Fail0verflow: “For the PS4, we’re trying something new”
Marcan of the Fail0verflow hacking group just published a lengthy article on the Fail0verflow blog, where he gives details about their approach for porting Linux on the PS4.
Yesterday, the Fail0verflow group announced to the world that they got Linux up and running on the PS4. They demoed a PS4 running Linux, and launched an emulator to play Pokémon on the PS4. Fail0verflow had previously hacked the original Wii, the PS3, and the Wii U (although they never released their work for the Wii U).
Linux on the PS4: We’re trying something new
The famous group of hackers was disappointed in how the scene reacted to their PS3 exploit release, as they feel it basically led only to piracy and not a striving Homebrew scene. This is why they decided to not release their Wii U hack two years ago. But there again, they saw that others released exploits, which according to Fail0verflow led mostly to piracy.
Their approach for the PS4, they state, will be to release a functioning port of Linux for the system, not exploits. This confirms what they stated in their presentation yesterday: Fail0verflow are working on providing the PS4 hacking scene with a great OS to experiment with, but other hackers will have to provide the exploits.
Fail0verflow’s official goal by doing that is to try and steer the community’s interest in favor of Linux and Indie development, rather than piracy. By providing a fully working OS on the PS4, they hope, hackers will not dive into reverse engineering some parts that are critical for piracy, and where Linux will not help.
This is a nice idea. In reality, I’m sure this will only work for a portion of hackers. There are groups out there that have financial benefits in enabling piracy on any console, and these people will be the ones working on removing the locks from official game DRMs. And, really, it only takes one group to enable piracy, while it will take huge efforts from the scene to promote “clean” use of the platform.
- On the Wii, we basically drove the entire homebrew community, from exploits to libraries to infrastructure. The community ended up being very large and productive, with lots of interesting releases. However, the people interested in game piracy were always riding on the coattails of homebrew since relatively early on, and greatly benefited from it.
- On the PS3, we tried releasing the exploits and letting others sort out the community. The result was that, for all practical purposes, the only users were those interested in piracy. AsbestOS allowed Linux to work again, but since there was no GPU driver, and the CPU was underpowered and annoying to work with, there wasn’t that much interest beyond those who were already running OtherOS.
- On the Wii U, we tried to get the community to display interest and work on Linux support before releasing the exploits. Although there were certainly several interested people, nobody with the right experience stepped up to actually make it a reality. Eventually others released exploits, and quickly a piracy tool has become one of the primary use cases for them.
For the PS4, therefore, we’re yet again trying something new.
SteamOS on the PS4 should “just work”
Despite my doubts about the final outcome, I like the approach here. As Marcan states, “Linux on the PS4 makes sense”. It would provide a full platform for game development, and, more importantly, would open the PS4 to competitive prices, just as can be seen on other platforms. Specifically, one could use their PS4 to run SteamOS, meaning access to a huge library of games and some more competition on digital prices. This could be good. In an ideal world, piracy would not rise from the hacks, and the main purpose for hackers would be to enable an alternate OS and other digital game stores to work, one of the few accepted reasons to Jailbreak a device.
Linux on the PS4 actually makes a lot of sense, more than it ever did on any previous game console. It’s close enough to a PC that getting 3D acceleration working, while rather painful (as we’ve learned), seems entirely possible without undue amounts of effort (in a timeframe of months, not years), to the level needed for real indie games and even AAA titles, not just homebrew. And many thousands of indie and AAA games already run on Linux. Yes, SteamOS on the PS4 should “just work” once the driver issues are sorted out.
For now though, the Fail0verflow crew need to iron out bugs and work on drivers. It’s going to “take months, not years” though, which is good news.
PS4 Exploit release?
Failverflow have no intent to release their exploit, but we also know several groups have reached Kernel access on the device. The question of course is if the Linux on PS4 announce changes any decision to not release any exploit.
There’s some level of hope here: “We also have no doubt that vulnerabilities in the latest firmware can be found without too much trouble”, Marcan said.
A side note: I have said the exploit used for the demonstration yesterday might have been hardware based. Marcan has confirmed that this was not the case. It now appears they have used the Webkit 1.76 exploit as an entrypoint, and some FreeBSD vulnerability for Kernel access. The fact that they use a 1.76 user level exploit on Webkit does not mean however that their Kernel hack would not run on a higher firmware. As a reminder, and to dumb it down, one basically needs two exploits: the first one to hijack a process (e.g. webkit), and a second one to get root privilege.
Incidentally, everything is pure software. Hardware stuff was only used for research. There is not much reason to resort to hardware-based exploits on an architecture like the PS4, with a very wide attack surface and mediocre isolation.
