Linux News Today: fail0verflow Releases Modified Linux Kernel That Runs on PlayStation 4
The famous hacking group fail0verflow has just released the modified Linux kernel that allowed them to run a Linux distribution on PlayStation 4.
Everyone was taken by surprise when fail0verflow showed a video last week with a Gentoo running on PlayStation 4. The hackers managed to run a Linux distribution on the latest console from Sony and made it sound like it was easy.
Not a lot of information was revealed last week, with the exception of what was in the video, but it’s clear that they made a lot of headway. It’s still work in progress, and many features are lacking, like 3D acceleration, but now they have also published the modified Linux kernel, and there is hope that their modifications could make their way into the official tree.
A custom Linux kernel was needed
One of the first things that were revealed by fail0verflow was that they needed to heavily modify Linux kernel 4.4 (which is not even final) in order to make this happen. Over 7000 changes were made, and they still might have to work on it.
The hackers also revealed that the HDD communicates with the console via USB, which is weird to say the least, and that a lot of proprietary and unique hardware is running in the console. Nevertheless, it’s an X86 processor, and that means that any Linux distribution can be used, at least in theory.
fail0verflow has yet to provide users with the means to do this themselves, but they have released the Linux kernel fork that has been used, and they also pushed the changes into the official kernel tree, although there is no guarantee that they are going to get accepted.
It’s very likely that whatever vulnerability was used to make this happen will probably be closed by Sony with a patch in the near future. It remains to be seen if a user-friendly solution will be made available as well.