Playstation 4 runs with FreeBSD

Last month news about PlayStation 4 were published. The operating system of this new console is called ‘Orbis OS’ and is based on FreeBSD version 9. This is interesting, because the Playstation uses an AMD Radeon graphics card and for this card there are currently no usable driver for FreeBSD.


FreeBSD is a UNIX like operating system and was developed from UNIX source. One very popular operating system that is also based on FreeBSD is called Darwin, which is the base behind Mac OSX. A big question about this decision is: Why FreeBSD and not Linux? Surprisingly this answer is quite easy. FreeBSD uses an own license which is called BSD-license. Linux is based on GPL and if you develop new things for GPL, you have to do this open source, not so for BSD. This was a good decision for Sony, because they do not need to publish drivers like the one for the graphics card.


Some advantages with this operating system against its competitor Xbox One from Microsoft are obvious. The XBOX One will have 2 different operating systems: Windows 8 if you want to use browsers or want to watch blurays and a own XBOX operating systems for games. So from 8 GB memory the system uses 3 GB. Only 5 GB are left for games. On the Playstation 4, only 1 GB is used for the operating system, so game developers are happy to use full 7 GB for games. That is a big advantage!

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