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ShadowTech01

I'm bored so I wanna make a semi modern linux distro for a Playstation 2

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I know what you guys are thinking... why? Well I'm in quarantine, it's gonna be like that for a few more months, and I have a weird fascination for making things do cool stuff that they weren't designed to do. I have a couple Playstation 2s(both phat and slim) that I got cheap that I'm fixing up and plan to upgrade a few(new optical lens, sata hdd and maybe even ssd if it's worth it). I don't know why but I just had the thought, "wouldn't it be cool if I can use this as a lite pc where I can manage files, do some coding, surf the web, and maybe even watch a few Linus vids on Youtube?" I know that Sony officially launched a Linux kit for these consoles, but I want to make or modify something a bit more modern, efficient, have a lite yet clean GUI, and maybe even faster than what is available for it. 

 

My experience with development though is literally 0. I don't have a clue what to do but I want to make this project to further my skills. 

 

I do know a little bit about the PS2 and certain modding techniques. The way I think would be best to run the OS is through a dvd in the optical bay, that way both sizes can use this software. Of course with phat systems with hard drives, there could be a option to install it to the drive. I have a few Free MCBoot cards that would be used to launch the OS. With Free HDBoot, the phat systems can install and launch the OS without a card, however a spare card in the second slot or even in a MultiTap might not be a bad idea for extra storage. The front USB is only 1.1 so it would not be worth it for storage but it should be good enough for mice and keyboards.

 

Thoughts? Is this a lost cause, is there already something out there that already does what I want to do? Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

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32 minutes ago, ShadowTech01 said:

 

Thoughts? Is this a lost cause, is there already something out there that already does what I want to do? Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

Looks like Sony released a PS2 Linux kit. So, I guess it's doable. How you'd do that without this is, well, with a lot of googling as I don't imagine a ton of people actually doing it (on this forum at least). Either way, happy hacking.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=linux+on+ps2


Be patient.

Just because a new product has come out, it doesn't mean that your thing is suddenly performing worse than it was when you bought it.

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14 minutes ago, ShadowTech01 said:

My experience with development though is literally 0.

I strongly recommend you start with something much simpler.

15 minutes ago, ShadowTech01 said:

is there already something out there that already does what I want to do?

There is this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_for_PlayStation_2

but obviously it's very old.


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Sauron'stm Product Scores:

Spoiler

Just a list of my personal scores for some products, in no particular order, with brief comments. I just got the idea to do them so they aren't many for now :)

Don't take these as complete reviews or final truths - they are just my personal impressions on products I may or may not have used, summed up in a couple of sentences and a rough score. All scores take into account the unit's price and time of release, heavily so, therefore don't expect absolute performance to be reflected here.

 

-Lenovo Thinkpad X220 - [8/10]

Spoiler

A durable and reliable machine that is relatively lightweight, has all the hardware it needs to never feel sluggish and has a great IPS matte screen. Downsides are mostly due to its age, most notably the screen resolution of 1366x768 and usb 2.0 ports.

 

-Apple Macbook (2015) - [Garbage -/10]

Spoiler

From my perspective, this product has no redeeming factors given its price and the competition. It is underpowered, overpriced, impractical due to its single port and is made redundant even by Apple's own iPad pro line.

 

-OnePlus X - [7/10]

Spoiler

A good phone for the price. It does everything I (and most people) need without being sluggish and has no particularly bad flaws. The lack of recent software updates and relatively barebones feature kit (most notably the lack of 5GHz wifi, biometric sensors and backlight for the capacitive buttons) prevent it from being exceptional.

 

-Microsoft Surface Book 2 - [Garbage - -/10]

Spoiler

Overpriced and rushed, offers nothing notable compared to the competition, doesn't come with an adequate charger despite the premium price. Worse than the Macbook for not even offering the small plus sides of having macOS. Buy a Razer Blade if you want high performance in a (relatively) light package.

 

-Intel Core i7 2600/k - [9/10]

Spoiler

Quite possibly Intel's best product launch ever. It had all the bleeding edge features of the time, it came with a very significant performance improvement over its predecessor and it had a soldered heatspreader, allowing for efficient cooling and great overclocking. Even the "locked" version could be overclocked through the multiplier within (quite reasonable) limits.

 

-Apple iPad Pro - [5/10]

Spoiler

A pretty good product, sunk by its price (plus the extra cost of the physical keyboard and the pencil). Buy it if you don't mind the Apple tax and are looking for a very light office machine with an excellent digitizer. Particularly good for rich students. Bad for cheap tinkerers like myself.

 

 

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17 hours ago, ShadowTech01 said:

I know what you guys are thinking... why? Well I'm in quarantine, it's gonna be like that for a few more months, and I have a weird fascination for making things do cool stuff that they weren't designed to do. I have a couple Playstation 2s(both phat and slim) that I got cheap that I'm fixing up and plan to upgrade a few(new optical lens, sata hdd and maybe even ssd if it's worth it). I don't know why but I just had the thought, "wouldn't it be cool if I can use this as a lite pc where I can manage files, do some coding, surf the web, and maybe even watch a few Linus vids on Youtube?" I know that Sony officially launched a Linux kit for these consoles, but I want to make or modify something a bit more modern, efficient, have a lite yet clean GUI, and maybe even faster than what is available for it. 

 

My experience with development though is literally 0. I don't have a clue what to do but I want to make this project to further my skills. 

 

I do know a little bit about the PS2 and certain modding techniques. The way I think would be best to run the OS is through a dvd in the optical bay, that way both sizes can use this software. Of course with phat systems with hard drives, there could be a option to install it to the drive. I have a few Free MCBoot cards that would be used to launch the OS. With Free HDBoot, the phat systems can install and launch the OS without a card, however a spare card in the second slot or even in a MultiTap might not be a bad idea for extra storage. The front USB is only 1.1 so it would not be worth it for storage but it should be good enough for mice and keyboards.

 

Thoughts? Is this a lost cause, is there already something out there that already does what I want to do? Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

Seems like you're lucky, Debian 8.11 still had support for a CPU that has a ISA quite similar to the one on the PS2, so it shouldn't be that to port it over.

 

If I were you, I'd start by going through LFS and learning how a linux distro works before trying to port it to an older architecture.


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You'd better put a raspberry or another pico motherboard inside the playstation, rather than to design an OS that works with playstation hardware. 

It's a 20 year old console so you will get better computing performance out of a Raspberry Pi 4, the only issue being netflix-like streaming services and authored dvds that require additional software to play

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