The Surficial Understanding of Kernels
A kernel, in a fundamental sense, is a bridge that helps communicate the hardware to the demands of its software. It is a mediator between the operating system and your device’s hardware. So, every action on your device is directly communicated through kernel onto your Operating System, and hence, the output. For example, you long-press the power button, and the power menu appears. Similarly, you click on a volume-up button, and the speaker volume rises. Each elementary task has a direct correlation with the device’s kernel, and inevitably, every operating system comes equipped with a kernel.
A stock kernel is the “base-kernel” released by the OEM itself for their specific devices (or models). It is the kernel that you are currently equipped with.
While we use the term “base-kernel”, it isn’t vanilla as you might think of. These “stock kernel” are still modified by smartphone manufacturers to meet their requirements. Albeit, they are the least customizable and offer no edge in terms of features.
Custom kernels – as the name suggest – are customized version tailored such as to meet your extra-demands, requirements and features. They inordinately differ from stock kernels in areas of clocking, customizations and addon features. Most custom kernels tend to have better exposure to hardware level capabilities through Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) and, therefore, have better performance outputs in domains like camera and Bluetooth.
Custom kernels offer better performance, noticeable battery improvements, flexible CPU tuning, superior optimization, timely update and bug fixes; forbye, features like stronger audio engine, fast charging, camera HAL3, KCAL, haptic controls etc. makes it even more tempting to get your hands on. In this article, we share the easiest and safest method to install and uninstall a custom kernel on your smartphone.
How to Install and Uninstall Kernel on Android
Here is a detailed guide on how you can install and uninstall kernels in you Android device. Be sure to follow each and every steps precisely.
(While this method is a sure shot, we do not take liability of any damages. Even so, please comment down if you encounter any problem, we will try to help you as much as possible.)
- A custom kernel for your specific device model.
- A phone with custom recovery installed. (Click here)
IMP: Different device models have different kernel versions which aren’t compatible on other devices. You need to search and verify (100%) if the kernel is particularly made for your smartphone. A go-to for searching anything related to such is XDA. Be aware that installing an incompatible kernel can result in a boot-loop.
Task 1: Backing Up Stock Kernel
Backing up stock kernel – even though it’s optional – ensures the process to be fail-safe. In case anything goes wrong or you got stuck in a boot-loop, or you want to revert to the original state, this step is a life-saver.
|1. Reboot to custom recovery.|
|2. Click on Backup menu.|
|3. Select on Boot or Boot.img, and rename if necessary.|
|4. Now, swipe right to backup.|
Task 2: Installing Custom Kernel
After you have check-confirmed all the above steps, follow these steps to install a custom kernel into your device.
|1. Download the specific kernel file (zip) for your device and copy it into your device’s internal storage. (or SD Card if you have any).|
|2. Reboot to Recovery Mode.|
|3. Go to Install menu and browse the kernel that we downloaded earlier.|
|4. Now click on kernel file (zip) and swipe to install.|
|5. Reboot back to the system.|
To check if you have successfully installed a custom kernel into your device, go to Settings → About Phone → Android Version → Kernel Version.
Task 3: Uninstalling Custom Kernel
If, by any chance, you wish to revert to the previous kernel, follow these steps:
|1. Reboot back to Recovery Mode.|
|2. Click on Restore menu.|
|3. Select the backup file we created earlier. (You can confirm by date)|
|4. Check to enable Boot and swipe to backup.|
|5. You have successfully restored the preceding kernel.|
How to overcome soft-bricks and boot-loop?
First thing, don’t panic. To resolve soft-bricks and boot-loops that you encountered during this process; you just need to uninstall the kernel we just flashed. Follow the above steps and you will probably have your problem resolved.
In case it does not help, formatting (and re-installing) your ROM will always get you out of the muddle.
So, this was how you install and uninstall kernels from your android device. If you encounter any problems or issues, do explain it in the comment section below. Share your screenshots if you have to. We are here to help you.
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