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PlayStation 2 Linux

Linux for PlayStation 2 (or PS2 Linux) is a kit released by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2002 that allows the PlayStation 2 console to be used as a personal computer. It included a Linux-based operating system, a USB keyboard and mouse, a VGA adapter, a PS2 network adaptor (Ethernet only), and a 40 GB hard disk drive (HDD). An 8 MB memory card is required; it must be formatted during installation, erasing all data previously saved on it, though afterwards the remaining space may be used for savegames. It is strongly recommended that a user of Linux for PlayStation 2 have some basic knowledge of Linux before installing and using it, due to the command-line interface for installation.

The Linux Kit turns the PlayStation 2 into a full-fledged computer system, but it does not allow for use of the DVD-ROM drive except to read PS1 and PS2 discs due to piracy concerns by Sony. Although the HDD included with the Linux Kit is not compatible with PlayStation 2 games, reformatting the HDD with the utility disc provided with the retail HDD enables use with PlayStation 2 games but erases PS2 Linux, though there is a driver that allows PS2 Linux to operate once copied onto the APA partition created by the utility disc. The Network Adaptor included with the kit only supports Ethernet; a driver download is available to enable modem support if the retail Network Adaptor (which includes a built-in V.90 modem) is used. The kit supports display on RGB monitors (with sync-on-green) using a VGA cable provided with the Linux Kit, or television sets with the normal cable included with the PlayStation 2 unit.

The PS2 Linux distribution is based on Kondara MNU/Linux, a Japanese distribution itself based on Red Hat Linux. PS2 Linux is similar to Red Hat Linux 6, and has most of the features one might expect in a Red Hat Linux 6 system. The stock kernel is Linux 2.2.1, but it can be upgraded to a newer version such as 2.2.21, 2.2.26 or 2.4.17.

Website: PlayStation 2 Linux
Posted on May 31st, 2014

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