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Red Ribbon GNU/Linux is a PPC64 GNU/Linux distribution with support for Cell/BE, designed for Sony PS3.

It is based on Debian GNU/Linux, completely free and open source software.

No propietary source of any kind is used in this distribution.


Latest Release


CD Covers

Red-Ribbon-Cover-small.png Red-Ribbon-Label-small.png



To use this distribution on a PS3, one of the following bootloaders must be installed:

  • Sony's OtherOS.
  • Graf_chokolo's OtherOS++ or a fork.
  • BootOS-Petitboot, an Asbestos fork with Petitboot integrated.


Red Ribbon GNU/Linux has the following features:

  • The kernel includes the Graf_chokolo's, Marcan's and Gitbrew's patches.
  • The main swap uses the RSX memory.
  • The secondary swap uses a partition on the storage media.



  • LXDE as the desktop.
  • Openbox as the window manager.


  • Pcmanfm as the file manager.
  • LXTerminal as the console interface.
  • Leafpad as the simple text editor.
  • File-Roller as the compressed files manager.


  • GPicView as the image viewer.
  • MtPaint as the drawing tool.


  • Iceweasel as the internet browser.
  • GFTP as the FTP client.
  • Smtube as Youtube video player.


  • Abiword as the word processor.
  • Galculator as the calculator.
  • XPDF as the PDF file viewer.


  • SSH as the remote access console service.
  • Samba as the service for sharing files over the network.
  • Network-Manager-Gnome as the network manager.
  • Blueman as the bluetooth manager.
  • Xrdp as the remote access server for RDP and VNC.
  • Remmina as the RDP and VNC client.

Sound & Video

  • LxMusic as the audio file player.
  • MPV as the media player.
  • GUVCview as the tool for capturing video from the webcam.


  • Synaptic as the package manager.
  • Apt and Aptitude as the console mode package managers.
  • Lshw as the hardware device viewer.
  • GParted as the partition manager.

Operating Modes

Red Ribbon GNU/Linux has two operating modes: Direct boot from the LiveCD or booting from a storage device.


It allows to run directly from the CD and provides a fully functional desktop without a system installation.

However, this has a drawback because it involves being constantly accessing to the CD, which has a performance impact and reader device wear.

If it's necessary a continued use of the system or it's necessary to install some programs. Instead, it's recomended to install it on a storage device.

System installed on a storage device

This method boots from a installation stored on:

  • Sony's OtherOS reserved space on the internal hard drive.
  • Graf_chokolo's OtherOS reserved space on the internal hard drive.
  • External USB hard disk.
  • USB pendrive.

It is preferable to use any of the top three, as the system performance decreases when using an USB stick.

Booting the LiveCD from a CD (Very slow)

Once you have downloaded the ISO image file, you can burn it to CD/DVD using the "Burn CD/DVD Image" method of your recording software.

After burning, the CD will contain multiple folders and files. If it only contains a file, you have not burned it with "Burn CD/DVD Image" method.

Booting the LiveCD from an USB pendrive (Recommended)

This method is useful when the PS3 has a damaged reader device.

We need a FAT formatted USB pendrive and the CD installation.

If we have burned the CD before, we can copy the entire CD contents to the pendrive.

Also, we can unpack the ISO file using a compressed file manager and we can copy the unpacked files into the pendrive.

Installing on a PS3

Booting from the LiveCD

First, we insert the CD into the PS3 (or plug the USB stick) and we launch the boot loader. After booting, the menu will show the available options.

For RC 6 and older:

* Live-OtherOS: Default boot mode. It's to be used with OtherOS and OtherOS++.
* Live-Asbestos: Mode boot specifically for Asbestos and forks. It includes Marcan's patches.

If we use OtherOS or OtherOS++, we select the "OtherOS" option and if we use Boot-Petitboot, we select the "Asbestos" option.

For RC 7 and newer:

* Live: Default boot mode. It's to be used with OtherOS and OtherOS++.

Once we have selected an option and have pressed the Enter key, the LiveCD will boot.

Before entering the desktop, if it shows the login screen, we leave it a few seconds and it will login automatically.

When the desktop is loaded, we can see two panels:

  • Top panel: It contains the "Main Menu" on the left and the clock on the right.
  • Bottom panel: It contains the "Show Desktop" icon on the left and the "Trash" icon on the right.

If we haven't connected a mouse, we can move through the main menu by pressing the Ctrl + Esc and navigate through using the cursor keys.

Installing the system

We can launch the installer by clicking on the "Install Red Ribbon" icon on desktop. Also, we can use the menu option in Main menu -> Preferences -> Install Red Ribbon.

When the installer begins, It shows some screens where we can select the continent, the country, the timezone and the language.

On the next step, the installer shows you the start installation message, we press OK to continue.

Now, we can enter the hostname and the domain/workgroup. We can change it or leave the default ones.

On the next step, we will select the storage device for installation.

When an OtherOS reserved space exists on the internal hard disk, the installer will ask you if you want to use it for the installation. If we don't have this reserved space, the installer doesn't show us this message.

If we select NO, we are asked to select the storage device manually.

When we haven't a reserved space and we haven't connect an external storage device, the installer tells us that the installation can't continue.

If we have an storage device, we need to create the partitions:

  • Automatically: The installer will delete the existing partitions and It will create some new partitions by default.
  • Manually: It will load cfdisk, a partition manager to create partitions manually.

The creation, alteration or removal of the partitions by the installer never affects the space of GameOS. The installer never deletes the files stored on the space of GameOS.

