SteamOS Beta Switches To Linux 4.14.13 For KPTI To Mitigate Meltdown
SteamOS Beta 2.145 is out with its main focus on transitioning to the Linux 4.14 (v4.14.13) stable kernel.
This kernel upgrade is notable as it now provides Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) for fending off the Meltdown vulnerability with Intel CPUs. The KPTI code is enabled only on Intel CPUs and not AMD CPUs.
Linux 4.14.13 though doesn't contain Retpoline support, but that's coming for v4.14.14, in a preventive measure for Spectre.
Our testing of KPTI on both Radeon and NVIDIA graphics cards has fortunately shown that having this security feature enabled causes minimal to no change on Linux gaming performance.
Having this latest Linux stable release in SteamOS Beta is also useful for having the latest Intel/Radeon DRM driver fixes.
More details at SteamCommunity.com.