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Old August 4th, 2011, 04:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default KERNELS For Dummies

Now that HTC has released the source code for the gingerbread and devs are now making gingerbread kernels, i figured that this is a good time to put up a guide to help those who do not understand what a kernel is and what it can do.

one of the reasons that we all rooted our phones is so that we can enjoy better battery life then the non rooted phones. one way we can do this is to use a custom kernel.

Kernels

what is a kernel? a kernel basically communicates with and adjusts the voltage between the hardware(battery) and software(either sense or aosp) of your phone according to frequency. how much voltage a kernel decides to provide to and from your phone and at what frequency will depend on the type of kernels.

there are two main type of kernels:
cfs (completely fair scheduler): it tends to be more fair on an even distribution of voltage to all running processes (think apps). it is mainly designed for your typical standard tasks. things like using the web or text messaging can all be handled by cfs kernels. it tends to be better at giving the best battery life.

bfs (brain f*ck scheduler): a kernel that is more focused on certain running processes like apps. the main purpose is to run apps that need more voltage and to run them more smoothly at the expense of other processes which tend to make the phone laggy. however, it can make game play run better.

sub category
havs (hybrid adaptive voltage scaling):there are different degrees of havs kernels. they run from more havs to less havs to no havs kernels. these kernels will have a variable range of voltages as the system fluctuates according to need. they tend to err on lowering the voltage on processes that does not need the set (static) voltage for that process. basically these kernels have a max and min and will adjust the voltages accordingly to the process at hand.

no havs: since havs is not at work on these kernels, the default then is in the form of static voltage scaling which is an even amount of voltage that does not fluctuate regardless of what process is running. so even smaller tasks will get the same amount of voltage and thus potentially wasting battery life.

static undervolting:when there isn't any havs implemented on the kernel then the kernel will be using static undervolting. for each cpu speed there is a set voltage number (it is always gonna be a constant number) assigned that are lower then the normal voltage.

sbc (superior battery charging):this is a type of trickle charging that is slower in its charge and is best done overnight. it is supposed to prevent that initial 10% drop off charge. the idea is that as the voltage is pushed into the battery while charging very slowly, the battery will stay cool. by keeping the battery cool you will avoid plating where lithium ions are deposited on the anode of the battery in metallic form vs the ionic form. once lithium is metallic, it can no longer transfer electricity so obviously you want to avoid plating as much as possible.

it also supposed to charge the battery past its normal 100%. your battery indicator has a certain value for what it deems to be 100%. however the sbc charge allows the battery to charge past that point. there was concern that the sbc kernel will overcharge the battery and thus kill the life of the battery and or it can cause it to explode. now in the past, if you look around the net, you will see that people were concerned for their phones exploding due to the use of sbc kernels. though there were a few cases (supposedly) of exploding phones early on, there has not been any reported that i know of since. and yes sbc kernels may degrade your battery down faster then non sbc kernels. however, i think that the trade off of getting better battery life is better then having a battery last longer. batteries are cheap these days anyways.

More on Kernels

now one thing about kernels and batteries is that the results may very for most people. kernels tend to react differently on different phones. there are just too many variables to consider. the best thing to do is to make a nandroid and try the kernels out and find out what works for you on your phone.

every custom rom comes with its own kernel which in most cases is just stock. in order to switch kernels, all you would have to do is just flash a custom one of your choice. just make sure that you make a nandroid backup first then wipe dalvik cache and cache and flash away.

kernels are designed to work the two main types of rom. there are one for sense and then there are ones for AOSP(Android Open Source Project). they also make universal kernels that works on both AOSP and sense. however, the AOSP kernels will not work on a sense rom and vice versa. Also the new gingerbread roms will not work with froyo kernels. the main thing is to make sure that you know what kernel you are flashing and what rom you have.

Flashing Kernels

this is how it is done:
1.download the kernel of your choice
2.transfer the file over to the card
3.go into recovery
4.make a nandroid backup
5.wipe dalvik cache and cache
6.flash the zip file
7.reboot.

Setcpu


what is setcpu? it is an app found on the market that works on most android devices. its main purpose is to set and maintain cpu frequencies. also you will need a custom kernel if you want to over and underclock your phone using setcpu.

not all phones have the same threshold for overclocking so you have to be careful on how high you set the frequency. make sure that the set on boot found on the main screen is not checked. if you overclock to high then your phone will not work right. it will seize up and could cause a reboot. if you have set on boot at that level then you will get a bootloop that is hard to get out of. once you know at what point your phone is overclocked but stable, then you can go ahead and set it on boot.

as far as profiles go, i would bot recommend having too many. it is counterproductive and if you have a lot of profiles, then setcpu will then be working that much harder to monitor and maintain those profiles. usually a screen off profile is good enough to help save battery.