Again, Fail0verflow themselves will not release any exploit, but there might be hopes that another hacking crew will step up once the Linux port is polished.
Our PS4 Jailbreak page covers details on the latest PS4 hacks and research
So, they want to open it up, but only how they see fit. Going from one closed system to a secondary closed system kind of defeats the point
I completely agree. How is this working in their head? Every Linux developer will have invest the time to port badiret to freebsd and then spend the countless hours (weeks?) to make it work on the PS4, JUST so that he is ‘accepted’ by them?! Alternatively, somebody else leaks it? So what changed then?! I don’t get their superior logic. Maybe it overflowed somewhere … All they did is losing the momentum to get people to join them.
Somebody wrote delusional below. I agree. The ideology that you can boot the community into Linux without a public exploit is a complete misconception. You have to take the bad with the good, but half-*** is not gonna fly. Either you stand for the (full) control over consumer devices or you simply let it be. Either you stand for open development or you let that be.
The whole thing is written like it makes sense and has purpose but I really doubt they can explain their thoughts thoroughly. I have no idea how this can compute in their heads. This just shows you that technical talent does not imply logic.
Lastly, they are educated (because somebody told them!), but even their patches are just fish (products). They don’t teach you how to catch them. They don’t give back the knowledge to those who want to start reverse engineering (hardware). They could use the PC-like qualities to introduce people (gamers!) to reversing. They could use Linux and the momentum now to get Linux developers (gamers!) on board.
They likely have long forgotten how they started and how people openly shared and helped them. So what about intellectual property. What do you care how much a company makes? You could turn a single gamer into a programmer or computer scientist!
What they do now will just be another failure. Meanwhile they ask for ATI developers to teach them. Isn’t that nice. What if they say: “Well write me a basic 4000 driver first” and Linus adds “And a small monolithic kernel that supports a USB3 stack and a few peripheries, from scatch! Just so we know you are worthy.”
As I was discussing with someone on Twitter, while failoverflow may know their hacking, their politics are seriously fuged up.
They are anti piracy yet they demonstrate the PoC with a GBA emulator.
They boldly mentioned that there was no viable reason for a native exploit. Umm a custom theme I make myself is viale enough. There was more I mentioned, but this alone should prove my point.
Genuine backups is another reasoning. People associate the ability to backup games to external media as piracy. This is a false misconception, as properly executed would allow larger storage options currently unavailable.
finally, their statements were quite false.
IDK where they got the idea that they drove the wii scene, but that isn’t my point.
PS3 homebrew has actually been quite impressive.
Failoverflow acts like piracy is a death sentence. While I dislike piracy, the PSP is an example of how piracy to challenge the system can make a console successful whereas the Vita is an example how lack of piracy to challenge the system can produce a device that is crippled over time.
The main point is to enable homebrew and run any code that you want. You can do that with Linux.
Let piracy happen or don’t I don’t really care either way. I only want full access to the PS4 out of principle since I payed for the device.
The PS4 does seem like an interesting device for people to use to program so many things for. It’s basically an entry level gaming PC.
My only issue is, it’s a console. I’d much rather the developers put their work towards a platform that will have some sort of longevity rather than the system’s dicated lifespan, as after that most will stop to care. Not to mention the always prevalent attempts at piracy on a broken open console since for every person that wants homebrew, there’s a hundredfold more that seem to only want piracy.
As cool as it is to tinker with things, it’s not exactly expensive to simply get a more powerful pc than a ps4, as I’m sure many people already do own. Handhelds on the other hand are quite the other story since there isn’t a direct, superior equivalent to them. As powerful as phones can be, without physical buttons they’re always quite limiting.
Actually a point well made, as much as it pains me to admit it. I take it as a new years resolution to do more productive stuff 😉 In retrospect, I shouldn’t have bought one …
What’s your thoughts on piracy enabling exploits anyway? I’m pretty sure companies only use piracy as a scapegoat for why sales do poorly and there’s no definite proof that piracy effects a console.
I know saying I’d pay for my stuff doesn’t mean anyone will believe me or no one trusts others to do so as well, but what I said above is how I honestly feel. Is the frustration over knowing that maybe one thousand people or maybe even ten thousand people really enough to stop progress on back up loaders when there are people out there who will use it responsibly? Blind fanboys and uninformed consumers are still the main consumer base in the gaming community, otherwise smart people would have boycotted Konami for throwing Kojima out like trash and the game wouldn’t have sold as well as it did.
Also, do we really need another Gateway to happen?
Bottom line as far as I’m concerned, a good amount of gaming communities and the companies involved right now suck.
