Something a Bit Different – Playstation 2 Linux Kit

Occasionally, you come across gear of the more unique variety while in Japan, and although this isn’t the weirdest bit of gear I have picked up in my time here, it’s definitely one of the cooler things I’ve picked up – specially as I’m an avid Linux user. The Sony Playstation 2 Linux Kit. 🙂


This particular Linux kit is unused, but the person who had it before me decided that they wanted to keep the VGA cable. This was a downer, but as the rest of it is all sealed up (and considering the bargain price I paid), I can’t complain too much. According to the web, the VGA cable isn’t exactly the greatest anyway, but it still would’ve been nice to have it included though….

So what’s in the box? A full set should include a USB keyboard and mouse, a HDD unit, a PC card network adapter that connects to the PS2’s PCMCIA, a VGA cable, and a DVD-ROM containing the dev libraries.


The card that connects via the PCMCIA slot has inputs for both Ethernet and HDD connections. The 40GB HDD is one heavy little unit actually. At first I wasn’t expecting the weight of this thing!


ps2-linux-kit-hd ps2-linux-kit-hd2

Unfortunately, for us that are used to English keyboards, the keyboard is just your standard Japanese format keyboard. It does proudly have the Playstation logo on it though which is pretty cool. As this unit is sealed I can’t give you any impressions of how the keyboard feels, but through the plastic it doesn’t seem too bad. Both the keyboard and mouse are standard USB, so I assume that using your other keyboards and mice is an option – anyone chime in that may know more about that though.


Although there isn’t a great deal of information online anymore (since the removal of, you can still find the repositories for the forum posts and content from here bellow:

Personally as this unit is still sealed, and there is the chance that it might be sold on depending on my energy levels, I am not going to be opening it up to test it out. There are just too many people out there that see it as a really interesting piece of gaming history to open it up at this time.


Well, this may be the last mainstream console to actually give users the tools to really tinker – at least in a legal unhacked kind of way. I doubt very much you’ll see anything similar for the next gen Xbox or Playstations. 😉


  1. Great photo blog here Hollo – I remember when this first came out, made for exciting times. I personally loved how this unusual philosophy floated through to the PS3 which had Linux out of the box until they irritatingly scrapped the feature due to console hacking (which ironically incensed the hacking community to arguably make the tools publicly available).

    I look forward to a future where Linux and homebrew is actually integrated into consoles as a progressive move to add value to the platform. This is particularly interesting to keep in mind considering the next gen Playstation console is apparently moving away from proprietary CPU architectures to x86-based hardware to ease the development process, which would naturally lend itself to Linux 🙂

    1. I bet Sony regrets that PS3 Linux back-pedal enormously now. It was only then that the hackers really decided to give it a good go. I wonder if Sony may have learned something from that? Na, I doubt it. 😀

      I think the closest we have on the horizon that fits the homebrew philosophy is the Ouya, but it’s too early to tell how that’s going to turn out.

      Interesting regarding the PS4 (if that’s what it will be called) architecture. Not a very ‘Sony’ thing to do!

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