

PlayStation 3 End User License Agreement states what follows: " 7. TERMINATION If SCE determines that you have violated the terms of this Agreement, SCE may take all actions to protect its interests, including denial of any services such as warranty services and repair services provided for your PS3™ system and termination of your access to PlayStation®Network, implementation of upgrades or devices intended to discontinue unauthorized use, or reliance on any other remedial efforts as reasonably necessary to prevent the use of a modified PS3™ system, or any pirated material or equipment..." This sums it up guys, and most of us who updated their system to FW 3.15 have already accepted this, since this version of EULA has last been modified on December 10th, 2009, but I have no clue if it existed on earlier versions. Full EULA here: www.scei.co.jp/ps3-eula/ps3_eula_en.html I know it's not nice to see such a nice feature being dropped this (forced)way, since it's one that justified the buy for many of us, but I think both Sony and hackers are to blame: Sony for not delivering a legitimate way to host homebrew developers, and hackers for giving Sony the justification needed to proceed to Other OS feature removal. If Sony felt this would be the best way to prevent any further messing with PS3 security,it's because they have to preserve their interests and those of their partners and they had enough of playing that cat and mouse game they are involved in with the PSP.