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Promit
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A "normal" PS2 disk is essentially bootable media, with the PS2 OS functioning as more of a BIOS...so why can't the PS2 OS basically chainload into the Linux which is on the disk? Instead of running a game, you'd be running Linux, that's all. I don't see the problem with this sort of design.

Or are you unable to get kernel mode access?
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Yen
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there an optimized kernel avaible for the PS2? PS2-sources? :D
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ctrawick
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 9:15 am    Post subject: ps2 anyone? Reply with quote

Got an early Christmas gift. A Linux kit for ps2. Booted it up and it looks pretty sweet, if somewhat outdated.

Looks like it's based on Red Hat with kernel-2.2. Not sure what RH release it was forked from since all references to Red Hat in the docs were replaced with "PS2 Linux 1.0" or something along those lines.

Ok I'm willing to give this a shot. My first goal is to build a stage1 tarball for ps2. From there maybe I can think about a livecd, but I share kumba's lack of optimism for distributing a ps2 livecd without copying their code. At least with a stage1 I can get some decent software on here, even if it is in chroot. Maybe someone smarter than me can take it to the next level.

I poked around the site a little and haven't found much text about "porting portage" or it's buried so deep in the search results I didn't see it, so can anyone here point me in the right direction?

chris
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Kumba
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See my mirror of the "original" port attempt made back in August of 2003 here:
http://dev.gentoo.org/~kumba/mips/ps2/

It was almost complete enough for me to review and consider mergining into the tree, but then word got leaked to slashdot, and that spooked the guy working on the support off. Haven't seen him since.

If you have any questions, post here or join #gentoo-mips on irc.freenode.net. I'd also heavily reccommend you invest some time into reading the portage docs on the gentoo site, portage parts of the handbook, and maybe join the gentoo-dev mailing list to understand portage to a better extent. You'll need that knowledge to make any ps2 port successful.

Knowledge of things like eclasses (especially flag-o-matic, kernel (for mips-sources), and eutils), ebuilds, portage control files (/etc/portage/*), and most importantly, cascaded profiles will be critical for this to succeed.


--Kumba
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Redhatter
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I haven't got a PS2 myself... but from a purely theoretical point of view, this is how I see it.

Gentoo can run on the PS2, however, not out of the box. At the moment, the PS2 Linux kit is more or less mandatory.

Linux using the PS2 Linux Kit

Probably the safest and easiest way to get Linux running -- This kit comes with everything needed. Whilst, okay, it is out of date ... one could probably put on a Cobalt stage 1 tarball and build the system up from there. With 32MB RAM, it'll take a while, but it's not impossible. Just make sure there's plenty of swap space. :-)

Without the PS2 kit

Okay, this is technically possible from where I sit. Assuming one can dissect the commercially available games and figure out the code necessary to bootstrap the system, it should be possible via USB Hub and hard drive mounted in a USB cradle, to kickstart a kernel and thus produce a useable system.

However, apparently the DVD drive in the PS2 has great difficulty reading CD-{R,RW}s and DVD +/- {R,RW}s. (presumably this is an anti-piracy measure). So unless there's some exploit utilising a memory card in much the way its done on the X-Box, this may be a no-go.

Netbooting might be a possibility... but again... I don't think the PROM on these machines is capable of netbooting.

Userspace considerations

Given that these machines have limited RAM, I would advise using a more minimalist userland. Setting CFLAGS="-Os" might do it... alternatively something like µClibc as opposed to glibc might help cut the size of binaries down.

I would advise against large desktops like KDE & Gnome. Having seen KDE chug away on 48MB RAM (even on 64MB, it's barely useable), and seen a box with 16MB fail to get past the splash screen (and thrash the swap space at the same time)... I shudder to think how such a desktop would run on 32MB.

Others have pointed at the 300MHz CPU... The machine I'm running on right here is a laptop running a Pentium 2 300MHz (160MB RAM, 40GB HDD). For most of my needs (including university) it performs fine. Of course, it's starting to show its age now... but if you're patient, it gets the job done.

Note that the Pentium 2 is in reality little more than a suped up 386 (and this is still the case with the Pentium 4) with little more than about 8 or so registers, only 4 of these being general purpose. In contrast, the PS2 (as Kumba has pointed out) is powered by a Toshiba R5900 CPU (MIPS IV instruction set). This arch has AFAIK 32 registers (I'm not sure how these are layed out as yet), and is 64-bit. Also worth noting is that most RISC architectures do away with the microcode present on Intel chips -- in layman's terms, this means every instruction on a RISC CPU is a hard wired logic circuit -- as opposed to a minature script made up of RISC-like instructions (as is the case on Intel IA32).

On that basis... one might find the CPU more than sufficient for day to day tasks.
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Alogon
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure if anyone else has suggested this, but i would like to see something to allow me to net boot my ps2. Maybe a cd i can burn that is coded like a game that allows me to etherboot or pxe boot the ps2. Would be cool to have it for LTSP or a diskless open mosix node :-)
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ctrawick
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your help!

Trying to get things in place. Going to test-drive the Cobalt stage1 first just as soon as I get this thing playing nicely with the network. Running into a network driver bug that locks up the ps2's eth0 on a 100bT network (have they never heard of QA?). I hear they've got a patch available on playstation2-linux.com, which is currently not responding.

