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Which gaming system is better for running Linux? How do these systems running Linux compare to a desktop computer?

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closed as off topic by bwDraco, random Jun 15 '12 at 4:35

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The PS3 would have been ideal, and is in fact used in at least one parallel computing installation running Linux, but despite having hyped the ability to run alternative operating systems early on, Sony recently pushed out an update that killed the feature. There's some background info in the Wikipedia entry on OtherOS. It can still be done, but you need to be careful not to apply the problematic patches.

The same is true for the XBox 360: you can install Linux, but doing so involves installing custom firmware and probably voids your warranty, and Microsoft is actively patching the 360 to try to prevent this sort of modification. There is some good background in the XBox-Linux wiki.

If I was forced to choose between PS3 and XBox 360 for running Linux, I would choose the PS3, because there seems to have been more work done in this area.

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I do not believe with either you are going to get much benefit as drivers specific to the hardware do not exist to my knowledge and so really you will have a powerhouse running software not built to do much with it. Therefore, neither really compares to running linux on a computer. – Chris Sep 4 '10 at 14:50
@Chris: But the XBox 360 is just a PC with some fairly standard devices (e.g. Intel Celeron 733 MHz CPU, an nVidia GeForce 3MX) so I would think drivers are in fact be available. It might be tricky to get everything working, but there are resources out there that help (see link I posted with my answer). – boot13 Sep 4 '10 at 15:37
@boot The xbox 360 absolutely does not use an intel chip. While the old xbox used an intel pentium 3, the current xbox uses an IBM PowerPC tricore 64-bit chipset, which I'm certain would be poorly supported by any OS for desktop computers. Also, the GPU was custom made by nVidia, so I doubt it would be supported by any Linux drivers. – Rafe Kettler Sep 5 '10 at 5:11
@Rafe Kettler: I stand corrected (regarding the CPU chip). As to Linux driver support for the hardware, I can only say that people are definitely running Linux on 360s, so apparently it can be done. See as well. – boot13 Sep 5 '10 at 12:08
@boot It just seems sort of pointless, because you wouldn't really be able to take advantage of the hardware you had. – Rafe Kettler Sep 5 '10 at 16:27

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