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  • Toshiba 300MHz R5900 MIPS IV core, FPU, 16 KB 2-way set-associative I-CACHE and an 8 KB 2-way set-associative D-CACHE, along with a 16 KB data scratchpad RAM; set of 128-bit multimedia extensions
  • 128bit Emotion Engine: two 128-bit VLIW vector units: VU0, VU1; 10 DMA channels; MPEG decoder
  • 32MB PC800 Direct Rambus (Direct RDRAM) memory
  • Sony Graphics Synthesizer™ graphic processor at 150MHz, 4Mb of 1024bit eDRAM
  • DVD ROM drive (not connected to an IDE bus)
  • 2 USB 1.0 Ports connected to an OHCI controller
  • 1 i.Link ( IEEE 1394 Firewire ) port (it is not possible to access the Firewire port from Linux)
  • New slim model has built-in ethernet and an infrared receiver (uses the same IR codes as older Sony DVD players), but is not able to store a harddisk

Running Linux on the Playstation 2

At the moment (May 2010) the newest Linux kernel version for the Playstation 2 is 2.4.17mvl21, which can be downloaded from the Sony website. It is a heavily patched 2.4.17 linux-mips kernel. Patches were done by Montavista.

The reason why newer kernel versions aren't available is because the Playstation 2 toolchain is too old to build newer kernels (GCC 2.95.2 and Binutils 2.9). Some people at PS2Dev have ported GCC 3.2.2 and Binutils 2.14 to the Playstation 2, but isn't developed to run Linux (only static ELF's).


On the PS2 Linux does not run on the bare hardware but on an abstraction layer called RTE (Run Time Environment). The RTE was partly reimplemented as open source. The open source variant is called TGE (The Great Experiment).

The open source bootloader Kernelloader loads the required RTE/TGE modules before starting the Linux kernel. For 2.6 kernels it could also be possible to append the required RTE/TGE modules directly to the kernel image instead. On Kernelloader's project page there are some patches available for Linux 2.4.17mvl21 improving Linux compatibility especially with the newer slim PS2 models.

External links