If you didn’t already know what Linux is, it is essentially an operating system just like Windows. There are slight differences with how things are laid out, but for the most part the two OS’s are the same. The only difference is in the price, where with Windows you have to pay hundred’s of dollars, Linux is completely free and available for download all across the web.
Linux is built for PC’s but specific versions can be installed on your PS3 to turn it into somewhat of a super computer. While you can install Ubuntu, Redhat, Kubuntu and even Fedora, the best distro to choose is Yellow Dog Linux. The reasoning being that Yellow Dog was directly commissioned by Sony to be built for the PS3.
Installing Yellow Dog Linux on your PS3 is actually fairly simple. First you will want to quickly back up all your saved files. Not that anything is likely to go wrong, but just in case. On your PS3 go to “System Settings” then select the “Format Utility” option. A popup should ask you whether you would like to go ahead and format your hard drive. Click the “Yes: option. When it asks for the partition sizes, select “Custom” and then allot 10GB to a new partition.
Go ahead and insert your Yellow Dog ISO disk into your PS3. If you haven’t downloaded it already, just search the web and burn it to disk using something like Daemon Tools. On your PS3 menu, go to “System Settings” once again then there should be an option to “Install Other OS”. Obviously this is the option we want! The system will then scan for Operating System images, and will find our disk.
You will then be guided through the whole installation process much the same if you were installing Linux or Windows on a standard PC. During this time any PS3 controllers will stop working so make sure you have a mouse plugged into the USB port otherwise we will have to start all over again!
Be sure that you have enough time to actually sit there and watch the OS install. It can take an awful long time and during the install you can’t touch your PS3 at all. Even unplugging a USB stick or External Hard drive will make the install process fail and you will have to start again.
Once the process completes you should now have a dual boot PS3. You can either boot into the standard PS3 OS to play games, or your new yellow dog installation to use your PS3 like a normal home computer.