On April 1, Sony removed one of the PlayStation 3's original features, the option to install an alternate operating system such as Linux, with its latest firmware (version 3.21). Today, one man claims to have reinstated that feature.

Hacker George "Geohot" Hotz says he has, as promised, implemented a workaround that will let users enjoy the most recent version of the PS3's firmware while keeping the "Install Other OS" option available. The catch, before homebrew and Linux enthusiasts get too excited, is that if you've already installed 3.21, you're out of luck.

Hotz writes: "This can be installed without having to open up your PS3, just by restoring a custom generated [PlayStation 3 Update File] file, but only from 3.15 or previous. It's possible this [custom firmware] will also work on the slim to actually *enable* OtherOS." The redesigned PlayStation 3 slim model shipped without the option to install another operating system.


Hotz offers his version of video proof in a YouTube clip that purports to show his custom firmware working and booting Linux.

Sony Computer Entertainment said the decision to remove the feature was "due to security concerns."


It appears that Hotz hasn't made his custom firmware available publicly. Also note that Hotz's video demonstration could realistically be faked. But for the PlayStation 3 owner soured by Sony's decision to drop support for other operating systems, it at least provides some hope.

OtherOS Supported on "3.21OO" [On The PlayStation 3]