Running Linux on a PlayStation 3 console is completely possible if installed on the console's hard drive. Many Linux distributions are compatible with the PS3 console especially the more popular distributions like Ubuntu, Yellow Dog Linux (Sony actually recommends using this distributions), OpenSUSE, Fedora, Debian, and Gentoo.
If you are thinking doing this is illegal or it will void your warranty, you are wrong. In fact, Sony used the fact that their PlayStation 2 console can run Linux in its marketing campaign. They even released a PS2 Linux kit back in 2002 that allowed consumers to turn their PS2 console into a personal computer. Again, Sony allows for this and allows for the ease of installing Linux by including an option in the XMB to install other operating systems like Linux.
Installing Linux on your PlayStation 3 console may be tricky but it is not so complex that you need to be a programmer to do it. The number one thing you should do is back up all your saved games onto a USB drive. This is important just in case something should go wrong with the installation process. So, once again …
BACK UP ALL YOUR SAVED GAMES ONTO A USB DRIVE!
There are so many cases where users took the unnecessary risk that nothing will go wrong and then get upset when something does. Do not fall for the false sense of security of having the installation procedure in front of you! Just back up all your saved games and anything else you do not want lost onto a USB drive.
Take note: if you are trying to install Linux on your PS3 Slim, you cannot do this. Sony stopped offering the "OtherOS install" option for the PS3 Slim as a cost saving measure. The PS3 Slim was created as a more affordable option and for Sony to maintain the drivers to support Linux, it would have cost too much.
Once you have installed Linux onto your PS3 console, have fun with it!