SteamOS 2.154 Brewmaster Updates a Ton of Security Fixes, Valve Will Focus on Kernel and Drivers Next

Valve has just released SteamOS 2.154 as their latest Brewmaster upgrade, which brings a ton of security fixes and other updates, including a large changelog of CVE fixes related to security vulnerabilities.

While SteamOS Brewmaster hasn’t really put forth anything exciting lately, Valve is seeking to improve the overall build infrastructure, then finalize kernel and graphics driver updates. This would be particularly good, as the currently available drivers on SteamOS are fairly outdated, while Mesa and Linux kernel DRM improvements have continuously brought significant gains for Linux users throughout the year of 2018.

SteamOS 2.154 upgrades against upstream Debian 8.11, which includes a lot of security and CVE fixes, so overall this is a significant upgrade for SteamOS.

For those unaware what SteamOS is all about, it is quite literally Valve’s fork of Debian GNU/Linux, based on the Debian ‘jessie’ (stable 8.x) distro. The significant changes made in Valve’s fork are:

  • Added various third-party drivers and updated graphics stack
  • Updated kernel tracking the 4.1 longterm branch
  • Custom graphics compositor designed to provide a seamless transition between Steam, its games and the SteamOS system overlay
  • Configured to auto-update from the Valve SteamOS repositories

SteamOS is quite literally a Linux-based OS that revolves around the Steam client and installing Linux-compatible games from the Steam proprietary software, and while this sounds incredibly useful for Linux PC gamers, the fact that SteamOS’ has outdated driver support and doesn’t receive regular updates from Valve has made it a kind of “not really practical” OS.

Valve may be looking to change this though, as the SteamOS 2.154 brings a lot of fixes, and if they get on-board with the upcoming Linux kernel improvements and AMDGPU / Vulkan technology driver updates set for release around August, SteamOS may become a Linux gamer’s OS of choice. There are many ifs involved, so we’ll be watching as things develop.

Farhan Ali
Farhan is a passionate writer with an undying love for games, PC hardware, and technology. With nearly 5 years of experience in blogging and over 14 years of experience in gaming, this is what he loves and does best.