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openSUSE 10.3 on PS3 and Other PowerPC Hardware

October 6th, 2007 by

The spicy power team concentrated for openSUSE 10.3 on supporting the Sony Playstation PS3, the major changes are:

  • openSUSE 10.3 is fully installable with YaST on the Sony Playstation PS3
  • a kexec-based bootloader called petitboot is used for PS3
  • There is a development pattern for Cell development on PS3 to easily install the needed packages

More details on installing openSUSE 10.3 on PS3 can be found at http://en.opensuse.org/PS3.

Besides the PS3, 10.3 also runs on the previously supported Apple Power Mac, IBM POWER, and Pegasos PPC hardware for details see http://en.opensuse.org/POWER@SUSE.

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66 Responses to “openSUSE 10.3 on PS3 and Other PowerPC Hardware”

  1. Anonymous

    does 10.3 have support for the PS3 WiFi and bluetooth pemote etc ??

  2. Anonymous

    sax is not working on my ps3. I can’t use any screen size other than 1080i and my screen has a resolution of 720p. The result is that I can’t even read the error message (the font is to small) if I try to start sax. Changing (after init 3) the resolution with ps3-video-mode to 720p with overscan crashes the ps3 if I start sax.

    • sassmann@suse.de

      it’s currently not possible to switch resolution on ps3 with sax. Try to add “video=ps3fb:mode:35″ to your kernel commandline (/etc/kboot.conf) or whatever video mode suits you

      • Anonymous

        Thanks. I will try that.
        An other thing is that sound is not working. I use a HDMI to DVI-D connection for video (with DHCP) and analog output for sound.
        I think that’s the reason. Can I change the sound output from digital to analog? I can’t use the digital output (optical or HDMI) because my monitor has no digital input.

        • Stefan Assmann

          By using HDMI->DVI converter you lose sound, as DVI doesn’t support it. I’m not sure if there’s anything you could do about it, if you dig up anything share your knowledge with us :)

        • Anonymous

          OK, but I can change the sound output to analog if I would know how to do this. I can do this in game os.
          BTW. 720p is working with the video mode. I use mode 168. The only remaining problem is that the first and last line (but not the left or right lines) are cut off. If I use mode 40 I’ve large black bars on all sides of the screen.

  3. Dimble


    I hope to see future opensuse releases further improve the PS3 linux scene.

  4. xsence

    I can’t install this dvd on my ps3, it says it can’t find the ps3 stuff under ppc64 bit.

    • Stefan Assmann

      please follow the instructions in the link above that should resolve your problem, otherwise please try to be more specific on this issue

  5. Kele

    Someone can share kboot.conf for HDMI monitor 720p?

    • Stefan Assmann

      openSuSE=”/dev/ps3da1:/boot/vmlinux initrd=/dev/ps3da1:/boot/initrd quiet panic=42 sysrq=1 video=ps3fb:mode:35″

  6. Anonymous

    Is UDF 2.5 mounting allowed in included kernel?

    • Stefan Assmann

      it’s not in the mainline kernel yet and as far as I know not in openSUSE kernel

  7. Michael

    hi there, i’m having a few problems with installing OpenSUSE 10.3

    i can get the other OS to boot fine but once the ps3 goes into a dos mode, a light blue colour screen appears giving me 4 options (resolution,edit,gomeos and exit) i press exit as i dont have a screen problem and edit and gomeos dont do anything, then an eroor message sorta appears telling me it cant access tty and typing 1,2 or help doesnt seem to do any good. i have the cd and usb inserted throughout the installation up to this point, is there something i’ve missing becuase i’m a little confused as to why its not working for me.
    hope you can help, thanks

    • Stefan Assmann

      the blue screen you see is petitboot, the bootloader. That’s pretty normal so far. Please check the petitboot link at the top of this page, there are some screenshots which show how things should look like. Normally at the petitboot screen on the left a DVD icon will appear giving you installation options, as this seems not to be the case, please verify that you use the powerpc version of openSUSE. Try the following

      – insert openSUSE 10.3 ppc DVD
      – boot SonyOS
      – flash otheros from DVD
      – start otheros

      thinks should work out ;-)

  8. Sarj

    After I Select “Install Other OS” on the PS3 and reboot, my monitor says that it can’t display the video mode. I have it hooked up via a HDMI to DVI cable, which works fine on the PS3 showing 720p and 480p. The monitor is a 22″ Dell who’s resident resolution is 1680×1050. If it helps, the PS3 (in game mode) can’t seem to autodetect 720p – it defaults to 480p.

    I have installed YDL 5.0.2 on this system already – and I have not formatted the drive since doing so. Maybe that is part of my problem?

    • Stefan Assmann

      no worries, the problem here is that the resolution auto detection thinks your screen support 1080i/1080p which isn’t the case and you are left with a blank screen. What you can do about it?

