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Sony's PlayStation 4 Is Running Modified FreeBSD 9

Hardware

Published on 23 June 2013 03:15 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
243 Comments

The operating system at the heart of Sony's PlayStation 4 is FreeBSD 9.0.

It's been exposed that the operating system powering the PlayStation 4 is Orbis OS, which is a Sony spin of FreeBSD 9.0. It's not a huge surprise FreeBSD is being used over Linux, in part due to the more liberal licensing. The PlayStation 4 is x86_64 based now rather than Cell-based, which makes it easier to use FreeBSD.

It's a bit of a surprise to see FreeBSD being used though when at the heart of the Sony PS4 is an AMD eight-core APU with Radeon graphics. There isn't a Catalyst driver available for any BSD operating system right now and the open-source driver ported from Linux with Radeon KMS and Gallium3D is still in a primitive state. Thus, Sony in cooperation with AMD must have developed their own graphics driver for the PlayStation 4 with FreeBSD or at least ported the Catalyst code-base to BSD.

The information of FreeBSD 9.0 powering the PlayStation 4 was shared at VGLeaks.com and based upon a second-gen development kit for the forthcoming console.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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