Setting up Linux on PS3 the way I like it

Here are thee instructions I followed to set up Linux on my PS3 the way I like.
These instructions are for my own benefit in case I need to do it again but they may help you setting up yours. Each section is independent (unless noted) So just go to the section that interests you

- Installing.
- Using Gnome instead of E17
- Configuring resolution on Sharp HDTV LC-32D62U
- Configuring additional software repositories
- Replacing Metacity with Openbox
- Installing Multimedia codecs
- Configuring VPN

I decided to go with Yellow Dog Linux (YDL)
Why?: It was the first distribution available and I got my PS3 right after it was released. It also seems to be the best supported.

To install just download it and follow the instructions from the official site:

Using Gnome instead of E17
Why?: E17 looks nice but it is still lacking specially when jumping from workspace to workspace. Besides I needed more configurability as you'll see in the next section.

In the log in screen click in the "Sessions" menu and select Gnome.
Enter your credentials and when asked select to change permanently

Configuring resolution on Sharp LC-32D62U
Why?: Two reasons. By default it is configured with overscanning and at 1080p on a 32" screen I can barely read the fonts when sitting in my sofa.

Solving the overscanning: I followed the instructions here
In my case, just edited /etc/yaboot.conf and edited the video parameter for 1080p fullscreen
video=ps3fb:mode:133 rhgb

Solving the small fonts: I tried setting the resolution to 720p to no avail so I decided to compromise finding a solution to my need in a different way. I changed the font size on the interface following this post…

In my case, created a ~/.gtkrc-2.0 file with the following contents
style "user-font" {
font_name = "DejaVu Sans 20"
widget_class "*" style "user-font"
gtk-font-name="DejaVu Sans 20"

And a file ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.default/chrome/userChrome.css with the following contents
@namespace url(""); /* set default namespace to XUL */
* {
font-size: 20pt !important

Install additional software repositories
Why?: To use the YDL repositories you have to subscribe (translation: pay). There are other repositories that provide even more software variety.

Follow the instructions for the YDL repositories and Fedora repository from Note: Do not do the steps for livna-stable or dribble!!

Follow the instructions for the bodega repositories from

Replace Metacity with Openbox
Why? Sony allocated limited resources for GNU/Linux on the PS3. Running a lighter window manager makes the UI more responsive.

Open a terminal and execute the following to install Openbox components.
su -
yum install openbox openbox-themes obconf

Start OpenBox
openbox --replace

To change the session preferences to open openbox from now on, open the session preferences from the main menu:
System | Preferences | More Preferences | Sessions

Check "Automatically save changes to session"
Close Sessions properties window
Logout without closing the terminal
Login again
Close the terminal
Log out and log in again
Open the session properties again
System | Preferences | More Preferences | Sessions

Uncheck "Automatically save changes to session"

Setup video and audio playback
Why?: You may want to watch movies or listent to audio files while working on Linux on your PS3. Like most distributions, YDL comes without proprietary codecs as it is illegal in some countries to distribute them (but not to get them as an end user)

I followed the instructions from

Note: The instructions regarding the repositories are a little bit outdated. Refer to the section "Install additional software repositories" above for notes on what repositories install. Other than that, the instructions work like a charm.

Configuring VPN
Why?: well, How cool is to connect to my office network sitting in my sofa, open a remote desktop connection to my office computer and work in a huge monitor!

Open a terminal and execute
su -
yum install vpnc

you can now execute it with
su -

and entering your network parameters.