Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (2483 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] OpenSUSE 11.1 on PS3
  • From: Roger Oberholtzer <roger@xxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 09:07:38 +0100
  • Message-id: <1232352458.13560.10.camel@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Fri, 2009-01-16 at 19:12 -0600, John Lange wrote:
[.. snip general comments about Linux on the PS3 ..]

I've been playing with Linux on the PS3 for some time and I think I can
echo the general comments in this thread... It's pretty underwhelming.

Agreed. I do not think it is an openSUSE issue so much as a PS3 memory
issue. I guess openSUSE could offer some defaults that makes things
better. But I think the choice of window manager is the main thing. And
you can select a different one easily in install or at login. It worked
for me.

OpenSUSE 11.1 actually installs quite nicely on it with only the
following problems:


- It's very slow. The OpenSUSE gnome desktop is BLOATED and doesn't even
come close to fitting in RAM. This means you hit swap _constantly_ and
with the PS3's lack-luster hard drive it's dog slow. Specifically things
like beagle run on first boot and make it completely unusable.

I used fvwm instead. Speed is quite ok then. But Gnome or KDE are really
out of the question.

- For some reason, OpenSUSE 11.1 defaulted to using the PS3 Wifi adapter
instead of the on-board NIC. Easily fixed in Yast but strange.

Not so strange. I want to use the WiFi, not the NIC, So I was happy with
this.

- The PS3 does not have the new ps3vram device which allows the system
to make use of the unused RAM from the video device. Apparently using
this for swap makes the system much better but I have not been able to
test it yet.

I knew about this driver, but I also did not get to the point of testing
it. If you do so, please post your findings.

- Almost none of the OpenSUSE repositories seem to support PPC. So if
your intended use is MPlayer, or sldmame (arcade emulator) you're forced
to compile everything from source but even then your likely to be
missing things you need. And compiling from source is painfully slow
despite the multi-core cell processor because of the aforementioned swap
issue.

Of course, you can install the gnu cross compiler for PPC on your
lightning fast intel box and make the apps there. Or, if you start the
PS3 in character mode, the memory is enough to allow decent compile
speeds. Or so I have heard.

It would be oh so nice if the OpenSUSE build service supported PPC.
Can't PPC be emulated using Xen or VirtualBox?

Probably not. I think they would need to set up a cross-compiler
environment with all the PPC libs installed. I think it could be done,
but it seems to me to be lots of work. Perhaps they need to add a PS3 to
the network and compile using that :)

I think there should be an OpenSUSE-PS3 list. That would be a great
idea. Who do we talk to?

I just asked this question and was told that the PPC list was the place
to be. I confess I did not follow this up. Busy busy, you know.

--
Roger Oberholtzer

OPQ Systems / Ramböll RST

Ramböll Sverige AB
Krukmakargatan 21
P.O. Box 17009
SE-104 62 Stockholm, Sweden

Office: Int +46 8-615 60 20
Mobile: Int +46 70-815 1696

--

"On two occasions I have been asked (by members of Parliament!),
'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures,
will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend
the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
- Charles Babbage 1791-1871)
English computer pioneer, philosopher

And remember:

It is RSofT and there is always something under construction.
It is like talking about a large city with all construction finished.
Not impossible, but very unlikely.

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