The Linux Kernel fix for SACK vulnerabilities broke Steam

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Steam users who upgraded to the latest kernels have found themselves unable to connect to the Steam network. It's already fixed in git master and a patch will be included in the next round of stable kernel releases. A temporary workaround for Steam users is to add the -tcp command-line option to Steam which will by-pass it's default WebSocket connection method and use TCP directly.


Steam bug #6326 appears to affect a large amount of people using a variety of distributions. Interestingly, not everyone who upgraded to the newer kernels fixing the SACK networking vulnerabilities have problems - but a large amount do. The issue can be worked around by launching Steam with:

steam -tcp

That -tcp option could also be added to the Exec line in /usr/share/applications/steam.desktop

Linus Torvalds has already pulled a fix from Google asset Eric Dumazet into git master as commit b6653b3629e5b88202be3c9abc44713973f5c4b4. Linus has instructed the stable kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman to include this patch in the next round of releases of the stable kernel branches.

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Note: By next round of kernel releases we mean 5.1.14, 4.19.55 and 4.14.130. The patch for the Steam issue is not included in 5.1.13, 4.19.54 and 4.14.129 which were released today.

UPDATE: 5.1.14 and 4.19.55 are now available with a patch.

published 2019-06-22last edited 2019-06-23

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