Fail0verflow hack Linux onto PS4, working to run SteamOS


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soniqstylz

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2016-playstation-4-hack-confirmed-watch-the-linux-demo

 

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UPDATE 4/1/16 12:22pm: Fail0verflow's thoughts on its PS4 hack, why it ported Linux and how it found the required exploits on Sony's hardware are posted here. This is interesting:

  • Linux on the PS4 actually makes a lot of sense, more than it ever did on any previous game console. It's close enough to a PC that getting 3D acceleration working, while rather painful (as we've learned), seems entirely possible without undue amounts of effort (in a timeframe of months, not years), to the level needed for real indie games and even AAA titles, not just homebrew. And many thousands of indie and AAA games already run on Linux. Yes, SteamOS on the PS4 should "just work" once the driver issues are sorted out.

Original story: Noted hackers fail0verflow - whose previous credits include PlayStation 3, Wii and Wii U hacks - have demonstrated a complete, low-level hack for PlayStation 4. The team hasn't just circumvented the system's security and booted unsigned code - a customised, work-in-progress version of Linux designed explicitly for PS4 is in development and is showcased in the video below.

A few morsels about the hardware make-up of the PlayStation 4 are also revealed - firstly that although the Sony hardware is based on PC technology, there are a lot of differences, necessitating over 7000 modifications (and counting) to the Linux kernel. The team notes that neither AMD or Sony seem to have given the console's APU a codename (fail0verflow have gone with Liverpool), but the machine's southbridge - responsible for communications with external peripherals - is known as Aeolia. Designed by Marvell, the southbridge varies significantly from PC architecture, leading the team to speculate that the developers were experimenting with their own version of the PCI protocol.

In putting together its Linux port - which is now publicly available though of little use to end-users - the team has made good progress in adapting the OS for the custom hardware, but notes that 3D acceleration and HDMI audio are still work-in-progress. On top of that, it seems that despite the actual hardware using a SATA interface, the PS4 itself appears to communicate with the hard drive via USB - a curious state of affairs. The Blu-ray drive does use the SATA AHCI standard, but is currently untested in the Linux build.

 

 

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DeusProto

Great news. It's always nice to see hardware liberated and placed back into the control of the end user. 

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Torolol

well, Sony brought this 'problem' upon themselves when they decided to use Linux for PS2, and now every iterations since PS2 are hounded by linux. ;D

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torrentthief

old news, this was posted on their blog on new years eve.

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HawkMan

This is also absolutely meaningless. 

 

With the PS3 it kinda made sense, for a certain very niche market of scientists who needed the particular data crunching a cluster of those where capable of. for everyone else, it was pretty pointless on that one to. For the PS4. you're getting a fairly expensive low performing PC who can't run any games because it doesn't run the OS that can run games, and if they can get steamOS there, it'll still only run a handful of games, and the ones it will run, will suffer from SteamOS' exceptional lack of performance compared to windows. So that puts you back to using it as a SteamOS streaming box... yeah it's far cheaper to just buy one of those...

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GotBored
On 1/4/2016 at 5:42 AM, HawkMan said:

This is also absolutely meaningless. 

 

With the PS3 it kinda made sense, for a certain very niche market of scientists who needed the particular data crunching a cluster of those where capable of. for everyone else, it was pretty pointless on that one to. For the PS4. you're getting a fairly expensive low performing PC who can't run any games because it doesn't run the OS that can run games, and if they can get steamOS there, it'll still only run a handful of games, and the ones it will run, will suffer from SteamOS' exceptional lack of performance compared to windows. So that puts you back to using it as a SteamOS streaming box... yeah it's far cheaper to just buy one of those...

How is it far cheaper to buy a SteamOS box rather than using a PS4 you already own?

 

I personally dont see the ability of being able to additionally play Steam/PC/linux games on the PS4 as being useless or being able to use the PS4 as a linux PC as useless.

 

For me personally I have my PC connected to my tv and just switch source input to change from PS4, PC and TV. If my PS4 can do the job of my PC I might as well disconnect the PC and utilize my PS4 for everything.