My views on copying intellectual property are very relaxed. In the 90′ probably a larger percentage of people did it on their PS then it is done today on the PS3 (or 3DS). Everybody, even those ‘clean’ claimers do it naturally all the time. The system is broken and tainted and needs to change. As you hinted, supporting those who do create good work sounds like a solid approach.
I personally prefer if we all get less addicted (consumers) to games and other media, and instead do something more productive (for our-self or our community) while developing an equal appreciation and fun for it (which we typically have been trained not to feel and think this way), but dreaming is important too. And that’s what media does.
The whole copyright-lose-money point was made in the 90′ about video stores who rent out games and resale – luckily most states didn’t buy into it, and did the industry crumble? Meh. To this day, you will meet people who are gonna tell you that second hand is wrong. This is how much influence the industry has to mold thoughts of consumers eventually as they grow up (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_assertion). I would refrain from buying into the whole concept of moral when it comes to corporations. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Term_Extension_Act It’s primarily lobbying to get more and more without work. It’s an uncontrolled, unguided and heavily lobbied system which has way to much leverage (and basically allows you to print money). Further views may appear later below under “2”s comment. In short, IMO even if we remove it, we wouldn’t lose anything and probably even gain.
But, as said, I really don’t care much about enabling (or using) it on the PS4. I actually rather use and develop the Linux (or an opened Orbis), because I can use it as a new (portable) middle class box. In retrospect, as said, I should have invested differently. But the hardware is cheap and I thought it wouldn’t differ much from a PC and I get some dev-fun and knowledge out of it. Oh well.
I would agree with you. Games (from major corporations) have become bland or even bad, primarily because they lost the focus on delivering diversity and a solid game play first which captures people. Everything has to be a shiny AAA hit or is some cheap gimmick (mobile-like) game or a soulless rehash with a new skin. Nintendo (which I loved as a kid) first and foremost. It leads to a narrow definition of which ideas are developed and how. Overblown investments (or way to small budgets) instead of dense and well cared for projects with a good middle class financing create a bad atmosphere were everybody tries to pump out and leech off their iconic brands. They all got old and stale as companies and invest too much into AAA titles (or not enough to produce ***) which makes it too hard to break even. Just invest a bit less, make a multitude of games with solid core teams who actually take pride and care in it. And sell it at an affordable price. RARE was a big hit in the 90′ because they were different and focused on making quality fun games. So were silicon knights in the 00′ (who tried themselves on an overblown AAA title and failed). But it’s also a gamer problem. If they buy junk for 99 cents or 4 bugs, and that yields more then doing actual work, then I am gonna feed them junk. Similarly, if everybody needs facial expressions and high-end models, of course, games are gonna cost more. Lastly, they also get way greedier with each passing year because their shareholders demand it (similar to movies).
so, if they release this thing, piracy will be disabled?
There’s no denying these guys are talented, but they are incredibly delusional. Anyone can install dozens of flavors of Linux on near any damn machine in 10 minutes or less, there is absolutely no reason to pursue this in hopes of “steering the community”. When will these fools get it? NO ONE CARES ABOUT PORTING LINUX TO CONSOLES, NOT EVER. That said, I still congratulate them on their work, it is very impressive.
From one closed system to another closed system? They are talented, but they make some pretty bad decisions. They know that 90% people are just following them because piracy. So, if they make linux closed system, what is the point then going to it from playstation closed system? I don’t understand them.
I would actually like having SteamOS on my PS4, given that it runs good and I could switch between the Official PS4 OS and SteamOS and play games on both. That would be cool.
Yes that would be cool, but unfortunately it won’t happen.
As soon as an exploit is released, Sony will patch it. You then can’t stay on the latest firmware, which means you can’t go online, purchase games from the PS store, and miss out on new features. You might even get your console banned from those activities in the future. Maybe you’ll get a week or two of peace, but essentially the Official PS4 OS side of the console gets severely diminished.
That will happen regardless of whether piracy is happening or not. There will be no ‘increased competition’ in gaming stores like the hackers would like: your hacked PS4 won’t be able to buy stuff from Sony’s store. Sony could even block disk-based games playing from consoles which don’t pass a check for modifications. Sony don’t WANT increased competition on their own console. The battle between the console makers and the hackers will continue; you’ll never be able to run a hacked console in peace.
I say what that.. In the butt.
Piracy is inevitable. Not releasing an exploit due to piracy is idiotic. The second any exploit is released piracy is going to be the number one goal for many groups to achieve. People need to get over piracy, as it’s not going any where any time soon.
