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what is a ROM and a kernel?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by kagekiid, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. kagekiid

    kagekiid Member
    Thread Starter

    I see people talk about these all the time but I never have any idea what they are talking about. I have looked around and everyone just says xyz about them but I have yet to find out what they actually are/do/ how they serve a beneficial purpose. Can someone shed light on this for me?


  2. JayBondzeWell

    JayBondzeWell Android Enthusiast

    kernel is what helps phone performance. the phone stock is 1ghz. and thankx to PG and others who helped. there is now a kernel of 2.2ghz which doubles what the phone came with. this causes less lag and better cpu performance on the phone. ROM is the who phone software and features it comes with. which is like tweeking a car. for a bit more of what u prefer.. i believe
    kagekiid and Memo35 like this.
  3. LX

    LX Well-Known Member

    Look at it this way :

    a rom is like a ps3 game and your phone is the ps3. You have a stock rom which is the one your phones has out of the box. Then you have custom roms built by ppl/devs which are lighter, debloated (all the crappy apps have been taken out), faster, that you, under the right circumstances, can load into your phone and it may feel and look like a whole new OS.

    A kernel , to my understanding, is pretty much what brings everything together, manages it, and makes it work. Youll hear ppl talk about kernels overclocked to a certain speed which means itll run faster, and undervolted which means they, in thoery, will consume less power/battery.
    kagekiid and Memo35 like this.
  4. mrpnut


    couldn't say it better,yup the kernel is the main brain of any device :)
  5. PlayfulGod

    PlayfulGod Extreme Android User

    kernel = the heart of any OS

    ROM = the Android OS, specifically just the parts we deal with, The complete OS has several other partitions (rooms like in a house ;)) with stuff the devs dont or cant touch.
    kagekiid and Memo35 like this.
  6. kagekiid

    kagekiid Member
    Thread Starter

    this is a great analogy but what are the visual aspects of each, like when I look at my phone which is which
  7. epayne123

    epayne123 Android Expert

    What you see is the OS or ROM. The kernel is a software that doesn't have a face. The kernel is what makes sure everything happens and how it happens.
  8. JayBondzeWell

    JayBondzeWell Android Enthusiast

    you use the rom. its what u see as stated above. the words and images that comes with the phone. the theme is the imagery of the phone. so its all you read. hence rom= read only memory
  9. kanaida

    kanaida Android Expert

    ROM is the read only (out of the box anyways) part of the phone. It's like installing windows on a pc, except they make it read only afterwards, your stuff being store separately so it can be easily wiped/reset.

    a kernel is the engine, it talks to the hardware using software modules called drivers. You could say the kernel is the orchesta guy waving the sticks, and the modules are the instruments. The android operating system (or opera house in my case) is the rest of the rom, the apps, interfaces etc... apps ask drivers for stuff like if your phone is rotated, your gps location and stuff but they don't know anything about hardware, sort of like a translator between 2 people speaking different languages.

    when you make a rom it usually has a kernel built in, so it's all one zip file. Kernels by themselves can also be in zips, usually flashed on top of roms to replace just the kernel part.

    When you replace a rom it's like installing windows 7 (new rom) on a pc as an upgrade/modification when your system came with windows xp (your stock rom). Phones are pretty much entire computers on a chip these days.

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