Even though you posted in incorrect section I will help you with some answers.
Originally Posted by kungfuEngineer
Ok, at the outset I would like to make it clear I am the beginner of all beginners when it comes Android tweaking and the doubts are related to it.
I have Samsung Ace GT S5830i phone. Its rooted and CWM installed. Kindly help me clear the following doubts regarding custom roms, kernel and firmware.
1. What is a kernel and What is a stock firmware. Are there any differences between it.
2. If I am installing a custom ROM, which has a custom kernel. Which do I install first? ROM or KERnel? Or whether both are bundled together as a single installation.
3. What is Odin and for what is it used for
4. If I have a CWM backup of my phone, and while installing a custom rom with custom kernel, If my phone gets bricked. Can I unbrick it by restoring cwm backup I have taken, or should I have to go via Odin (also how do i do it via Odin)
5. Can I install a different kernel on the existing rom, will it wipe of all my applications and settings?
1. a) What is a kernel?
b) Stock firmware is like the root of your machine. I would take windows for simple example as i think you are not aware of that.
-Your computer was firstly installed with Windows Vista and you later upgrade to a higher version of windows. Stock ROM in this case is Windows Vista.
- What is "firmware"?
Firmware refers to the applications and operating system that control how a cellphone or smartphone operates. It is called firmware rather than software to highlight that it is very closely tied to the particular hardware components of a device. Firmware is generally flashed into a phone's ROM rather than simply being loaded into normal phone storage, where it could more easily be erased and lost in the event of a crash. Firmware updates are sometimes provided by a company as a way to fix bugs or introduce new functionality. Unfortunately Samsung has abandoned firmware updates on low-end devices such as our Galaxy Ace.
2. If the ROM zip contains the kernel there is no need of installing a custom kernel afterwards. Always when you flash something don't forget to mount /system, /data, /cache and /sdcard. It seems you have installed CWM Recovery so you should know about mounting.
3. Odin was software that was first leaked back a couple years ago from Samsung. Samsung uses or used it to "flash" or "install" firmware/os/kernels/radio's onto the devices. Samsung still uses it or a form of it in certain releases as a Window's Upgrade Tool as its been known. Its still basically old Odin underneath a custom Window's UI skin.
Odin is your friend, respect it. If used improperly it can brick a device since it has the ability to flash very vulnerable sections of your device.
4. a) If your phone can access through CWM then you can probably unbrick your device restoring your nandroid backup. In such case, the brick is called a soft-brick.
b) If your phone stucks on boot logo and has no access on CWM then, you should use ODIN to unbrick it.
5. You can. I don't know if you loose some of your settings but what is certainly you won't loose is data (Unless you wipe it)
You can use Google too for such questions. Also, you seem to be new here so please keep in mind these things :
- Never ask for ETAs (Expected Time of Arrival)
- For reporting bugs or asking questions about a ROM use its Discussion thread. If it has no discussion thread you are free to post in development thread.
- Do not post OFF-Topic replies on such threads. You are free to do such thing on the OFF-TOPIC thread on general section of this device.
- Follow XDA rules even if you feel embarrassed or offended. Report the user which does this to you instead.
- Instead of Replying "Thank you. It worked!" Just click Thanks button instead.