Ugh... I truly despise half-ass vendor "support".

chris
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Kumba
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't put a lot of hope on the cobalt stage working. The main reason, is the PS2 doesn't fully fall into the range of the MIPS IV ISA. Its CPU, an R5900 custom-made by Tpshiba, apparently classifies mostly as a MIPS III, with several MIPS IV instructions. How much or how little of the CPU's features are available under Sony's RTE (Run Time Environment) are unknown, but this probably means that at the bare minimum, you'd need a MIPS III stage.

Other factors include the CPU, being custom, needs its own patches to the toolchain. The current R5900-based patchsets I doubt are updated for current gcc (probably still only available for 3.3.2), and the binutils patch was a bit out of date I think (although, apparently available for the 2.14.91* line of things). This will probably be your most difficult area to support right here.

The last thing, is everyone's favourite: The Kernel. 2.2.1 is just so freaking ancient, it makes dinosaurs look young. 2.2.21-xr7 is closer, but still pretty old. I tried once to get an idea of the changes between 2.2.21-xr7 and 2.2.26, and the resulting patch was over 26MB. Likely, xRhino wrote alot of their own code rather than build off a linux-mips.org snapshot (which has alot of mips stuff generalized as much as possible). The 2.4.17 kernel floating around out there was designed more for the Broadband Navigator, not the PS2, so the fact it even works on PS2 surprised many. From a security standpoint though, that kernel is old and shouldn't be used.

It's currently unknown if there are any people working on a 2.6 port of the kernel to PS2. One of the ps2 hackers, mrbrown, hinted at this, but didn't provide any details last I checked, so whether there is an active, ongoing project to port 2.6 to PS2, is up in the air.


--Kumba
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truekaiser
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
No one's figured out a solution to the tulip driver yet. I don't know enough about the tulip driver and the kernel in general to know how to fix it. Qube's can skirt this issue because they have a spare PCI slot which can accomodate an additional NIC card that could be used instead of Tulip. I don't have a Qube however to test this theory out and build mipsel stuff off of it.


i would like to point out that sony knows about this and suposidly you can get a fixed driver from them.
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Redhatter
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

truekaiser wrote:
i would like to point out that sony knows about this and suposidly you can get a fixed driver from them.


Ummm... if you read the text you quoted carefully, you'll notice the comment was reguarding the Cobalt Qube II server appliance, not the PlayStation 2.

Incidentally, the said bug is fixed now... I happily run kernel 2.6.8.1 on my Qube II, transferring several CD images from and two the box's SCSI drives (I have an Adaptec PCI SCSI card & external drive cage attached) without any problems.
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truekaiser
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry. i gues i jumped the gun a little. i press quote before reading the whole thread. i just saw it and remembered reading some where you can get a fixed driver from sony if you asked real nicely.
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Chewi
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to this page, they've managed to get 2.2.26 working.

http://playstation2-linux.com/projects/xrhino-kernel/
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wHAcKer
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to what has been said about the optical drive of the ps2 I'd like to remind everyone that this drive tends to have a short life (at least the laser does). So if you don't have to use it, please don't since it will shorten the life of the laser considerably. I've read about LOADS of laser problems, especially when reading other things than the official sony DVDs (e.g. backup DVD movies).
I think the best way to do this is to use the memory card 'exploit'. This will allow you to 'boot' off the hard drive, which may come in handy.
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Chewi
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brother's one died but I think it was the actual drive that went and not the laser because it makes a kind of crunching sound sometimes. I tried to get a replacement but the guy selling it was screwing me around.
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garlicbread
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For info the DVD drive in the PS2 is a bit flimsy, but it tends to be the cheap / nasty DVD-R's that tend to ruin the drive (I'm aware of this because I've fixed a couple of these things in the past for friends of mine). The drive can struggle to read the disk (especially one that's been burnt badly) which has a tendency to overload the DVD laser
saying that, that was quite a while ago (when blank DVD media first came out) I've no idea as to how they respond to the new media (probably far better)

I've actually modchiped my own device (not for piracy just for hombrew development ... honest)
and I've noticed that there's 2 levels of protection for the CD/DVD drive in the PS2 to read the disk
First at a hardware level (which the modchip gets around)
and second at a software Bios / RTE level (which some other modchips get around (but not mine) by replacing the Bios with they're own modified copy)

with a normal PS2 game DVD / CD the Linux kit can mount this without any problems

for normal type of CD / DVD (not protected such as a Live CD burnt to a CDR) I've found that it is possible to mount this by using one of these http://www.ps2cover.com/
by first putting in an official PS2 Game CD / DVD via the tray as normal
wait for the drive to spin down, then swapping it over with the Data CD / DVD you want to read via the flip top lid (the bios re-checks for the protection whenever the tray is ejected / closed)

which can be useful for reading data off of CD's / DVD's onto the PS2 Linux HD (instead of going via the network)
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Chewi
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That replacement drive finally arrived but I'm away from home at the moment. I'll be able to try all this out in a couple of weeks. :D
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immolo
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering if there was any news on this? Currently I've been using the old ps2 port and updated most of the software which has worked pretty well until I borked it by updating binutils so I was thinking if we used the source files from http://playstation2-linux.com and then created some ebuilds to use in an overlay to only use those wouldn't this allow us to have a pretty good ps2 gentoo port and seeing as they have X as well it shouldn't take long to get that working either.

Anyway just an idea

Immolo
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Chewi
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To cut a long story short, I haven't had a chance to try any of this yet and I doubt I'll have time in the near future either. I'm more interested in running Linux on my Amiga 1200. ;)
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Chewi
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PROGRESS ALERT :!:

http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-458955.html
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