PlayStation 4 hacked to run Linux
Linux is everywhere these days, even in the most unexpected places. failOverflow has demonstrated that it's even possible to run Linux on Sony's popular PlayStation 4 gaming console.
David Murphy reports for PC Magazine:
The PlayStation 4 has been fairly resilient to various forms of modding, as it was only really "jailbroken" earlier this month. This process allows those with modified consoles to run, well, just about whatever they want on them, from pirated games to custom software.
Going one step further, the console hacking group fail0verflow has managed to get a PlayStation 4 to run Linux. While we're still pretty far away from normal gamers getting some kind of easy jailbreak for their devices that would allow them to run the operating system on their up-to-date PlayStation consoles, fail0verflow's work is still a big first step.
...the group exploited a WebKit bug to gain access to various parts of the console -- whose operating system, Sony Orbis, is based on a modified version of FreeBSD, which is itself similar to Linux. The attack works on the 1.76 version of the PlayStation 4, which is quite a ways back from the console's latest version, 3.11. Sony has since patched said WebKit bug, but it's thought that fail0verflow might be able to modify its technique to get it to work on more recent versions of the console.
You can see the PlayStation 4 running Linux in this video:
The PlayStation 4 hack caught the attention of Linux redditors and they shared their thoughts:
Jonesupa: ”It's still problematic. They got in, but Sony will likely patch the hole in a coming system update, and the 3D acceleration needs more hacking to make it work under Linux.”
Mozzilliac: ”Can we not appreciate the first step of actually getting this to work though? Major props to the team.”
Jonessupa: ”Sure, sure. I just hope that this first step is not the last one. I have seen many random devices that have been made to run Linux but you can't do much anything interesting on them due to missing drivers and integration. All you get to is some 1970s generic UNIX experience. :D
Now, imagine instead if they enabled 3D acceleration on the Radeon chip and made SteamOS work! That would be the ultimate prank, now would it not?”
Delinquenz: ”You need a PlayStation 4 which does not has the newest firmware, so it is already fixed. You could reuse their patched Linux kernel if you find another exploit.”
Dhdfdh: ”I find it interesting that it took them two years to break into this system, and it's based on FreeBSD. Kudos to FreeBSD.”
Bushwhacker: ”Is this just an intellectual exercise or does this hardware do something a similarly priced PC can't?”
Whitesleeve: ”Proof of concept.”
Skyfoot: ”Also, generally, consoles are (or at least used to be) sold as a loss leader, with the profit being made on games and peripherals. So, if you can get it running as a general computer, you get a lot for your money.
I think the main point is, however, the install-linux-on-ALL-THE-THINGS game.”