At the 2010 Chaos Communication Congress, fail0verflow (that’s a zero, not the letter O) demonstrated their jailbreak of the PS3. At the 2013 CCC, fail0verflow demonstrated console hacking on the Wii U. In the last two years, this has led to an active homebrew scene on the Wii U, and the world is a better place. A few weeks ago, fail0verflow teased something concerning the Playstation 4. While this year’s announcement is just a demonstration of running Linux on the PS4, fail0verflow can again claim their title as the best console hackers on the planet.

Despite being able to run Linux, there are still a few things the PS4 can’t do yet. The current hack does not have 3D acceleration enabled; you won’t be playing video games under Linux with a PS4 any time soon. USB doesn’t work yet, and that means the HDD on the PS4 doesn’t work either. That said, everything to turn the PS4 into a basic computer running Linux – serial port, framebuffer, HDMI encoder, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, and the PS4 blinkenlights – is working.

Although the five-minute lightning talk didn’t go into much detail, there is enough information on their slides to show what a monumental task this was. fail0verflow changed 7443 lines in the kernel, and discovered the engineers responsible for the southbridge in the PS4 were ‘smoking some real good stuff’.

This is only fail0verflow’s announcement that Linux on the PS4 works, and the patches and bootstrap code are ‘coming soon’. Once this information is released, you’ll need to ‘Bring Your Own Exploit(TM)’ to actually install Linux.

Video of the demo below.

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  1. Who are these root0verflow guys? They seem fun, in a completely non-hysterical “best console hackers on the planet” way. Maybe we should join up with them.

  2. “At the 2010 Chaos Computer Congress, fail0verflow (that’s a zero, not the letter O) demonstrated their jailbreak of the PS3.”
    Biiiig deal – in 1994, Crash Override took out the Gibson!

  3. williamderieux

    You should call him….Zero Cool

  4. williamderieux

    Also that movie was from 1995

  5. It was, uh, based on true events from 1994 though.. yeah, that is right!

  6. “root0verflow”? Are you kidding me?

  7. with that level of ability, he could call himself “babyBabyDiaperPantsPoop” and still have my respect

  8. It should be noted that “root0verflow” is an invention by Hackaday, apparantly getting bored of the correct moniker halfway through the article.

  9. I wonder, if someone develops a driver that does enable 3d acceleration, how hard would it be to get linux steam games running?
    Steam running on a proper console, just imagine…

  10. Oh I can imagine; Sony would unleash their team of angry lawyers to sue them into oblivion.

  11. Or, not that they’ve had any issue with doing this before (sarcasm), Sony could… allow linux install and release the drivers for it. Then more people might buy their consoles resulting in more profit (sarcasm), it’s not like they would stupidly price them for less than what it costs to make.

  12. Building a PC with comparable specs is cheaper though.

  13. It is the Chaos Communication Congress, not the Chaos Computer Congress.

  14. [Benchoff] What happened to using brackets around names??

  15. Dear Brian, this article, while being very informative, has a couple issues:
    1. You changed the name from fail0verflow to root0verflow in the middle, which isn’t correct.
    2. You haven’t continued with the bracketed names that is the normal with Hackaday articles.
    3. Chaos Communication Congress was the name of the conference, not Chaos Communication Congress.
    Otherwise, thank you for the article, keep up the good work.

  16. Heh, I also failed at proofreading. Number 3 should read
    3. Chaos Communication Congress was the name of the conference, not Chaos Computer Congress.

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