Feeds

PlayStation 4 is FreeBSD inside

Devil's in the bootloader

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

As Sony's PlayStation 4 pre-orders take off (perhaps at the expense of the already-unloved Xbox One), speculation has emerged that the console's underlying operating system is based on the FreeBSD operating system.

The apparent identification of the OS comes not from anything so exotic as a leaked console, but from someone with their hands on the development environment (and, El Reg supposes, willing to ignore what's probably a tied-hands-and-feet NDA).

At VGLeaks, images of the development environment booting up clearly identify the OS as “Orbis OS”. Based on lists of files and libraries, VGLeaks states that Orbis is based on FreeBSD 9.0.

Sony PS4 developer bootloader

VGLeaks' capture of the Sony PS4 development bootloader

According to Phoronix, the PS4's eight-core AMD APU and Radeon graphics aren't exactly close friends with FreeBSD: there aren't any suitable open source Catalyst drivers in the BSD world, suggesting a fair degree of cooperation between Sony and AMD.

The FreeBSD licence is seen as friendlier to commercial developers than GNU-licensed Linux distributions, since it allows Sony to sell binaries without being obliged to release the associated source code.

The operating system images have stirred up a frenzy of speculation that Sony will revive the option for PS4 users to access the operating system to run the platform as a FreeBSD computer, except that aside from the presence of the free operating system, there's nothing to suggest this would be the case. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.