If we use an external hard disk or an USB pendrive, the installer will erase data from this storage device. It's recommended to use an empty storage device.

Now, we choose the first option: "Automatically create partitions".

If success, the installer shows an option called "Continue". We select it and press OK to continue.

Now, we can change the mount points. The installer creates two mount points by default:

  • /: The system partition.
  • swap: The swap partition.

We select "Continue" and press OK.

Now, the installer will format the partitions and will start the installation.

When finished, we should enter the username or leave the default one. On next step, we must enter the password.

Now, the setup is completed. The installer will display a success message and we can restart the system.

After reboot, the bootloader will display two new options:

  • Red Ribbon - OtherOS
  • Red Ribbon - Asbestos

We will select the one that best suits us.

Post install configurations

Setting the TV resolution manually

Red Ribbon GNU/Linux supports the auto-detect mode for the TV resolution, but sometimes you need to configure it manually.

To do this you can use the utility "ps3-video-mode" to change the resolution temporarily and test which one fits better.

First, you have to switch to the console screen by pressing Ctrl + Alt + F1. It will show the console screen with user login:

ps3 login:_

You must enter your username and press the Enter key, enter the password and press the Enter key again. Don't worry if while entering the password the screen doesn't show what you are writting.

Once you login, you need to execute the next command:

sudo ps3-video-mode --help

Note: If you are using the RC6 you must install the ps3-utils package first. You can install it using the Synaptic package manager or executing:

sudo apt-get install ps3-utils

The ps3-video-mode command will show the help info and a list of the supported video modes:

AUTO Detect Mode:
      0: auto (480i/576i if not HDMI)

60 Hz Broadcast Modes:
      1: 480i    (576 x 384)
      2: 480p    (576 x 384)
      3: 720p   (1124 x 644)
      4: 1080i  (1688 x 964)
      5: 1080p  (1688 x 964)

50 Hz Broadcast Modes:
      6: 576i    (576 x 460)
      7: 576p    (576 x 460)
      8: 720p   (1124 x 644)
      9: 1080i  (1688 x 964)
      10: 1080p  (1688 x 964)
VESA Modes:
      11: wxga   (1280 x 768)
      12: sxga   (1280 x 1024)
      13: wuxga  (1920 x 1200)

60 Hz Full Screen Broadcast Modes:
      129: 480if   (720 x 480)
      130: 480pf   (720 x 480)
      131: 720pf  (1280 x 720)
      132: 1080if (1920 x 1080)
      133: 1080pf (1920 x 1080)

50 Hz Full Screen Broadcast Modes:
      134: 576if   (720 x 576)
      135: 576pf   (720 x 576)
      136: 720pf  (1280 x 720)
      137: 1080if (1920 x 1080)
      138: 1080pf (1920 x 1080)

If the TV supports Full HD you should use 1080i or 1080p modes, and if it supports HD Ready you should use 720p modes.

For example, to test 720p at 60Hz, use mode 3:

sudo ps3-video-mode -m 3

Once you have tested the video mode, you can set it on the kboot configuration file:

For release candidate 6:

sudo nano /etc/default/kboot

For release candidate 5 and previous:

sudo nano /etc/kboot.conf

If you want to set a video mode, you must change it. For example, to set the video mode 3.

Old configuration:


New configuration:


It should look like this:

For release candidate 6:

DEFAULT_OPTIONS="video=ps3fb:mode:3 ps3fb=8M quiet nomodeset splash"
FAILSAFE_OPTIONS="video=ps3fb:mode:0 ps3fb=8M quiet nomodeset noapic noapm nodma nomce nolapic vga=ofonly"

For release candidate 5 and previous:

Red Ribbon Linux-2.6.38-powerpc64-asbestos=/boot/vmlinux-2.6.38-powerpc64-asbestos initrd=/boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-powerpc64-asbestos root=UUID=XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX video=ps3fb:mode:3 ps3fb=8M
Red Ribbon Linux-2.6.38-powerpc64-otheros=/boot/vmlinux-2.6.38-powerpc64-otheros initrd=/boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-powerpc64-otheros root=UUID=XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX video=ps3fb:mode:3 ps3fb=8M

You must press Crtl+x to save the changes and exit.

For release candidate 6, you must update the Kboot menu:

sudo update-kboot

Finally, you can go to the desktop by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F7 and reboot the system, or also you can reboot directly from the console by executing this command:

sudo reboot

After restart, the video mode will be applied automatically.

Using a virtual desktop

If the TV resolution is too small to display the menus or the windows, you can use a virtual desktop and simulate a zoom effect.

For this, you must have to go to the console and execute:

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Now, in the screen section:

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Default Screen"
        Device          "Generic Video Card"
        Monitor         "Generic Monitor"

Add the virtual resolution section:

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Default Screen"
        Device          "Generic Video Card"
        Monitor         "Generic Monitor"
        SubSection "Display"
                Virtual 1024 768

In this example, the resolution is 1024x768, but you can use the resolution that you want.

You must press Ctrl+x to save the changes and exit.

After reboot, the desktop will simulate a zoom effect.


Red Ribbon is distributed under the GPL license; you are allowed to copy and distribute it freely. It is provided without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


All the software contained on this distribution is freely available with either GPL or Creative Commons:

  • The operating system is based on Debian GNU/Linux.
  • The kernel includes the Graf_chokolo's, Marcan's and Gitbrew's patches, all of them licensed by GPL.
  • The background image in the input window and the desktop has been designed by Sascha Wenninger and licensed by Creative Commons.
  • The installer has been developed by R04drunner and licensed by GPL.