Feeds

PlayStation 4 is FreeBSD inside

Devil's in the bootloader

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause
'Outernet' project proposes satellite-fuelled 'Lantern' WiFi library for remote areas
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.