Steam Deck Platform Driver Posted For The Linux Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 6 February 2022 at 07:00 AM EST. 8 Comments
A Linux kernel driver was posted today for platform control support for Valve's upcoming Steam Deck.

This platform driver is for supporting the Steam Deck Specific "VLV0100" device presented by the embedded controller (EC) firmware. This is ultimately used for functionality like CPU/device fan control, access to DDIC registers, battery temperature measurements, display-related settings, and USB Type-C event notifications.

This driver was developed by Valve engineers and is now working its way to the mainline kernel. It's not critical functionality for being able to use other Linux distributions on the Steam Deck, but it's certainly nice to have.

Given the timing of this patch, it's not expected to be merged until the Linux 5.18 cycle kicking off in late March. Valve's Arch Linux based SteamOS is expected to be relying on a patched kernel at least initially so all the functionality should be good there for Steam Deck gamers out-of-the-box, but this driver will be useful for those with time wanting to run other Linux distributions on this portable handheld game system.

This x86 "steamdeck" platform driver is just over 500 lines of new code. Stay tuned for the end of the month to learn more about SteamOS 3.0 and Linux on the Steam Deck.
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