[UPDATE] Sony says farewell to Linux with Firmware v3.21
UPDATE: In case you haven't turned on your PS3 today, you shoud know that the update is now available. This is a mandatory update, so you will need to update your system before logging onto the PlayStation Network.
ORIGINA ARTICE: One of the most distinguishing features in the pre-Slim era PlayStation 3s is the ability to install other operating systems, including Linux. Starting in April, Sony will remove this capability from pre-Slim PS3s.
Sony will release the PS3 firmware update v3.21 on April 1, and with it comes the removal of the “install other OS,” feature from older PS3s. It seems this change has to do with security concerns.
Patrick Seybold, Sr. Director of corporate communication and social media, wrote this on the PlayStation blog: “In addition, disabling the ‘Other OS’ feature will help ensure that PS3 owners will continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system.”
If you already have another operating system on your PS3 and choose not to install firmware update v3.21, you will experience the following changes: you can no longer play copyright-protected videos that are stored on a media server (when DTCP-IP is enabled under Settings), the ability to sign in to the PlayStation Network and use network features that require signing into the PSN will be removed, and you can no longer playback PS3 software titles or Blu-ray Disc videos that require PS3 system software version 3.21 or later.
Essentially, it sounds like Sony really wants you to do a system update, even if you already have another OS installed. Sony says it's best to back-up any data stored within the hard drive partition for those using the “Other SO” feature. You will not have access to that data after the update.
It should be noted that this will not have an impact on anyone with a Slim PS3 since it does not have the “Other OS” feature.