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What is a kernal?

Discussion in 'Droid X Hacks' started by Brennan_Huber, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Brennan_Huber
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    Brennan_Huber Theme Developer Theme Developer

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    I'm fairly new to this whole ROM thing but I understand it and I've downloaded and installed quite a few ROMs. But my battery life is awful, and I have read that if you install a low voltage kernal it'll save battery life. So what is a kernal, what does it do, and what do I need to do to install one?

    -thanks ahead of time

    Sent from my DROIDX
  2. Abe21599
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    Abe21599 DF Super Moderator

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    as of now, theres no way to change the kernel on the DX. there are a few in project bootloader freedom making progress but since the bootloader is locked, u cannot change the kernel.

    and a kernel is simply the link between the hardware and the software of the phone.
  3. echonaut
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    echonaut New Member

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    To answer the question of what a kernel is, it's the core of the OS, the part of the OS that actually communicates directly with the hardware. (It's a little more complicated than that; there are various modules in the Linux kernel that are devoted purely to the task of communicating with hardware, etc etc, but that's the general idea.) With Android, you have a heavily modified version of the Linux kernel - Linux kernel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - that is essentially used to drive the OS.

    The Droid X and Droid 2 and Moto Milestone all have locked bootloaders and kernels -- that is, the kernel cannot be changed, as the bootloader is encrypted, preventing anyone from writing to the boot partition, where the kernel is stored. Practically speaking, running a custom kernel does not provide as much of an advantage as some people would lead you to believe.

    In the short-term, having a locked boot partition is not a huge issue -- the rest of the OS can be changed. (ie, all of the components of Android that you use and interact with.) The biggest issue is that, a year from now, there's no guarantee that Motorola is going to continue to release updates to the phone -- therefore, the phone may be stuck on an older kernel, with no option of being upgraded. The Milestone (GSM/EU version of the original MotoDroid) is in that situation right now -- it's probably never going to be upgraded to Gingerbread or any later versions of Android.

    In my opinion, that is the very reason that Motorola locks their boot partitions -- not because they feel that people are going to void their warranties or anything of that nature (they can just refuse service to anyone who voids their warranties, no harm no foul), but instead to give their phones an artificial lifespan -- that is, as Android continues to be upgraded, Motorola is the gatekeeper, and if you continue to buy Moto products, you'll have to upgrade the hardware if you want to get a better product with the latest Android features.
  4. Brennan_Huber
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    Brennan_Huber Theme Developer Theme Developer

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    Wow!! That was a ton of info and it helper me so much!! Thank you

    Sent from my DROIDX
  5. churchoffaith
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    churchoffaith New Member

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    Thanks that helped me too.

    Sent from my DROIDX using DroidForums App
  6. aimless
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    aimless New Member

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    I was just wondering the same thing. Thanks bud!

    sent from my Liberated DroidX
  7. AlexSB
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    AlexSB New Member

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    This reply in-itself should be stickied. I've also wondered what a kernal is lol. Thanks for clearing it up!

    Liberated Droid II