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Sony Computer Entertainment’s forthcoming PlayStation 4 video game console uses an operating system that is heavily based on FreeBSD. The deeply customized operating system is meant to provide Sony with maximum flexibility and potentially significantly enhance the console’s functionality over time.

The operating system of Sony PlayStation 4 is called “Orbis OS” and it is a significantly modified version of FreeBSD 9.0, reports VGLeaks web-site. According to Phoronix web-site, it is better to use FreeBSD rather than Linux for x86-64 architecture-based machine, besides, FreeBSD has more liberal licensing policy.

Usage of FreeBSD is a little harder than usage of other types of operating systems since AMD has rather limited support for BSD OSes: there are no official Catalyst driver for any BSD and the open-source driver ported from Linux with Radeon KMS and Gallium3D is still in a primitive state. In theory, it means that Sony had to design its own drivers for the PS4.

SCE did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Sony, PlayStation 4, Orbis, Playstation

Discussion

Comments currently: 2
Discussion started: 06/25/13 04:44:47 PM
Latest comment: 06/27/13 06:15:15 AM

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1. 
Anton, you misinterpreted the Phoronix piece in regards to why Sony chose FreeBSD over Linux. What Michael Larabel wrote was: "The PlayStation 4 is x86_64 based now rather than Cell-based, which makes it easier to use FreeBSD".

What this means is that their choice of x86_64 over Cell enabled them to choose FreeBSD at all, as Cell isn't a tier-1 platform for FreeBSD. It does not mean that "it is better to use FreeBSD rather than Linux for x86-64" as you wrote above. In point of fact, Linux was the first major OS to fully support AMD64/x86-64, so that wouldn't be a reason to avoid it.

Sony undoubtedly chose FreeBSD because they don't want to publish their source changes.
2 0 [Posted by: patrickjchase  | Date: 06/25/13 04:44:47 PM]
Reply

2. 
So we will see the little red devil when starting PS4? )
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 06/27/13 06:15:15 AM]
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