How to Install a Custom Android Kernel

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Currently, I’m running the SkyRaider Zeus Preview 2 on my HTC Thunderbolt. This custom ROM is loaded with the stock HTC Kernel.


Are you wondering exactly what a kernel does?

The central component of most operating systems. Its responsibilities include managing the system’s resources (the communication between hardware and software components) and can provide the lowest-level abstraction layer for resources (especially memory, processors, and I/O devices)


Developers create custom Kernels so we can overclock, obtain better battery life, etc. Developers can sometimes alter the code to obtain much better results than the manufacture.

There are MANY Kernels available. However, DO NOT FLASH JUST ANY KERNEL to your custom ROM Android phone. Wherever you downloaded your custom ROM from, check their resources to see which kernels are obtainable and working the best for that ROM. So for instance, I’m stating Dream Kernel 2.3.6 is compatible and working just fine with SkyRaider Zeus Preview 2. How do I know this? The developer of course! They posted this information.

Now, on to the good stuff:


How to flash / install a custom kernel.

If you’re looking for the Dream Kernel 2.3.6 you can download it from my site here.

1. Once you have downloaded the .zip file of your kernel you need to place it on the root of your SD card. What this means is don’t place the .zip inside folder on your SD card.

2. You need to use an app to install the kernel. Personally, I use ROM Manager. ROM Manager also allows me to install custom ROMs. Once you open ROM Manager, find the option “Install from SD Card”. Once you do this, locate the kernel’s .zip file on your SD card.

3. Next, a box should pop up asking if you want to check 3 boxes. Please see the pic below:


You do NOT need to wipe cache and dalvik! The only box you may need to consider checking is the “backup current ROM”. Only do this if you’re not comfortable installing custom kernels.

That’s it! You’ll all done after that. Your phone should restart and install the custom kernel in less than a minute.


How do I check to make sure I’m running the custom Kernel? (see pic below)

Go to your phone’s Settings > About Phone > Software Information > More > Kernel Version.

Mine says Therefore, I know I’m successfully running the Dream Kernel.



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