Governors

scaling governors control exactly how the cpu scales between your "max" and "min" set frequencies.

here is a great explanantion of some of the governors out there. thanx NaterTots!!!!!






Links

you can download setcpu from the market.

checkout this guide:setcpu guide

if you want to read more here are some threads you might want to checkout:
[GUIDE] ¤‡¤‡¤ Kernel starter guide and other information ¤‡¤‡¤ - xda-developers. i used this guide for reference. thanx to mroneeyedboh

[WIP][Battery testing]If you are using a SBC kernel, stop. EE knowledge here. - xda-developers. this is just for reference. and nothing has been proven that sbc is bad regardless of what the op says.

[DEV][SCRIPT][HOW-TO] Build MR GB 2.16.35 without thinking? WAHTS!? - xda-developers. if you feel you want to dive into developing.

and some info on sbc:
To SBC or Not to SBC... that is the question...

and
To SBC or not to SBC...? That is the question...! (Part 2)
I hope that this helps you guys decide what kernel works for you as more kernels come out.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 06:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Made Dummies Guide to Kernels a sticky.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good stuff!
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Old August 5th, 2011, 02:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the explanation. I understood their function but never knew how to explain it to others. I feel with this explanation I can demonstrate it to others.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 02:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Nice write up, subscribed and bookmarked for later use.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'll ask this for the sake of asking:

Do you need to wipe anything prior to flashing a kernel? data/cache/dalvik???
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Old August 5th, 2011, 09:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ecktore View Post
I'll ask this for the sake of asking:

Do you need to wipe anything prior to flashing a kernel? data/cache/dalvik???
just wipe dalvik cache and cache when flashing kernels. i'll add that in to the op.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 10:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Have been lurking and following along several threads here. This is so helpful to understand how it all fits together! Thanks!
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Old August 11th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey have any of you guys seen the app sgs kernel flasher? have you tried it on the evo?


I have been using it on the infuse...it's pretty slick.

I was just wondering if it worked on the evo too
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Old August 11th, 2011, 08:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
Hey have any of you guys seen the app sgs kernel flasher? have you tried it on the evo?


I have been using it on the infuse...it's pretty slick.

I was just wondering if it worked on the evo too
nope it is not on the supported list. there is the kernel manager by teamwin that is compatible with the evo.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 08:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Great write-up!

In your "how to flash" section, you might add a blurb concerning that some kernels work with sense, and some do not. So folks should verify compatibility of the kernel "to be flashed" with their current ROM.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 08:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paully View Post
Great write-up!

In your "how to flash" section, you might add a blurb concerning that some kernels work with sense, and some do not. So folks should verify compatibility of the kernel "to be flashed" with their current ROM.
that is a great idea. i will add that to it. thanx

edit: done
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Old August 11th, 2011, 11:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Any particular way to determine whether one is a netfilter-enabled kernel?
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Old August 12th, 2011, 12:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
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check the changelogs for the kernels. i just checked the gingerbread kernels and it does not seem to be supported. you can post on there thread in xda. they can give you feed back if they have plans for it or not.
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Old August 17th, 2011, 05:35 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm running golden monkey 1.1 and loving it. But can you stack kernels? I would like an SBC kernel as well. Also what type is GM? Thanks again...
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Old August 17th, 2011, 08:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarge1721 View Post
I'm running golden monkey 1.1 and loving it. But can you stack kernels? I would like an SBC kernel as well. Also what type is GM? Thanks again...
To my knowledge you can not stack kernels. SBC kernels are in the works I believe but they want to get stable kernels out first to add SBC too. GM is a sense kernel based on the recently release source code for the stock kernel in the 2.3.3 OTA.
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Old August 20th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
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When you restore a nandroid, does it reinstall the Kernel you were using when you made it as well, or just the rom?

Does a nandroid save things like the changes that were made when applying supercharger V6?
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Old August 20th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustwun77 View Post
When you restore a nandroid, does it reinstall the Kernel you were using when you made it as well, or just the rom?

Does a nandroid save things like the changes that were made when applying supercharger V6?
nandroids are a complete snapshot of everything on your phone. so yes kernels will be saved with your nandroids and same goes for the supercharger script.
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Old August 20th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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nandroids are a complete snapshot of everything on your phone. so yes kernels will be saved with your nandroids and same goes for the supercharger script.
Thanks for the quick reply!