      – start otheros and wait some seconds for petitboot to load
      – press ‘c’ (to switch resolution)
      – press ‘1’ (This should change the resolution to 720p)

      but wait not done yet…
      you need to edit the ‘install’ kernel commandline and add “video=ps3fb:mode:35″ to get 720p for the installation aswell

      • Sarj

        I’ve tried pressing c and/or 1, and I still don’t see anything. I’m going to try and hook it up to a regular tv to see if that helps.

        To edit the ‘install’ kernel commandline – do I have to mount the iso, edit the file and re-burn the iso?

        • Stefan Assmann

          you won’t have to do that, it’s possible to edit the kernel commandline on the fly within petitboot

  9. I installed the distro correctly,

    no problem during install.

    But the audio doesen’t work.

    I use the digital output connected to an amplifier.

    I see that the modules are loaded ps3_snd also loaded, alsa is started

    But no sound and the mixer desen’t see any audio device.

    • Stefan Assmann

      what does alsmixer say? Can you play audio files with any player? (file plays but no sound?) or does it refuse to play.

  10. michael

    ahhh, still i little problem there tho, i hv the latest firmware if that makes a difference but by the by, my problem is there is nothing on the blue screen to select, it can’t find the dvd, any ideas?

    • michael

      sorry ignore my last comment didn’t read yours properly, erm… as you know nothing appears on my petitscreen and i downloaded the OpenSUSE 10.3 ppc DVD version from this website whihc then downloaded from bit torrent, i burned it using nero to dvd inserted the dvd, downloaded the bootloader put it in the correct file system then inserted my usb pen drive and told my ps3 to install other os. worked fine and then changed my os to other and it restarted in otheros mode, got to petitscreen and nothing displayed. thats my step by step guide of what i did, have i missed something out?

      • michael

        just quickly sorry, i ripped the image onto a blank DVD+R, is that maybe the problem, just want to tell you everything i’ve done

        • Stefan Assmann

          okay what happens if you just insert the dvd and try to install the other os? It should detect the openSUSE dvd and ask you to install the bootloader. If that is not the case then there’s something wrong with your copy. Maybe bad media or ps3 can’t read that brand.

  11. michael

    ahh ok, well i have the latest firmware and a european console if that makes a difference, if not could you tell me where yo9u downloaded your copy from, paste the link for me please, and is DVD+R ok to record to.
    cheers for the help dude

  12. michael

    the link said i should use firefox as it might not work, ok no worries there but should the file be 47MB as i thought it should be 4.1G or something

    • Stefan Assmann

      the file should definetly be bigger than 4GB. I had no problem downloading it. You’ll manage to get it properly.
      You won’t need to download the bootloader seperatly because it’s all on the openSUSE dvd and you can install it from there aswell.

      • michael

        ok cheers i will install firefox then download it and it dhould work fine, i assmume thats what your using, give me a day to download it then i will get back to you and let you know how it went

  13. michael

    cheers dude, it worked have installed it, but screen resalution is crappy, anyway to change this and enable sound, i have a hd tv i can use but not at my house would that make a difference. thanks

    p.s. if ya got warhawk then i’ll be more than happy to go online wid ya if you wanna give me your id for ps3 online

    • Stefan Assmann

      resolution on hdtv screens is much better than on regular tvs (we have an autodetection here). Some people reported problem with sound, I’m trying to find a solution for that.

  14. Mark Penney

    Quick question, I’m planning on buying a ps3 in the near future and I’m wondering if the XMB OS of the ps3 is stored on the hard drive itself or some kind of internal memory.
    So i know to be careful while formatting so I don’t brick it.

  15. Norberto Feliberty

    I am very happy to see that opensuse has been made available for the playstation 3. I have a playstation 3 and will be trying opensuse on it. I hope I am able to use it as I have a regular SD tv.

  16. Maik Zutz

    I have installed it on my Playstation 3 (60 GB German Version) into a 10 GB otheros Partition. I have it on a normal PAL-TV and the screen is really bad (with 576 resolution). Is it possible to tune the xorg settings to have the same nice view like the GameOS?
    I made a sudo entry to have a Icon on KDE to easily go back to the GameOS (ps3-boot-game-os). Is it possible to put it into the next release?

    • Stefan Assmann

      currently it’s not possible to tune the settings sorry. All you could do is try some other video modes with ps3-video-mode. As this would be platform specific I doubt there will be a desktop icon on KDE, sorry

  17. danny

    ok i having problem i start up my system with the dvd in it and it load and then i goes to a page and install,recuse and i forgot the last one.when i click install it freeze,plzz help

  18. Stefan Assmann

    please make sure, that you’ve followed the installation and updated the firmware. Could be a bad iso as well. Compare the md5 sums of your iso and be sure you use the ppc iso. On which screen does it hang?

  19. Golos

    Hi installed opensuse on my ps3 yesterday. Installed smoothly ;) but I am having the same problem using a hdmi to dvi connector and anolog for sound, resuliting in no sound. I ve read that you are already looking for a solution for this. Thats great thank you! looking forward having sound on my ps3 opensuse ;)

  20. Brad

    I too am having sound issues i try to play an mp3 in audacious and amarok and i does not load, also i cant seem to get vlc to install either

  21. Golos

    Hi Brad, i got VLC running on the PS3. But it seems you have to compile libdvbpsi yourself. Just get the source from videolans webside http://download.videolan.org/pub/libdvbpsi/0.1.5/ compile it. i downloaded VLC from packman, ignoring the dependencie warning in yast. Works fine.

