There seems to be a little confusion as to whether the PS2 is supported by Gentoo. To clarify, it isn’t. There was never any effort to officially support the PS2. Some unofficial work did begin some years ago, however that work ceased fairly early on, and there has been no interest in continuing it.
There are a number of technical reasons why the PS2 is not supported.
First and foremost, the CPU is a real bastardised piece of work. It implements a custom instruction set, which is a hodge podge of MIPS I, MIPS II, MIPS III and MIPS IV, with some special instructions thrown in. It doesn’t fully implement any of the aforementioned instruction sets. So binaries such as my mipsel1 stages, will not work — you’ll hit illegal instruction errors fairly early on.
Secondly, the patches necessary for the kernel, and toolchain, are based on a really ancient set of packages. The kernel released with the PlayStation II Linux kit (2.2.1), was a year old when the first PS2 hit the shelves. Not so bad then, but the kernel was never properly maintained. Even today, unofficial efforts have only gotten as far as 2.4.3x-series. The toolchain is still quite ancient, at best, gcc-3.3 from what I recall, is the best they’ve got. Maybe they’ve got as far as 3.4… who knows…
Thirdly, the memory on the PS2 is restricted to 32MB. This is soldered on-board, can’t be upgraded. Gentoo/MIPS will not build most packages with 32MB RAM. Once upon a time, I could just build stages with 64MB on my Qube2, if I shut down things like MySQL — not anymore, I need 128MB to do this today. uClibc could be feasible, but you’d still have problems with the “special” CPU. Virtual memory doesn’t help — even if you had 2YB of swap, it wouldn’t stop builds dying.
Other MIPS-based consoles, such as the original PlayStation (MIPS R3000-based) and the PlayStation Pocket (MMU-less MIPS32r2) are also not supported for similar reasons. And we (MIPS team) don’t support the PlayStation 3 either — for that, you should talk to the PowerPC team.
Now… I have no complaints about answering questions about what we support/don’t support… but a few points… (this is where my rant starts by the way)
- Write properly when in the IRC channel. If it’s one thing that’ll quickly get my back up, it’s SMS-like chat on IRC. I’m tolerant of spelling errors and grammatical mistakes, but I won’t tolerate laziness. If a word has vowels in it, include them! It’s not like it’s significantly more effort to press an additional button on a keyboard. If you’re using morse to drive the computer, or have a physical disability that makes typing difficult, fine, declare this up front, and all will be okay, but otherwise, there’s no excuse.
- Read the documentation! It tells you what we support, and what we don’t. It’s likely your question is answered there already.
- If we can’t help you with some non-supported platform, we mean it… don’t pester us about it, we’re not going to start supporting a new platform in 5 minutes flat.