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Sony PS3 hack brings Linux back

Sony-bating hacker GeoHot reckons he can restore the ability to run Linux on Sony's flagship console, despite the fact that the company has removed the functionality.

A recent firmware upgrade to version 3.21 killed the 'Install Other OS' option in fat versions of the console's operating system, angering academics and hackers alike.

The firmware upgrade also caused a large number of users to report a wide range of problems ranging from totally bricked consoles, to problems with controllers, slow or intermittent internet connections and infinite install loops.

Many of the complaints were dismissed by people who did not encounter difficulties with their own consoles (lucky them), but if hundreds of people reported problems on the Sony forums, it's a pretty safe bet that thousands of people who wouldn't know a forum from a farmyard will be staring at the the dead shiny thing sat next to the TV wondering what the hell happened.

According to GeoHot (AKA George Hotz - the chap also credited with hacking the iPhone) anyone who didn't take the plunge and update to 3.21 will soon be able to do so without losing the ability to install third-party operating systems.

Hotz says he will soon release a modified firmware update in the form of a PUP file which, when installed, will have all the attributes of the latest release but will still allow the installation of Linux.

The hack will, of course, invalidate your warranty if you still have one. And if you have already installed the official 3.21 firmware upgrade you're out of luck because the hack will only work on consoles running version 3.15 or earlier.

There's also no guarantee that the finagled firmware update won't kill your console when it comes to playing games or using the Playstation Network, as GeoHot makes it quite clear he has no interest in doing either.

The video below clearly shows the console running what appears to be firmware 3.21 and the Linux bootloader but not much else.

Hotz also says that there's a possibility that his custom firmware 3.2100 hack will actually install the Other OS ability on the newer slim PS3, which never had it from the get go.