Hackers resurrect 'Install OtherOS' for PS3

Hackers have released custom firmwares, tools and instructions to allow PS3 owners to reinstate the ability to install Linux or other third-party operating sytems on the popular games consoles.

Sony removed the 'Install OtherOS' function from the system with a firmware update back in march 2010 after it discovered that infamous hacker George 'Gehot' Hotz had been exploiting the little used geekery to footle about in the PS3's innards.

The Japanese company ran roughshod over its customers hiding behind iron-clad end user agreements which basically said anyone who brought a PlayStation didn't own the software installed on it, and it could remove chunks of code which were widely used to sell the hardware on a whim.

The firmware update forced users to choose between the abilty to play the latest online games and installing Linux.

Since then Sony has been beseiged by hackers and online acivists keen to prove that being the biggest, richest kid in the playground doesn't give you the right to grab everyone else's toys and break them.

Things have been pretty quiet on the OtherOS front since the PS3 was cracked wide open with the discovery of the hardware's private data signing keys, but now a team of hackers from gitbrew.org has released all of the tools and resources neccessary to resurrect the missing functionality.

The hack involves some complex and arcane jiggery-pokery but experienced users will be able to reinstate Linux using a combination of custom firmware called OtherOS++ which reportedly goes beyond the abilities of the Sony-sanctioned orginal to allow full access to the PS3's hardware.

The hacking team behind the publication described the ability to reinstate Install OtherOS as "One small steps for devs, one giant kick in the nuts for Sony Corp," which amused us no end.