HOWTO: How to Install Linux on a Playstation 2 without Sony's Offical Linux Kit

What do you need?

To install linux you need the following things:
Download vmlinux and initrd files.

Note: It is easier to start the Linux Live DVD and extract the baseimage from the DVD. The base image is at /oldroot/cdrom/SRC/BASE-1.0.TGZ. The kernel is on the DVD at BOOT/VMLINUX.GZ.
To get the command line, you need to start xterm from the menu. Then you need to enter the command "su" to get root access.


Note: The screen shots are from an old kernelloader version, you should use the newest version.
  1. Create directory "ps2linux" on a USB memory stick and copy all files here (vmlinux, vmlinux.devfs, initrd.gz and blackrhino_baseimage-1.0.tar.gz).
  2. Start "kloader.elf" using your preferred booting method. At startup you will see the following screen. You can use the PS2 controller to navigate through the menu. The button CROSS selects a menu entry. It is also possible to use a USB keyboard and press UP and DOWN keys. You can select a menu entry by pressing RETURN.

  3. Select kernel vmlinux.devfs. This kernel supports VFAT used on most USB memory sticks.

  4. Select initial ramdisk (initrd). We need a small system to install Linux.

  5. Disable "dmarelay.irx" (recommended). This is only required if you use other kernels with DMA support.

  6. Boot Linux

  7. Create Linux partitions on hard disc (CAUTION: all data will be deleted).
  8. Format swap partition (CAUTION: Delete all data on hard disc):
  9. Format root partition (CAUTION: Delete all data on hard disc):
  10. Mount hard disc
  11. Mount USB memory stick (read only):
  12. Extract Linux distribution
  13. cd mnt
  14. tar -xzf /usb/ps2linux/black~1.gz
  15. There will be many messages printed showing that date is in the future.
  16. Customize Linux installation:
  17. Unmount and reboot:
  18. Start "kloader.elf" using your preferred booting method.

  19. Select kernel vmlinux.

  20. Disable initrd

  21. Change kernel parameter using USB keyboard to "crtmode=pal root=/dev/hda2 ro" or "crtmode=ntsc root=/dev/hda2 ro" (Keep your "pal" or "ntsc" setting).
    If you installed on USB mass storage, you need to use initrd.usb2.gz and kernel parameter "newroot=/dev/sda1" for first partition or "newroot="/dev/sda2" for second partition and remove parameter "root".

  22. Save configuration.

  23. Boot Linux.

  24. You can now login as "root" user and use Linux.

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