Working on the Ubuntu PS3 Port

I am relatively new to the Ubuntu PS3 Port team. I joined about a month before Hardy was released when I was told by Gouki that there really wasn’t any development happening on it because it was a community maintained port just like the PowerPC port now is too. I just felt I had to do something - Ubuntu on the PlayStation3 is just too compelling for me to sit back and watch it bit-rot!

One of the first things that needed doing was to update the bootloader (otheros.bld) as the old Gutsy one wasn’t able to boot Hardy’s kernel. Once this was achieved (thanks to some great mentoring by a very busy Colin Watson and others) I was able to upgrade to Hardy and start fire-fighting.

Unfortunately we weren’t able to fix things in time for Hardy’s first release. X was crashing and trying to choose the wrong video driver (both now fixed), and the Kernel (still) has a memory allocation problem (fix on the way). There are various other problems waiting to be resolved, and a few suggested features too, but we’ll get to them all in good time.

Although initially the plan was to try and have an installable/usable Hardy by 8.04.1 in July, I think focus will probably be on Intrepid from now on. Getting fixes back into critical components such as the kernel and X for Hardy in time would be tough as this is considered an “unmaintained port” in Hardy.

So far working on this project has been a great experience for me. I am gaining a very broad knowledge of all aspects of how Ubuntu works, and also how Linux works on the PS3. I highly recommend any folks who are using Ubuntu on PS3 and have Debian/Ubuntu dev experience please jump on the development mailing list and look out for ways to contribute.

A status update has just been posted to the dev list today. I’ve tried to outline as best as I can the current state of the project.

Thanks to everyone upstream, downstream (ubuntu-ps3-dev, ubuntu-x, kernel-team), and in the community who has helped out so far!