It’s also a symptom which needs to be discussed at a better level then wrong and right. Apparently people don’t believe in the (current) copyright approach – then it needs to change. The moral high-ground of anti-copyright-violation advocates sometimes baffles me. Who are they trying to protect. Those poor sad honest little companies?
Yes, they are trying to protect people’s right to have the rights to choose what to do with their own creation. If you make for example a song, i think maybe you would like to have the freedom to choose what you want to do with it.
The imprisonment and ownership of thoughts and mental constructs is a very new one. And not a good one. It will take more from us humans then it will provide us with. All thoughts should be free in any form so that we may learn and grow as beings and freely enrich each other.
When I make a song. The song is not mine to be controlled. It has been given form and exists without me. There is no benefit (or natural restriction) to try to enslave and indoctrinate it. Everybody can and should copy alter and reuse it as it suits them.
The alternative leads to corn bought from a company for each harvest because they (GM) can dictate the rules of usage for “their” seeds (don’t replant). And they can dictate which poison to use in connection with “their” seeds. The alternative is knowledge as a closed-off system, where you are forbidden to copy documents (books) for education.
Copyright is a system which is severely tainted towards those in control to get richer – without paying off society for those continued (way to long) restrictions. There is no leverage from society. Copyright gives them a blank check. It’s not about return of investment. It’s about the rich making more, longer. See Disney’s 120 year lobbying (and the continues increase of the time period as a whole due to lobbyism). It’s a system that facilitates income to corporations long after they stopped working on it for no apparent reason or good to mankind.
Nintendo wants us to pay for Super Mario World for 70+50 years – why is that acceptable or good? Teach me the high moral of it. Teach me the benefit of it. Should not any law inherently serve the majority over a minority of the people? And people over corporations and constructs?
You think capitalism would crumble? Greed will find other ways to create a value chain. Don’t worry. You think nobody would create anymore? I postulate the exact opposite. We have an inert need to create. I would. The more knowledge there is free to us, the more we will. Esp. in entertainment. Why shouldn’t they be forced to pay if they want to restrict the free usage of the creation with each passing year? It’s not theirs, its thought. I can copy it without stealing anything.
Get rid of your indoctrinated views and just believe in the rules that seem logical (and good!!) to embrace. And see the stinky manipulations.
You should take this post and make an article to submit to the blog. Its succinct and more people need to have the other side of things pointed out to them explicitly. I dont have a strong interest in Piracy, although I am not above it. I dont see why corporations losing money is a bad thing, there should be a penalty for being an ***. As far as smaller or independent dev’s, I think that people will always see value in the things they enjoy and people like to support those things. I like the way the people at my local corner store know my name so I pay a few bucks to buy *** there, even though walmart is just as close. I think that if big money wasnt a factor in the music industry, the only people left doing it would be the ones with a passion for it, and the music itself would be the motivator to create and the music industry would leave Ke$ha where she probably should be (meth-ed out stripper?) and if I woke up in a world without Ke$ha singing I have no question the world would be a better place.
I’m sure there’s 1 out of every 10000 PS4 owners, who doesn’t use his computer or 7 other console/handheld to run emulators, can’t wait to try pokemon ps1 on his PS4 that runs yet another distro of Linux.
Vast majority of people dont give two *** about an linux port, these guys are idiots in terms of how they are approaching this.
This is stupid. The only interest anyone has in the PS4 hardware is to run PS4 games. There are better solutions if all you want is a box to run Linux. Piracy is a fact. Stop pretending you are on some moral high ground here. You aren’t — and I’m quite certain Sony agrees with me on this point.
I admire their optimism. The Fail0verflow crew are hackers in the truest sense, trying to open up PS4 development to anyone who wishes to participate, for no reason other than openness and exploration.
That said, I hope they’re prepared for a repeat of the Wii homebrew scene. While what they want is admirable, what the users want is free commercial games, be it pirated PS4 games or emulators. Not that the users do any of the development, but there is always someone willing to do it (especially if money is involved).
I like what they’re doing to be honest! Having SteamOS would be fantastic as I don’t have a gaming PC anymore but still have a massive amount of Steam games 🙂 a lot of you are commenting purely on the basis of complaining about their work and not releasing anything, however that is *** and I can’t understand your own logic… They have a right to do whatever they’d like with their findings, and if they don’t release an exploit then who cares? Working on a closed system to install Linux is just as good! Better to run a system that already has support rather than write completely new code from the ground up like on the PS3… Just my two cents here I suppose ;p
SteamOS on ps4?, can’t wait too see that!