Like the way you fixed up the Revolutionary thread too, Thanks!
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Old August 20th, 2011, 04:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
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thanx thought it looked to cluttered so i snazzed it up a bit.
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Old August 20th, 2011, 05:01 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I have made a few nandroids now and they are on my sd card. i understand doing a restore reinstalls the one with the newest date. Is there an easy way to get it to choose a different one to restore?
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Old August 20th, 2011, 05:03 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I have made a few nandroids now and they are on my sd card. i understand doing a restore reinstalls the one with the newest date. Is there an easy way to get it to choose a different one to restore?
you do not have to pick the newest one. you can use the vol up and down buttons to navigate and pick the nandroid you want to restore.
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Old August 20th, 2011, 05:05 PM   #23 (permalink)
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you do not have to pick the newest one. you can use the vol up and down buttons to navigate and pick the nandroid you want to restore.
Cool, now all I have to do is remember which is which.

Does the recovery tool go after these based upon the fact they are in the nandroid folder? is it ok to give them descriptive names?
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Old August 20th, 2011, 05:07 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Cool, now all I have to do is remember which is which.

Does the recovery tool go after these based upon the fact they are in the nandroid folder? is it ok to give them descriptive names?
yes you can rename the nandroid backups. just do not use spaces and weird symbols. for me i just put the name of the rom in front of the date.
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Old August 20th, 2011, 05:10 PM   #25 (permalink)
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yes you can rename the nandroid backups. just do not use spaces and weird symbols. for me i just put the name of the rom in front of the date.
That is a great idea! Thanks again for all your help!
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Old August 20th, 2011, 05:12 PM   #26 (permalink)
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That is a great idea! Thanks again for all your help!
no worries.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 08:45 AM   #27 (permalink)
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When you restore a nandroid, does it reinstall the Kernel you were using when you made it as well, or just the rom?

Does a nandroid save things like the changes that were made when applying supercharger V6?
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nandroids are a complete snapshot of everything on your phone. so yes kernels will be saved with your nandroids and same goes for the supercharger script.
As an add on to what Ocn said, if you flash a radio update the nandroid does not include these when created so if you flash a radio and try and restore a nandroid to return to the previous radio version, you will still be on the version you flashed. Confused yet?
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Old August 24th, 2011, 03:40 PM   #28 (permalink)
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As an add on to what Ocn said, if you flash a radio update the nandroid does not include these when created so if you flash a radio and try and restore a nandroid to return to the previous radio version, you will still be on the version you flashed. Confused yet?
Normal status.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 06:58 PM   #29 (permalink)
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what happened to the how to flash section??
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Old August 30th, 2011, 09:15 PM   #30 (permalink)
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what happened to the how to flash section??
Wipe cache and dalvik and flash.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 02:06 PM   #31 (permalink)
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hey guys,
so i revamped the guide a little and added a setcpu section. it is not complete yet as i will add more on governors and profiles later. it will most likely be this weekend that i will get to touch it up a little more.
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 12:02 PM   #32 (permalink)
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i had a question not sure if this would go here or not but i recently flashed my evo to Synergy + Godmode RLS1 and i was wondering if there was a kernel you guys can recommend that would compliment this rom.... or does it come with its own kernel already cooked into the rom....im not entirely sure
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 12:07 PM   #33 (permalink)
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i had a question not sure if this would go here or not but i recently flashed my evo to Synergy + Godmode RLS1 and i was wondering if there was a kernel you guys can recommend that would compliment this rom.... or does it come with its own kernel already cooked into the rom....im not entirely sure
every rom comes with its own kernel. if you want a different one then you just flash one. now there are only 3 kernels available for gingerbread sense roms right now. there are the golden monkey 1.1, freedom kernel .85, and the chopsuey 9.2 kernels. all of them are top notch kernels. but with kernels it is hard to really recommend one or the other. it is always YRMV.what works for me may not work for you. just make a nandroid backup and try one out and give it a few days before deciding then nandroid and flash another one.
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 12:25 PM   #34 (permalink)
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okay cooly! thnx again! im always on these forums but never really post because ppl seem to have the same questions i have so by skimming & lurking im able to find a solution through your guys posts!
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Old September 12th, 2011, 08:56 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I have a simple question. Does my phone have to be powered on when I charge it in order for a kernal work?
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Old September 12th, 2011, 09:08 PM   #36 (permalink)
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No, it will charge with your phone turned off.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #37 (permalink)
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I have a simple question. Does my phone have to be powered on when I charge it in order for a kernal work?
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No, it will charge with your phone turned off.
Unless you are using an SBC kernel. If you are using SBC you need to leave your phone on so that it will trickle charge. I don't know why it is that way, but it is.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 04:07 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Unless you are using an SBC kernel. If you are using SBC you need to leave your phone on so that it will trickle charge. I don't know why it is that way, but it is.
Ha, yeah, I guess that is a different question.

