The Sony PlayStation Portable - How long until it runs Linux?

Summary:Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) goes on sale tomorrow. Though I have a PS2 and a shelf full of games, I don't really consider myself much of a gamer, so I won't be queueing up at midnight tonight or rushing to the store first thing tomorrow to snag a PSP, but I'll probably pick one up if I can find it at Costco.

Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) goes on sale tomorrow. Though I have a PS2 and a shelf full of games, I don't really consider myself much of a gamer, so I won't be queueing up at midnight tonight or rushing to the store first thing tomorrow to snag a PSP, but I'll probably pick one up if I can find it at Costco.

What I'm (primarily) interested in isn't its gaming capabilities, however. Given the device specs the PSP looks like it would make a great gadget to run Linux. The PSP has wireless LAN, USB, a fairly generous display for a portable device and 32MB of main memory. There's already a keyboard for the PSP. The battery life (reported to be about 3 hours and 35 minutes on Engadget) is a bit modest, but not terrible. Linux has been ported to less robust devices. (It already runs on the PS2, and Microsoft's Xbox...)

Of course, the NetBSD project might beat Linux to the punch. The NetBSD team has ported NetBSD to just about anything this side of a toaster. And, the PSP already has some NetBSD code in it judging by the license page.

It may seem a bit odd to want to run Linux or BSD on the PSP, but that's one of the things that makes open source interesting and fun -- the ability to extend the functionality of computers and devices beyond their original functionality.

Topics: Tech Industry

About

Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier is the community manager for openSUSE, a community Linux distro sponsored by Novell. Prior to joining Novell, Brockmeier worked as a technology journalist primarily covering the Linux and FOSS beat, and wrote for a number of publications, such as Linux Magazine, Linux.com, Sys Admin, UnixReview.com, IBM developer... Full Bio

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