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Update: I spoke with Valve about the issue and they confirmed change is coming — "Yes, we're aware of the issue and will soon be shipping an update to the SteamOS Beta to address it. After the update, Firefox will be installed as a flatpak, making it easier to keep up to date."


For all the pros of the Steam Deck like the full KDE Plasma desktop mode, there's a bit of a sore spot with Valve being too slow to update some of the included software.

Right now, the version of Firefox that is available on the Steam Deck is stuck at 96.0.3 even if you've opted into the very latest SteamOS 3.3 Beta. This is actually rather important, because web browsers are constantly under attack and new vulnerabilities appear all the time. With this version of Firefox, there's various flaws still present in it.

It's not entirely clear why Valve don't just remove the Firefox package included directly in SteamOS, and have the Flatpak version installed instead like they give you the option for with Chrome with their built-in installer that keeps it up to date too.

For now if you want a secure browsing experience on the Steam Deck you should either install and run the Firefox version available via Discover as Flatpak or use Chrome that Valve has an easy installer for either via Discover or through the Non-Steam section in Gaming Mode.

I've reached out to Valve directly about this, will update if / when they reply.

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Hat tip to Quinn.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Steam Deck, Apps, Meta
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Yeah, I noticed that when I first booted into the desktop. I installed the Firefox Flatpak, but the pre-installed Firefox kept opening whenever I tried to open the Flatpak.

So I disabled the read-only filesystem, removed Firefox, and then re-enabled it. All good now.
Liam Dawe 7 Jul
Quoting: CyborgZetaSo I disabled the read-only filesystem, removed Firefox, and then re-enabled it. All good now.
That change will be likely lost though when you do a new SteamOS upgrade, due to how upgrades are handled. Still for now it's a neat little adjustment for people who want to rid themselves fully of the outdated version. Hopefully Valve will sort this now with us highlighting it.
tfk 7 Jul
Hm. Can't find any Firefox other than the one I had to install via Flatpak...
Hooly 7 Jul
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To be honest, they should include the Chromium Flatpak instead.
WorMzy 7 Jul
Interesting choice to have firefox baked into the image -- it'll pull in the gtk3 stack () and increase the size of the image considerably (would add ~300MiB to my plasma system). If they just need a basic browser for people to use to navigate to flathub or whatever, konqueror might fill that niche (+~25MiB).
kokoko3k 7 Jul
Quoting: WorMzyInteresting choice to have firefox baked into the image -- it'll pull in the gtk3 stack () and increase the size of the image considerably (would add ~300MiB to my plasma system). If they just need a basic browser for people to use to navigate to flathub or whatever, konqueror might fill that niche (+~25MiB).
Konqueror is based on webkit, right?
I wonder if there is a browser using chromium web engine (still blink?) using qt5.
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: CyborgZetaSo I disabled the read-only filesystem, removed Firefox, and then re-enabled it. All good now.
That change will be likely lost though when you do a new SteamOS upgrade, due to how upgrades are handled. Still for now it's a neat little adjustment for people who want to rid themselves fully of the outdated version. Hopefully Valve will sort this now with us highlighting it.
Eh, if it comes back, I'll just remove it again. I really don't need it on my Steam Deck if I have the Flatpak.
WorMzy 7 Jul
Quoting: kokoko3k
Quoting: WorMzyInteresting choice to have firefox baked into the image -- it'll pull in the gtk3 stack () and increase the size of the image considerably (would add ~300MiB to my plasma system). If they just need a basic browser for people to use to navigate to flathub or whatever, konqueror might fill that niche (+~25MiB).
Konqueror is based on webkit, right?
I wonder if there is a browser using chromium web engine (still blink?) using qt5.

Falkon, although with the qt5-webengine package (and related deps) you're probably looking at ~200MiB.
dos 7 Jul
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: CyborgZetaSo I disabled the read-only filesystem, removed Firefox, and then re-enabled it. All good now.
That change will be likely lost though when you do a new SteamOS upgrade, due to how upgrades are handled. Still for now it's a neat little adjustment for people who want to rid themselves fully of the outdated version. Hopefully Valve will sort this now with us highlighting it.

The latest SteamOS doesn't install Firefox by default for a few days now, the change just hasn't reached beta branch yet (it's only on main).
Quinn 7 Jul
Plasma and glibc are also outdated and they're not the only packages; HoloOS (SteamOS) hasn't been synched with Arch since Jan 27, 2022.

Firefox 96 is vulnerable to four critical security flaws (plus about a dozen other potentially exploitable defects), at least 2 of which are known to be under attack in the wild:

https://www.mozilla.org/security/advisories/mfsa2022-09/

https://www.mozilla.org/security/advisories/mfsa2022-19/

It should be a high priority to keep Firefox as up-to-date as possible.
Outside of hardware exploits, I would imagine future attacks on Steam Deck's will simply abuse functions of the browser.
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