Interesting to hear about it having to be on though for sbc to work. almost thinking about flashing to cm7 with Tiamat at night for the charge and then back over to this Evolved rom with More freedom to run during the day.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 08:54 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Unless you are using an SBC kernel. If you are using SBC you need to leave your phone on so that it will trickle charge. I don't know why it is that way, but it is.
I'm using the aggressive-freedom-v0.9 kernal. Is that an SBC kernal?
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Old September 13th, 2011, 10:29 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I'm using the aggressive-freedom-v0.9 kernal. Is that an SBC kernal?
No, as far as I know, there isn't any SBC for GB yet. I thought someone had a beta sbc out, but I haven't heard too much about it yet.
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Old September 14th, 2011, 01:08 AM   #41 (permalink)
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No, as far as I know, there isn't any SBC for GB yet. I thought someone had a beta sbc out, but I haven't heard too much about it yet.
chop suey had a beta sbc out but they pulled it. i think it was not charging even though it was plugged in. not sure whatthe hold up is.
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Old September 14th, 2011, 06:45 AM   #42 (permalink)
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chop suey had a beta sbc out but they pulled it. i think it was not charging even though it was plugged in. not sure whatthe hold up is.
Cool, I thought someone had a SBC out, but I knew it was beta, and I hadn't heard anything since then. And with a few of the people I know running MikG, I would know the first day SBC was out.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 04:42 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Which version of chop suey was it that they pulled?

I dl'd version 9.2.7+ and have it installed with mik2.52 .
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Old September 15th, 2011, 04:49 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Which version of chop suey was it that they pulled?

I dl'd version 9.2.7+ and have it installed with mik2.52 .
it was 9.2.6 sbc. i have it if you want it. pm me if you would like to try it. i have not seeing that the devs thought it would be better to pull it.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 04:52 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Did you get a chance to try it? I am curious why they pulled it too. Would think it must be something 'bad' .

Only one I have seen or heard of being pulled in my whole month of being rooted.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 04:57 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Did you get a chance to try it? I am curious why they pulled it too. Would think it must be something 'bad' .

Only one I have seen or heard of being pulled in my whole month of being rooted.
they were pretty quick to pull it off the shelf. from what i remember, it was not charging the phone correctly so that the battery kept draining even if the phone was plugged into the charger.

actually i did try it and battery went crazy. the next day regardless of the kernel would not hold a charge. not sure if this was due to a bad battery or the kernel. i have a new battery and all is good, but i'm a little hesitant on trying it again.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #47 (permalink)
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All righty then. I reckon I will pass on that file, bro. Thanks anyway.
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Old September 25th, 2011, 11:27 PM   #48 (permalink)
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I have a question regarding a kernel. I flashed the ChopSuey-v.9.2.6-UNIVERSAL-signed.zip
I wanted to know would this be the correct one or should I flash the 9.1 instead? Also once I flash whats the main thing I should be looking in this kernels?

Thanks
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Old September 25th, 2011, 11:39 PM   #49 (permalink)
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I have a question regarding a kernel. I flashed the ChopSuey-v.9.2.6-UNIVERSAL-signed.zip
I wanted to know would this be the correct one or should I flash the 9.1 instead? Also once I flash whats the main thing I should be looking in this kernels?

Thanks
well that is the stable version. there is another one that is still in beta stage it is the 9.2.7 but it has hdmi mirror support. but the one you are interested is a good one. i always try the latest version.

and with kernels, you want to look for performance and battery life. it will take a few days to know what the battery life will be. also with custom kernels you can over and underclock your phone. you need an app like setcpu to do it. and in setcpu you can set governors for your kernel. this will also affect performance and battery life as well.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 08:34 AM   #50 (permalink)
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I have a question regarding a kernel. I flashed the ChopSuey-v.9.2.6-UNIVERSAL-signed.zip
I wanted to know would this be the correct one or should I flash the 9.1 instead? Also once I flash whats the main thing I should be looking in this kernels?

Thanks
Also I've read that if it borks your wifi to mount data in recovery and then flash the kernel. I'm not sure if that's true on all the kernels, but I've read that on numerous occasions. Be sure to read through the thread of the kernel to see if anyone else mentions it.
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