This current generation of consoles, both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, did something substantially different from their predecessors. For the first time, they sported desktop PC components inside, practically making them special purpose PCs fine-tuned for gaming. That fact, of course, has piqued the curiosity of many modders and hackers in actually making those machines run a different operating system, usually Linux. One such modder is OsirisX, who has not only successfully loaded Linux on the PS4, but was able to get SteamOS games up and running at decent performance.
This isn’t the first time the PS4 was made to run Linux. That honor belongs to the Fail0verflow hack that was revealed December last year. It was theorized that it would open the doors for eventually getting it to run SteamOS, which is a Linux-based operating system. That day has indeed finally happened.
Despite the power of the PS4, it takes more than 2 minutes from starting the process within the PS4’s operating system until you get a usable Linux desktop. From there, it takes a few more minutes to run the Linux versin of Steam. Running in Big Picture mode, of course. OsirisX demos running Bastion, a popular indie title that isn’t exactly graphics intensive. While Bastion does run at an acceptable framerate, it would have probably been just as interesting to test out something more resource hungry, like X-COM: Enemy Within or Civilization 5.
Getting Steam on Linux on the PS4 won’t be a walk in the park, and you need to be very invested in it to undertake the quest. The very first requirement is that your PS4 be at a very old version 1.76 of Sony’s firmware. It must then be jailbroken and patched with Fail0verflow’s code to run Linux. In this particular incarnation, OsirisX used Arch Linux, a popular Linux flavor. Ultimately, the goal is to have Ubuntu running on it, as it was once the base distribution for SteamOS.