PlayStation 4 OS is a modified version of FreeBSD 9

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Old 28-Jun-2013
Ginni Singh
PlayStation 4 OS is a modified version of FreeBSD 9

Almost everyone knows by now that Sony has ditched its Cell microprocessor for an x86_64-based architecture for the PlayStation 4, but did you know the operating system that runs on the console is based on open source OS FreeBSD 9.0?

That’s right. Sony has built a custom operating system called Orbis OS based on FreeBSD 9.0 for its newest console. The folks at VGLeaks apparently got their hands on a second-generation SDK for the PlayStation 4, which when booted, shows a GRUB menu with options to load the operating system either in console mode or graphics mode (the mode you see on the PS4).

The GRUB bootloader for the PS4's SDK

When launched in console mode, it’s obvious that the OS has a Unix-like file and directory structure. It would certainly have been much easier to build an operating system based on FreeBSD for the PS4 than for the PS3, as the distribution supports the x86_64 architecture.

While it is surprising that Sony chose to build the operating system with FreeBSD for the base over Linux, it does make some sense as the BSD license can be called “more free” than GPL. Software is just as free when using BSD as when you’re using GPL, but the former allows someone to take something that you’ve developed, incorporate it into their own product and sell it, without mandating that you need to be either compensated or credit for your work (depending on the type of clause).

The very Unix-like file system

GPL, on the other hand, states that while money can be exchanged over software, free software must always remain free. A company can take your code, repackage it and charge money for any services offered or the repackaging, but the source code for the new product will still have to be made available for free. In short, GPL aims to keep free softwares from becoming proprietary.

The news also gives rise to an interesting possibility. The PS4 runs on an octa-core AMD APU, but there are currently no AMD graphics drivers capable of the PS4’s graphics capabilities available for FreeBSD yet. It could be the case that Sony and AMD joined hands to develop custom graphics drivers for the PS4.

Old 28-Jun-2013
ѕραятαη σƒ ℓσνєツ
Re: PlayStation 4 OS is a modified version of FreeBSD 9

Tfs .....

Old 01-Jul-2013
Re: PlayStation 4 OS is a modified version of FreeBSD 9


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