  22. Norberto Feliberty

    Hi I installed opensuse on my ps3 and everything went well. execpt that there is no sound How do I fix the sound issue. Is there somewhere to post so users can get help with issues with opensuse on the ps3? When going ot sound configuration and doing a sound test, I get this message,

    audiotestsrc wave=sine freq=512 ! audioconvert ! audioresample ! gconfaudiosink: Internal GStreamer error: state change failed. Please file a bug at http://bugzilla.gnome.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=GStreamer.

    What does this mean and how can I fix it? Thanks.

  23. hoffi

    Whats up with sound problems at PS3??It doesnt work!Linux without sound is like a car without tires!!I think the power-suse team should look to ubuntu 7.10.this works fine!!With sound. :)

  24. Stefan Assmann

    Concerning the reported problems with sound, please read this.

    I can confirm that sound works with openSUSE 10.3 over analog output. For all those having problems please check that your user account is in group “audio”. To check this please run yast, go to “Security and Users” and select “User Managment”. If the account isn’t in group “audio” you can change it there. A simple test to see if sound is working would be play an audio file as root.

  25. hoffi

    OK, but my openSUSE 10.3 sound output is set to spidf/ HDMI.Is that working or analog output only??

  26. Vincent Guerrero

    hey…has anybody figured out how to have the sound go through the hdmi…i have a 50″ visio….and hdmi…but no sound with the ps3…it isn’t every good to stream movies from my computer if there is no sound..>.>.and i dont really like analog..

    • hoffi

      OK, thats it!My sound comes through the SPDIF and HDMI.Nice!But the DVD-play didn´t work.I think its the DVDCSS2 libary.

  27. afri

    Hey, I burned ppc openSUSE 10.3 on a DVD with a /PS3/otheros/otheros.bld file in the directory structure. I then formatted the sony os (10 for sony, the rest for suse). I rebooted to opensuse and got the petitboot screen, but it’s blank. Am I the only one that has this problem? I noticed Stefan had this problem, Stefan did you do anything else to fix this problem? THANKS!

    • Stefan Assmann

      did you flash your ps3 with the otheros.bld provided on the disc? please take a look at the instructions and report back with exactly what you did.

  28. Alexander

    Hi, I downloaded the PPC-ISO of OpenSUSE 10.3 and burned it onto a DVD. After that, I installed the otheros bootloader from the DVD which went fine (I already have two partitions on my HD). Now, when I reboot into “Other OS”, the screen goes dark, and then after a few seconds petitboot appears (blue screeen with c, e, del, and ESC options at the bottom). But I can’t see anything else there except those options O.o
    I tried every resolution (my TV is a 52″ Full-HD Philips), but all I got to see were those options at the bottom. E does not work, neither does del (I had to hold the power button at the start in order to boot into GameOS, because the del-options does not work).
    What now? Regards, Alex

    • Stefan Assmann

      Are you running an up-to-date firmware? Try to remove and reinsert the DVD and see if anything happens. By pressing ESC petitboot should exit and leave you with a prompt. Does that work? Is your keyboard connected properly? Try another one maybe…

  29. gromble

    I just installed suse on my PS3. I can not make wireless internet working and I can not make ps3 dvd-rom working. Is there clue for thse two problems?


    • Stefan Assmann

      you’re right about wireless, this isn’t implemented properly yet. At the moment ethernet and wireless are the same device. This confuses the installer, so wireless has been disabled for now. When things are cleaned up and gone mainline there’s a fair chance the driver will be backported. What’s wrong with the dvdrom?

      • Too bad wireless isn’t implemented yet :(. Maybe you could take a peek at how Yellow Dog solves the problem (though they don’t use YAST of course ;)). As for the DVD rom drive, I think what gromble meant was the fact that it doesn’t mount (or at least it doesn’t show up in /media or /mnt and naturally also not in the system menu (desktop –> system)).

  30. Anonymous

    Are there any plans to support the accelerated (2D) xorg driver from the ps2forum? (Works only if the playstation is NOT upgraded with a newer firmware then 2.01. 2.1 doesn’t work!)

  31. Norberto

    Has anyone tried opensuse 11.0 Alpha3 for PPC? I tried alpha 2 and it does not work it won’t boot for me. I think the otheros.bld file needs to be updated but I am not sure if this is indded the case. Where to go to post problems for ppc port of opensuse? Thanks.

  32. winningham2

    I was wondering if there has been any progress on getting the wireless network adapter working on the PS3 using openSUSE 10.3?

    I found some articles on google suggesting that Sony has donated code to correct both the resolution issue and wireless issue. However, I have not seen any evidence of that on the forums.

    I was looking to give openSUSE on the PS3 another go after a shaky start last August.

    Thanks so much for all the dev work guys.

  33. Kaos

    How to come back to the game os ?