I gotta be honest, what is the point to have linux running on a system like PS4 ? It’s close to a low budget pc, besides coders will probably have problems with the unified ram… the truth is that all people want is piracy… I also want it, 99% of people pretty much don’t give a s**t about homebews… so I’m sorry for Fail0verflow devs, but their work is pretty much useless…
You people make me sick. Since when did wololo get filled with your kind…
oh ppl butthurt cus their wish ain’t granted. lu lz
os caras querem ter seu espaço na psn é junto mais os usuarios tao interessado oficialmente na pirataria quem nao pença em jogar um emulador de ps1 ps2 ps3 nintendo e outros no ps4
os caras querem ter seu espaço na psn é junto mais os usuarios tao interessado oficialmente na pirataria quem nao pença em jogar um emulador de ps1 ps2 ps3 nintendo e outros no
Both ps4 or steam game need to be pay so why not chose the stable one ? Honestly most people like to play a stable ps4 game not a unstable linxu steam game so why you guys wasting time on a unstable useless system instead of ps4 cfw? That’s no doubt that a cheap pc with windows running steam is better than ps4 with unstable linxu steam
Hmmmm Piracy. Isn’t that a pirate copy of Pokemon they are running. Think someone needs to get off there high horse. They are infact PIRATES. Shame on you. Lol
Good point. “We’re going to demonstrate our Linux PS4 hack with emulator piracy while at the same time not releasing this exploit because it might cause piracy.” Hypocrisy? Lol.
Hmmmm Piracy. Isn’t that a pirate copy of Pokemon they are running. Think someone needs to get off there high horse. They are infact PIRATES. Shame Shame Shame. Lol
Since when has the community here been so disgusting?
It’s always been like this, but previously peeps used to pretend they wanted homebrews, now they heard piracy is not coming on PS4 and they are all so *** 😀
Since it went mainstream.
Anyway, what would you expect of Sony fanboys?
Forget about this rubbish. Best chance of CFW is with Flatz and Cturts work. Seems like they are close and Failoverflow are just trying to get some attention for nothing. If they dont release it then how the heck do we know it even exists. As far as I know the PS4 already has an operating system so why bother with linix. PS4 is a gaming console. What a useless hack. Maybe they should hack a C64 and run linix on that. Maybe the will get more Credit for that. Lol
I agree. Cturt was really closed to achieve the same PoC last week !
F0F would have impressed me if they did found a new exploit on the last FW (replacing the webkit 1.76 exploit). They didn’t, they just said that’s easy, they are “super hackers”, that’s an easy job, just good for the “small developers”. *** !
In my eyes, Flatz and Cturt are much nice people, they don’t have that F0F super ego !
And if F0F were Sony’s employees ? Just announcement & videos to set a mess in the PS4 scene ?
Seems someone has FreeBSD running on PS4 but some bugs to fix
fail0verflow’s efforts are not enough if they don’t teach the values of free software as a reason for allowing GNU/Linux to run on the PS4. It’s likely that they will not reverse engineer the non-free microcode/firmware for all the hardware if they really are intertwined with the misleading term “piracy”.
Another group of people who are mentally ***. Not denying their skill…but they are quite mentally *** imho
To be honest the reason they do this is to get legs up on those legit players who enjoy the game. I of course use to do this alot on the ps2 and frankly it gets old and quite boring. And now am a full blown legit player. They do this for a number of reasons one to ruin your good scores and troll you with ignorance and stupidity saying it is my own hardware. of course it is your own hardware but specifically your changing the way the console runs. This in turn is changing the hardware in the console which in turns changes the way the games operate. anyone who doubts that is a complete *** and a tool. simply put the way all the programs run either if you jail break or “use your own hardware” your changing code by using out of source third party code to change the first code on how the game operates. This in turn is illegal in either case no matter how you hold up to your star shine program. its no different then using gameshark to change the way the game operates back in the day with the hacking program it had installed.
Ill say this once ill say it again this in no way should ever be used if you cant play any game without using cheats then you need to get a life no one wants to be struck down by a hacker esp if those players are playing legit. And cheating gets old after awhile no matter if you are having fun or not there is no competition to games any more besides those who try to measure who’s *** is bigger then the others buy coming up with the most elaborate cheat/code. safe to say if consoles told you well there will be no more consoles hackers cant do anything besides what they can do on a pc. but even over time the pc will fizzle out and die due to some codes. and then forced to buy another one. this can be said about the same way as well for consoles. Arcades need to come back and those that do mess with the machines need to fined a 6 figure fine for messing with one of those machines. but consoles due to these so called radical hackers will eventually see that consoles will be nothing but a myth im sure xbox and sony alike can still manage to do fine with out circulation of consoles.