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Open PS2 Loader

Copyright 2013, Ifcaro & jimmikaelkael
Licenced under Academic Free License version 3.0
Review LICENSE file for further details.


Open PS2 Loader (OPL) is a 100% Open source game and application loader for the PS2 and PS3 units. It supports three categories of devices : USB mass storage devices, SMB shares and the PlayStation 2 HDD unit. USB devices and SMB shares support USBExtreme and *.ISO formats while PS2 HDD supports HDLoader format. It's now the most compatible homebrew loader.

OPL is also developed continuously - anyone can contribute improvements to the project due to its open source nature.

You can visit the Open PS2 Loader forum at:

For updated compatibility list, you can visit OPL-CL site at:

Release types

Open PS2 Loader bundle included several types of the same OPL version. These types come with more or less features included.

Type (can be a combination) Description
"Normal" (No suffixes) Regular, basic OPL release, without any extra features. Aka vanilla build.
"Childproof" OPL release with some controls disabled (e.g. write operations).
"VMC" OPL release with Virtual Memory Card (VMC) support.
"GSM" OPL release with GSM integrated into it.
"PS2RD" OPL release with PS2RD Cheat Engine built-in feature.

How to use

OPL uses the following directory tree structure across HDD, SMB, and USB modes:

Folder Description Modes
"CD" for games on CD media - i.e. blue-bottom discs USB and SMB
"DVD" for DVD5 and DVD9 images if using the NTFS file system on USB or SMB ; DVD9 images must be split and placed into the device root if using the FAT32 file system on USB or SMB USB and SMB
"VMC" for Virtual Memory Card images - from 8MB up to 64MB all
"CFG" for saving per-game configuration files all
"ART" for game art images all
"THM" for themes support all
"CHT" for cheats files all
"CFG-DEV" for saving per-game configuration files, when used from a OPL dev build - aka beta build all

OPL will automatically create the above directory structure the first time you launch it and enable your favourite device. For HDD users, a 128Mb +OPL partition will be created (you can enlarge it using uLaunchELF if you need to).


Game files on USB must be perfectly defragmented either file by file or by whole drive, and Dual Layer DVD9 images must be split to avoid the 4GB limitations of the FAT32 file system. We recommend Auslogics Disk Defrag for best defragging results.

You also need a PC program to convert or split games into USB Advance/Extreme format, such as USBUtil 2.0.


For loading games by SMB protocol you need to share a folder (ex: PS2SMB) on the host machine or NAS device and make sure that it has full read and write permissions. USB Advance/Extreme format is optional - *.ISO images are supported using the folder structure above with the added bonus that DVD9 images don't have to be split if your SMB device uses the NTFS or EXT3/4 file system.


For PS2, 48-bit LBA internal HDDs up to 2TB are supported. They have to be formatted with either HDLoader or uLaunchELF (uLaunchELF is recommended).

To launch OPL, you can use any of the existing methods for loading an executable elf.

On PS3, you need an original SwapMagic 3.6+ or 3.8 disc (at the moment there aren't any other options). The steps for loading OPL on a PS3 are:

  2. Make a folder in root of USB device called SWAPMAGIC and copy SMBOOT0.ELF to it.
  3. Launch SwapMagic in PS3 and press UP+L1 then Open PS2 Loader should start.

There are 4 forms for launching elfs in SwapMagic.


Note: on PS3, only USB and SMB modes are supported.

Some notes for devs

Open PS2 Loader needs the latest PS2SDK: