SteamOS Beta Switches To Linux 4.14.13 For KPTI To Mitigate Meltdown
Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 16 January 2018 at 10:13 AM EST. 6 Comments
VALVE --
Valve has pushed out a new SteamOS Beta build for the Debian Jessie-based "Brewmaster" series.

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.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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