Installing Ubuntu on PS3

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Note: Linux support on PS3 (that does not use OtherOS) is experimental. Whilst there is very little chance of damaging your console the current implementation of Linux may be unstable or include bugs.

After following this tutorial you will:

  • Have Ubuntu installed on your PS3.
  • Have performed a few optimizations to to improve performance.
  • Installed the LXDE Desktop Environment to improve performance.

Prerequisites

  • A PS3 (Fat or Slim) with kmeaw's 3.55 CFW installed (other firmware versions may work but have not been tested).
  • 10GB of free space on either internal or external drive.
  • A wired internet connection (wireless support will come soon).
  • A HDTV or PC Monitor (SDTV support will come soon).
  • A USB mouse & Keyboard.
  • A basic understanding of installing homebrew & FTP'ing files.
  • AsbestOS Installer 1.5.
  • lv2patcher v9.
  • Ubuntu Image Files: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. (Join with HJSplit or extract directly with 7-Zip Split & Concat for Mac)

Initial Setup

  • Either extract the Ubuntu image files to the root of an external drive or FTP them to the root of the PS3 internal drive (dev_hdd0) (Yes, the files should extract to around 10GB. This is a virtual disc image so you will not have to do any partitioning).
  • Install the lv2patcher v9 & AsbestOS Installer packages.
  • Run AsbestOS Installer. (If you get any error messages, delete AsbestOS Installer, re-install & try again).
  • Once complete press X to return to the XMB.
  • Run lv2patcher.
  • You should have a Linux option. Select it.
  • Lots of text should appear on the screen. After 30 seconds you should be greeted by the Ubuntu login screen.
  • Select the user 'ps3' and type the password 'ps3'.
  • Congratulations! Ubuntu is installed and you are now logged in. You should now follow the instructions below to dramatically improve the performance.

Using PS3 VRAM as SWAP

This will allow you to use the PS3 vram as a swap partition. Some otherOS distro's had this enabled by default but you will have to manually configure it by using the instructions below.

  • Open terminal (it is the middle icon on the bar at top of the screen).
  • Type "sudo mkswap /dev/ps3vram" (without the quotes) then press enter.
  • When prompted type the password "ps3" (without the quotes) and press enter.
  • Type "sudo swapon -p1 /dev/ps3vram" (without the quotes) then press enter.

This will only work until you reboot so we must now alter the ubuntu boot files to do this automatically when it starts.

  • Open up terminal again.
  • Type "sudo gedit /etc/modules" (without the quotes) and enter the password "ps3" if needed.
  • At the end of this file add this line:
ps3vram
  • Save the file and close gedit.
  • Back at the terminal type: "sudo gedit /etc/rc.local" (without the quotes).
  • Find the line:
exit 0
  • Before it add the lines:
mkswap /dev/ps3vram
swapon -p 1 /dev/ps3vram
  • All done! Follow the instructions below to install LXDE, a lightweight desktop environment that will further improve performance,

Installing LXDE

  • Open terminal again.
  • Type "sudo apt-get install lxde" (without the quotes) then press enter.
  • Type "ps3" (without the quotes) when prompted for the password and press enter.
  • Installation will take a few minutes. If any error messages appear about programs closing just click "Close".
  • When complete the text "ps3@ps3:~$" will appear.
  • Congratulations! LXDE is now installed. See below for how to load it.

Note: If "sudo apt-get install lxde" failed, try "sudo apt-get update" and then use "sudo apt-get install lxde"

Logging into LXDE

  • Either Log Out or reboot your PS3 and get to the Ubuntu log in screen.
  • Select PS3 but before typing in the password click on the dropdown box at the bottom of the screen and select LXDE
  • You can now enter the password "ps3" and press enter.
  • Congratulations! LXDE should now load. You are now free to explore Ubuntu as you wish!. You can also check elsewhere on PSHomebrew.net for some recommended software to install.

Credits

  • fail0verflow & Kmeaw for AsbestOS & lv2patcher.
  • madshaun1984 for the Ubuntu files.
  • psubuntu.com for VRAM as swap instructions.