How to Install an Operating System on a PS3

By J.S. Copper
Install Linux on your PS3 to play classic Nintendo games.

When Sony released the PlayStation 3, they included the ability to install the Linux operating systems on the powerful computer/game console. The system is based on a PowerPC processor and thus must run a PowerPC-compatible operating system. Installing Linux is not difficult. All that is needed is a Linux live installation disc. The Linux operating system installs on a separate partition, leaving your PS3 operating system intact.

Download a PS3 compatible Linux live CD image. The popular Ubuntu Linux distribution provides a PlayStation-compatible version, among others. You will need a PowerPC-formatted version of Linux (as opposed to x86). All Linux distributions are free and will download in the ISO image file format. Save the ISO to your desktop.

Insert the blank CD. Double-click the ISO to open the "Burn Disc Image" dialog. Select your computer's burner and click "Burn."

Eject the CD once the burn finishes and insert it into the PlayStation. Connect the PS3 to your modem or router directly via ethernet cable. Connect the USB keyboard and mouse.

Navigate to the PlayStation's Settings. Select "System Settings" > "Install Other OS." Select "Yes" to restart the system.

Follow the on-screen prompts to install the Linux system, entering your personal information (date, region, user name) as needed. It will take roughly 45 minutes. Once the installation completes, the PlayStation will reboot into Linux.

Tip

Use a USB flash drive to back up your PlayStation game saves and other settings before installing Linux.

About the Author

J.S. Copper began writing professionally in 2008, specializing in technology, running and health-related topics. He has worked with a handful of technology websites providing tutorials, tips and tricks. Prior to writing, Copper worked in Web design