 

I could remove a lot of clutter and I haven't updated my PC in over two years so the PS4 has better specs than it and I could then check my emails, browse the internet with firefox, download torrents, edit and save my gopro videos, create excel, word, etc files and do work related tasks, play older PC games like Red Alert 2, Supreme Commander, Counter-Strike and etc and also play new PC games at maybe low-medium graphic settings.

 

This is great news and very useful, its going to have a lot of bugs to begin with I'm guessing so it may be a while before I utilize it but once the bugs are cleared I won't need my PC anymore.

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HawkMan
9 hours ago, GotBored said:

How is it far cheaper to buy a SteamOS box rather than using a PS4 you already own?

 

I personally dont see the ability of being able to additionally play Steam/PC/linux games on the PS4 as being useless or being able to use the PS4 as a linux PC as useless.

 

For me personally I have my PC connected to my tv and just switch source input to change from PS4, PC and TV. If my PS4 can do the job of my PC I might as well disconnect the PC and utilize my PS4 for everything.

 

I could remove a lot of clutter and I haven't updated my PC in over two years so the PS4 has better specs than it and I could then check my emails, browse the internet with firefox, download torrents, edit and save my gopro videos, create excel, word, etc files and do work related tasks, play older PC games like Red Alert 2, Supreme Commander, Counter-Strike and etc and also play new PC games at maybe low-medium graphic settings.

 

This is great news and very useful, its going to have a lot of bugs to begin with I'm guessing so it may be a while before I utilize it but once the bugs are cleared I won't need my PC anymore.

First off the PS4 won't in this ode be powerful enough to really run any games, so that point is pretty much moot right off the bat. secondly you will most likely end up with a PS4 that will ONLY run linux and not play PS4 games. 

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compl3x
On 1/4/2016 at 5:42 AM, HawkMan said:

This is also absolutely meaningless. 

 

With the PS3 it kinda made sense, for a certain very niche market of scientists who needed the particular data crunching a cluster of those where capable of. for everyone else, it was pretty pointless on that one to. For the PS4. you're getting a fairly expensive low performing PC who can't run any games because it doesn't run the OS that can run games, and if they can get steamOS there, it'll still only run a handful of games, and the ones it will run, will suffer from SteamOS' exceptional lack of performance compared to windows. So that puts you back to using it as a SteamOS streaming box... yeah it's far cheaper to just buy one of those...

 

I imagine this is just for hacker cred? "We did it first" sort of stuff. 

 

I think it is cool people are capable of doing this stuff but in reality it seems that hacking a console only benefits pirates. The whole "oh but it is about home-brew" is ###### and utilised by a very, very small group. It's especially ###### when you can create low powered, low cost systems for a fraction of a PS4 you'd hack. You can make emulators and media servers and all that ###### without buying and hacking a PS4.

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+Audioboxer

Useful homebrew for most is what is happening in the 3DS scene just now.

 

This while cool, is utterly useless for most.

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n_K
On 04/01/2016 at 5:50 PM, Torolol said:

well, Sony brought this 'problem' upon themselves when they decided to use Linux for PS2, and now every iterations since PS2 are hounded by linux. ;D

The PS2 doesn't use linux, the PS2 allows you to boot a specially compiled linux as did the PS3 before the option was removed.

Unless you're talking about development hardware in which case yes the PS2 development systems run red hat linux, not sure what the development PS3 or PS4 systems run.

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HawkMan
57 minutes ago, compl3x said:

 

I imagine this is just for hacker cred? "We did it first" sort of stuff. 

 

I think it is cool people are capable of doing this stuff but in reality it seems that hacking a console only benefits pirates. The whole "oh but it is about home-brew" is ###### and utilised by a very, very small group. It's especially ###### when you can create low powered, low cost systems for a fraction of a PS4 you'd hack. You can make emulators and media servers and all that ###### without buying and hacking a PS4.

yes, that's my point, sure the the people who did it, it's cool. mostly for themselves. but practically, it's useless.  witht he PS3 it actually had merit. 

