[Rd] Compiling R for the Sony Playstation 3?

elw at stderr.org elw at stderr.org
Fri Aug 3 16:09:59 CEST 2007

I've been working off-and-on for a few months on devising some patches to 
R to make it much happier with a Cell processor;  to be honest I've not 
had much time to work at it lately.

Douglas is right that it is mostly a PPC64 sort of architecture; taking 
real advantage of the hardware is going to require support for a different 
BLAS (that knows how to handle the SPUs...) be patched into R's configure 

Beyond that, there may be a few more things that can be done to make R run 
"stupidly fast" on ps3 or IBM Cell blades.


On Fri, 3 Aug 2007, Douglas Bates wrote:

> Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2007 08:52:35 -0500
> From: Douglas Bates <bates at stat.wisc.edu>
> To: marc_schwartz at comcast.net
> Cc: R-devel List <r-devel at r-project.org>
> Subject: Re: [Rd] Compiling R for the Sony Playstation 3?
> On 8/1/07, Marc Schwartz <marc_schwartz at comcast.net> wrote:
>> On Wed, 2007-08-01 at 11:13 -0500, Douglas Bates wrote:
>>> Has anyone installed Linux on a Sony Playstation 3 and compiled R for it?
>> Doug,
>> I don't have any personal experience with both Linux and R on the PS3,
>> but do know folks who have run Linux successfully on that platform.
>> Here are some links that you might find helpful to at least cover the
>> first part:
>> http://www.playstation.com/ps3-openplatform/manual.html
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_for_PlayStation_3
>> http://www.engadget.com/2006/11/19/fedora-linux-up-and-running-on-playstation-3-with-video/
>> There are additional links, as usual, on the Wikipedia page.
> I did successfully install Ubuntu 7.04 ("feisty") on a Playstation 3. 
> Once you have Ubuntu installed you can use the standard package 
> management tools for Debian/Ubuntu to install the r-base-core, 
> r-recommended and r-base-dev packages.  Those packages are for R-2.4.1 
> but I had no trouble installing and checking the most recent versions of 
> R from the SVN site.
> Essentially the Playstation 3 becomes a typical Ubuntu system with all 
> the tools from Ubuntu.  At present X11 uses the framebuffer device so 
> the graphics is poor by X11 standards and very poor by gamer's 
> standards.
> Overall it is quite amazing given that the PS3 with a 60GB hard drive is 
> now being sold in the U.S. for $500 and that includes a Blu-ray DVD 
> drive and full 1080p HDMI interface.  At $500 it is one of the cheapest 
> Blu-ray DVD players, which is what I bought it for.  It's great to be 
> able to run R on my DVD player.
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