It looks like Sony has gone for the a super customised edition of Free DSB 9.0 to run the heart and mind of their new PlayStation 4 games console, an interesting choice for many reasons and it couldn’t be much more different that the system opted for by Microsoft.
The latest bit of information to be exposed tells us that the operating system for the PlayStation 4 is known as Orbis OS, a Sony made spin off FreeBSD 9.0, a logical decision given that it’s licencing options are more liberal than those of Linux, which is saying something given Linux is pretty open also. Since Sony are no longer running the Cell Broadband Engine cores, instead using the X86_64 cores of their high-end AMD APU, FreeBSD makes a lot of sense, it can run on this hardware happily, where as the Cell used XMediaBar, a full custom OS that deep down likely shared some resemblance to Linux.
Since FreeBSD is at the centre of the PlayStation 4 interface and processing, this must also mean that Sony have ported, or at least created their own Radeon graphics drivers for the OS and Hardware given that no Catalyst driver is currently available for any BSD OS, so at least we know it can be done effectively in one form or another.
The leak of this information was from VGLeaks.com who found the information from the 2nd gen development kit for Sonys new console, but why is this a big deal you ask? Well it’s simple, Sony have clearly opted for something that is super focused on the task in hand, a light weight highly customised OS that is said to leave 7GB of the system ram free for gaming, a big contrast to the three operating systems of the Xbox One that are said to leave just 5GB of RAM available to gaming software.
Thank you Phoronix for providing us with this information.