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GotBored
12 hours ago, HawkMan said:

First off the PS4 won't in this ode be powerful enough to really run any games, so that point is pretty much moot right off the bat. secondly you will most likely end up with a PS4 that will ONLY run linux and not play PS4 games. 

I'm not sure why you think it is not powerful enough to run any games, the PS4 specs are better than my current desktop computer and I can run any game. Sure I can't run the newest games at the highest graphics settings but I can run them at low-medium settings. Also in regards to the comment about not being able to play PS4 games if you install linux my assumption was that it would be dual boot like the PS3 (PS GameOS and Linux) which would allow you to boot into normal OS to play PS4 games or boot into Linux to use the system as a desktop PC.

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xendrome
On 1/4/2016 at 0:44 PM, DeusProto said:

Great news. It's always nice to see hardware liberated and placed back into the control of the end user. 

If you buy a PS4 or XBox One etc, you shouldn't expect it to be "liberated" you can do this easily with a standard PC format system. While this used to be fun back in the day, seems like a waste of time trying to find a way to do something you can already do with 100x less work/problems. It's like searching for a problem to fix, instead of the other way around.

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HawkMan
28 minutes ago, GotBored said:

I'm not sure why you think it is not powerful enough to run any games, the PS4 specs are better than my current desktop computer and I can run any game. Sure I can't run the newest games at the highest graphics settings but I can run them at low-medium settings. Also in regards to the comment about not being able to play PS4 games if you install linux my assumption was that it would be dual boot like the PS3 (PS GameOS and Linux) which would allow you to boot into normal OS to play PS4 games or boot into Linux to use the system as a desktop PC.

because SteamOS/steam on linux is also a steaming pile of dung right in regards to performance. and severely underperforms compared to windows on the same hardware.  So it won't perform even close to your current "slower" PC. 

 

right now there's little information about how this would work. But even if they manage to release a fully working version with HW acceleration(which they didn't even have  yet), Sony doesn't want this, and detecting this "hack" would be a trivial matter for them, meaning that the second this thing is out in the wild two things will happen. the PS4 will require a FW update to play new games, possibly some older ones as well, and the firmware update will detect this "hack" and either disable the linux stuff or make the PS4 unusable for PS4 games until it's fully reset or, forever. Secondly they will close the exploit allowing this, as this exploit would also allow many other and much worse things as far as gamers are concerned, and that's not something Sony is willing to risk. 

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GotBored
11 hours ago, HawkMan said:

because SteamOS/steam on linux is also a steaming pile of dung right in regards to performance. and severely underperforms compared to windows on the same hardware.  So it won't perform even close to your current "slower" PC. 

 

right now there's little information about how this would work. But even if they manage to release a fully working version with HW acceleration(which they didn't even have  yet), Sony doesn't want this, and detecting this "hack" would be a trivial matter for them, meaning that the second this thing is out in the wild two things will happen. the PS4 will require a FW update to play new games, possibly some older ones as well, and the firmware update will detect this "hack" and either disable the linux stuff or make the PS4 unusable for PS4 games until it's fully reset or, forever. Secondly they will close the exploit allowing this, as this exploit would also allow many other and much worse things as far as gamers are concerned, and that's not something Sony is willing to risk. 

SteamOS is a version of linux and Steam is just a digital distribution platform so not sure how it has any effect on system performance or how it underperforms in regards to games compared to windows on the same hardware. I've run linux distributions and games on my current system (In between windows 7 and 10, as I didn't like windows 8 so wanted to try other OS's before reverting back to Win 7 before Win 10 was released) and didn't have any issues.

 

Sony won't like the the hack/exploit because I'm guessing many people will utilize it to play pirated PS4 games, I think the PS3 also had a firmware update to block linux installs but all that did was make the people who wanted to use linux on PS3 downgrade firmware version and be forced into only being able to play pirated games. In a lot of cases people used the PS3 hack/exploit to play pirated games so it did not really affect them and kind of gave them justification to pirate.

Sony could take the same pathway with the PS4 but then people will do the same, not upgrade the firmware and pirate all games.

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