I've got a PS3 sitting around that i don't use much because I

a. don't have time for games b. don't have time for movies (bluray, dvd, and otherwise)

So I'm considering loading some flavor of linux onto it. Besides the gee-whiz-but-does-it-run-linux factor, can anyone suggest any practical uses for doing so?

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    You don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, you can still play games and watch movies on a PS3 with Linux on it. – James McMahon Jul 20 '09 at 20:01

About the same as having a pretty crappy computer running linux. Good for getting a hang of the operating system, basically.

If Linux on PS3 would have access to all of the cell processor it might be interesting as a development machine for harnessing the cell processors power. As it is, I can't see a good reason to run Linux on it.

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    Sad but completely true. It is too slow be useful at even basic tasks like web surfing or even light media center stuff. – James McMahon Jul 20 '09 at 20:03
  • This is very true. Linux is blocked from having full access to the cell processor, so Linux is pretty pointless to run on your PS3. p.s. I did run the Yellow Dog Linux back when I got my PS3 and it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. – superuser Jul 7 '12 at 15:50

You can help with biomedical research via PS3GRID.net by installing Yellow Dog Linux and BOINC.

Folding@home is another biomedical application that simulates protein folding for use in research. It does not require Linux and is likely already installed on your PS3. See the link for more information.

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    You can actually participate in folding@home without needing to install Linux on your PS3. It is available as software for the PS3 os. – James McMahon Jul 20 '09 at 20:04
  • @nemo: Thanks for the reminder. I've added a link to the info in my answer. Note, though, that the OP asked about Linux. – Paused until further notice. Jul 20 '09 at 20:09

Here is student research project with clustering PS3


And look on wikipedia article about Linux on PS3


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