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PS3 To Sport Linux

Okay, you hardcore computer nerds, here's another reason to pick up a PS3 this winter: Terra Soft has announced Yellow Dog Linux v5.0 for the console.

It's the company's next-gen Linux operating system, which provides an end-user experience that should greatly surpass previous installments. They've built upon the old Fedora Core 5, and they've now implemented the next generation "E17" desktop so as to provide a brand new - and unparalleled - level of function and interface aesthetic. And despite the technical mumbo-jumbo, the company insists this particular version is designed for "all users of all ages and all levels of experience."

"We have worked closely with the energetic, determined E17 team to bring this advanced graphical user interface to a state of interface euphoria. It's not about eye candy and unnecessary special effects, it's about finding balance between a lean, uncluttered desktop and a personal environment that is both familiar and powerful. E17 is simply the most incredible thing I have ever used --with any operating system," stated Cesar Delgado, System Administrator for Terra Soft.

And according to Owen Stampflee, Lead Software Engineeer for Terra Soft Solutions, ever since the olden days of the Commodore 64, "a battle has raged between dedicated game boxes and home computers for highest quality game play." In this way, by putting Linux on one of those "dedicated game boxes," the PS3 is providing an industry-first "exceptional Linux OS experience."

It was thanks to a basic agreement with SCEI that Terra Soft was granted the opportunity to bring a complete Linux OS to the PS3. During development, the company integrated and enhanced code from Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Sony Group, and Fedora, and in doing so, they can now offer the following:

  • kernel 2.6.16
  • gcc 4.1.1 and glibc 2.4
  • Cell SDK 1.1
  • OpenOffice.org 2.0.2
  • FireFox 1.5.0 and Thunderbird 1.5.0
  • Nautilus 2.14
  • A suite of Personal Accessories, Development Tools; Sound & Video, Internet, and Networking applications.

Going back to the "designed for users of all experience," the simple installer apparently enables anyone to install without complex instruction. After the install, the default suite of applications provides a straightforward, self-guided means of browsing Linux without the confusion of multiple applications. There is an Advanced Installer Mode, which allows selection from more than 1,500 packages, and this is expected from the typical complete Linux distribution.

Attending the SC2006 tradeshow from Nov. 13-16 in Tampa, Florida as a guest of IBM, Terra Soft will showcase Yellow Dog Linux v5.0, YHPC v2.0 beta, and Y-Bio v1.1. Yellow Dog Linux v5.0 for the PS3 will be made available through YDL.net Enhanced accounts, and also through Terra Soft's online store, retailers, and public mirrors the world over.

So...how much like a PC is the PS3, again?

10/18/2006 Ben Dutka

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