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Linux ported to Sony PSP

Jan 29, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 89 views

A self-described “world famous celebrity hacker” has managed to boot uClinux on Sony's MIPS-based PSP (Playstation Portable). Chris Mulhearn's port so far lacks support for key PSP peripherals such as the screen, but could interest hackers able to connect serially to the PSP's “remote headphones” port.

(Click for larger view of the PSP booting uClinux)

uClinux on PSP
(Click to enlarge)

In a webpage devoted to his project, Mulhearn says he managed to get a MIPS-No-MMU uClinux 2.4.19 port from XIPTech running on the PSP, via a bootloader that runs as a native PSP application. The image above shows the bootloader's output, while the image at right depicts uClinux's output via a serial TTY connection to the PSP.

The PSP's serial port — actually its “remote headphones” port — is a low-voltage (0,+2.5V) RS232 port that can not be connected directly to a standard-voltage (-12,+12V) PC COM port, Mulhearn notes. He says he uses an FPGA development board (pictured below) to translate signals for the serial port of his PC. He also refers to sites that describe alternative methods.

Mulhearn's FPGA development board setup
(Click to enlarge)

Lots more details about the project can be found on Mulhearn's website, here.

Sony's non-portable Playstation 3, meanwhile, gained full Linux support the same month it shipped, thanks in part to open source contributions from Sony.

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