Sony's PlayStation 4 Is Running Modified FreeBSD 9

Posted by Michael Larabel on June 23, 2013

The operating system at the heart of Sony's PlayStation 4 is FreeBSD 9.0.

It's been exposed that the operating system powering the PlayStation 4 is Orbis OS, which is a Sony spin of FreeBSD 9.0. It's not a huge surprise FreeBSD is being used over Linux, in part due to the more liberal licensing. The PlayStation 4 is x86_64 based now rather than Cell-based, which makes it easier to use FreeBSD.

It's a bit of a surprise to see FreeBSD being used though when at the heart of the Sony PS4 is an AMD eight-core APU with Radeon graphics. There isn't a Catalyst driver available for any BSD operating system right now and the open-source driver ported from Linux with Radeon KMS and Gallium3D is still in a primitive state. Thus, Sony in cooperation with AMD must have developed their own graphics driver for the PlayStation 4 with FreeBSD or at least ported the Catalyst code-base to BSD.

The information of FreeBSD 9.0 powering the PlayStation 4 was shared at and based upon a second-gen development kit for the forthcoming console.

Discuss this article in our forums, IRC channel, or email the author. You can also follow our content via RSS and on social networks like Facebook,, and Twitter (@Phoronix and @MichaelLarabel). Subscribe to Phoronix Premium to view our content without advertisements, view entire articles on a single page, and experience other benefits.
  1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Motherboards
  5. Peripherals
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Operating Systems
  9. All Articles
  1. Linux Benchmarking
  3. Phoronix Test Suite