Linux on PS2 - Possible without kit?

There is a factual answer to this question, which is what I want, but I suppose it could very well be a Cafe Society type discussion after a while, so if it needs moving, who am I to stop the greater will?
So, is it possible? I see that Sony released the Linux dev kit, but I also see that they’re a) expensive, and b) not being sold in the US anymore (besides on eBay and the like). So has anybody made just plain ol’ Linux without the dev kit? Or is it illegal now because Sony has released a kit?

There is some info at The Register:
Sony Releases Linux for PS2

Some similar related links

Alternatively this question posed to Slashdot might net more results (or not, you never know with Slashdot)

Well, I don’t have a PS2, so I don’t know for sure, but it seems like you can get a Debian based install from here.

That’s the only place I could find, and it hasn’t been updated since '03, so YMMV.

I am currently porting Linux to Embedded Device L, and in my various searches about the web I believe I saw on some BBSes, people talking about getting Linux working–and I didn’t get the impression there was a kit they were using.

So, no promises this is something you could do in a weekend (unless you’ve done this sort of thing multiple times in the past)–but I would guess that there is probably enough information floating about the internet that it could be done.

No, not a PS2 nor anything exciting. Just a device.

Whether or not Sony has released a kit has no impact on the legality of installing your own version of Linux.

The only way to boot Linux without modding your PS2 is to use Sony’s kit, because of the PS2’s lock-in measures (also known as region control or copy protection) which keep it from booting any disc that hasn’t gotten Sony’s seal of approval. If you want to boot Linux without buying Sony’s kit, you’ll need to install a mod chip, which may or may not be legal to buy in your area.

Why is Sony not selling its PS2 Linux kit in the US?

They actually did sell a limited number of kits in the US, but it sold out and then they stopped distributing it.
Thanks for the info guys. I was hoping that there was some sort of workaround, like they have for the Gamecube, but I guess the kit is the only way to go. Too bad it’s so expensive.

This makes no sense.

“Our product is so popular, we’ve sold every one we made! Let’s stop selling it!” There must be some other reason.

I don’t think Sony was actually making money off of them. It was more just a sop to the hacker community, kind of a, “Look, we’re a cool company, we’re going to give you (admittedly limited) access to a sort of SDK.” Since they weren’t making money, they didn’t have any incentive to continue. That’s my impression from what I’ve read, at least.

There is. You’ll have to install a mod chip if you don’t want to import the official Linux kit.

Would it be legal to use a modded PS2 running Linux in a business environment? Like a small server or something like that? I am not sure that would be possible, but it would be great if it was… I could say Boss, let’s buy a bunch of PlayStations to host our internal services!

Pardon my ignorance, but why is it desirable to do this in the first place?

There’s no particular reason for it; more just because I can. Or I can’t, apparently.

The geek’s reason for anything, “Because it’s there”.

I had played with the idea of getting one of the kits when they came out here in the US but the price seemed very high, even taking in to account the fact it came with a hard drive.

Many people used the Linux kit to write their own games, either as hobbyists or as a stepping stone to professional game development. The runtime environment (a PS2-bootable wrapper around the Linux kernel) places some limits on the PS2’s features, but you can still use the Linux kit to write and share working PS2 games. It’s much cheaper than a real PS2 dev kit, and whatever skills you pick up with it can be used in professional PS2 development.