As regular readers know I’m deploying Fedora 9 on PS3s to support our new Computer Science Games course. Students will be able to develop on a workstation running Fedora 9 and Windows Vista and then deploy on a PS3. The easiest (and best) way to access the PS3 is to install Linux on it. This has one seemingly major drawback. Sony, in their infinite wisdom, decided to disallow access for non Sony code to the RSX unit which is the PS3s graphics card. Personally, I think this is dumb. At any rate, there’s a work around.
The Cell processor in the PS3 is awesome. In fact it’s not all too dissimilar to what Intel are trying to do with Larrabee on the CPU die or what AMD are trying to do with Fusion. So some smart people have come along with a reimplementation of the Linux OpenGL subsystem called Gallium3D. This uses the SPE units on the Cell processor as, essentially, a graphics card.
Which is great, but it complicates my deployment somewhat. The current plan is to use Fedora’s kickstart support to boot from a bare minimum CD and then install a list of packages from the Fedora servers. I’m also going to create my own Fedora package server to serve out the Gallium3D reimplementation of Mesa. And then there are some integration issues.
I’ll need to authenticate off the Uni LDAP server. However, though the Uni LDAP servers include the posixAccount OID they don’t appear to fill in the uidNumber and gidNumber fields. Which sucks for a UNIX. So I need to set up an IPA server to leach auth information from the Uni LDAP server but fill in the required POSIX attributes.
That’s much more work than I initially thought it would be, but it’s the minimum required to get a development environment with user authentication. I’ll also be looking at puppet to roll out maintenance tasks.