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Is a PS3 with a flavor of linux installed a capable machine?

Is it a viable option for a desktop for watching movies, coding browsing the web? Can it handle multitasking well?

I am assuming that since it can play all those high quality games, plain computing would not be a problem.

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Be careful: some news just broke that will prevent the PS3 from being used as a computer on Thursday. This update will remove the "Install Other OS" feature. – Emory Bell Mar 29 '10 at 11:12
up vote 2 down vote accepted

For the basic tasks you describe it should be fine. Coding may be a push depending on what you plan to do.

However you should be aware that any PS3 Linux installation does not have full access to all of the PS3's resources as it is forced to run within a sandboxed environment. Essentially the PS3's hypervisor controls what Linux does or does not have access to.

One example is the PS3's graphics processor. Linux has very limited access to this.

You should also be aware that Linux will only have access to 256MB of RAM. With Linux fully loaded there isn't much left which may limit multi-tasking somewhat (more disk swapping).

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@Asinine better to just invest in an atom motherboard/cpu combo if you're on a tight budget :) that even comes with a gpu! – TheOne Mar 28 '10 at 12:50
@Absolute0 Agreed. Even more so with Sony's recent announcement regarding the removal of the "Other OS" feature in all future firmware updates:… – Asinine Monkey Mar 29 '10 at 7:15

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