Simplistic HTC Hero Kernel Question.

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J-Zeus

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2009
263
0
Hi All,

Running rooted Hero with Modaco 2.5.1 rom ( thanks Paul ):)

Was hoping someone could ( simplistically ) answer a few question for me.:)

As I understand it - one of the things holding back development of Hero ROMS is that HTC haven't released the kernel for the Hero.

1) What exactly IS the kernel in the greater scheme of things?

2) When are HTC likely to release it?

3) When it is released, what new things will it allow developers to do?

4) Anything else relevant to it worth knowing?

TIA:):):eek:
 

arkhonic

Member
Oct 7, 2009
7
0
Look at these:
1. The kernel is the Operating System for the phone, it runs everything.
2. That is the magic question...
3. It'll allow more development in terms of mods. we'll be able to change alot more and get more out of the phones.

I'm sure others will have more detailed explanations.
 

packetlss

Senior Member
Aug 10, 2009
236
8
Regarding question 2:

I've gotten response from HTC support the other day that the release is planned but no sure date could be given.

Date: 5th of October

My question:
Hello there, I realize that this might not be the normal kind of request you guys get, but here goes. This is probably not your average request and might require escalation. I was wondering when the source code for the Hero kernel was gonna be available at developer.htc.com?

Answer:
Hello
This is quite a normal question we get here at HTC. The source code is something that will becoming soon. We have had contact with those far higher than my self or are planning on adding the source code as soon as possible. I have not been given a time scale but bases on the code for the two other handsets i should expect it in the next couple of weeks.
Hope this helps.

So, educated guess would be around the release of the Hero in the US.
 

J-Zeus

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2009
263
0
Some if I have this right -

The kernel is the basic underlying OS of the phone, and a ROM sits on top of this end gives us the end user experience ( and Sense UI is within the ROM ).

Am I right in thinking the kernel is linux based?


And a big magic question - when the kernel is released, will people be able to modify it and get the bluetooth working properly?


Sorry if it's a bit basic - but interesting to me....:)
 

akirainblack

Senior Member
Nov 12, 2004
338
19
The Kernel is not the OS (As most people understand an OS to be) (OS meaning Operating System)
It's at the core of the OS but is not the OS. You can keep the same build of an OS but update the kernel and vica versa. It is (put simply) what converts the hardware calls from the OS into something the hardware understands.
So (using current issues as explanation) The OS tries to load the GPS and the kernel isn't configured with the right settings the GPS won't load. Similarly if you try and use the trackball and it's not setup in the kernel then it won't do anything.
The OS will still work fine with other things but until the kernel has the right settings put into it it just won't see the parts of the phone it's not set up to.
Here is a technical description of a Kernel.
http://www.linfo.org/kernel.html

I'm sure I've just made it as clear as dishwater but if not I hope it's helped.
 
T

TheBrit

Guest
Some if I have this right -

The kernel is the basic underlying OS of the phone, and a ROM sits on top of this end gives us the end user experience ( and Sense UI is within the ROM ).
Not exactly. To add to what akirainblack has said already...ROM stands for Read Only Memory. In this context it is a bit different as it is the complete package that makes up the Kernel, the OS and anything that is pre-installed to the phone. When you run the RUU (Rom Update Utilitiy) on your PC is completely refreshes the system software in your phone - Kernel, OS and any pre-installed apps - just as if you had bought it from the shop like that.
Am I right in thinking the kernel is linux based?
Yes.
 

nikjensie

Senior Member
Aug 1, 2006
178
1
Hmmm...
simple question... when the kernel is available... would we be able to get a white taskbar on the Hero? :)

//Nik
 

foxmeister

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2008
4,041
383
Ealing
When the kernel source is available, we should be able to rebuild Android completely from the source code repositories and do practically whatever you want.

Regards,

Dave
 

SquiffSquiff

Senior Member
Aug 1, 2009
85
5
Given that this is a Linux kernel, aren't HTC required by the GPL to make the source available to all Hero owners?
 

BlueHawk

Senior Member
Aug 17, 2009
351
61
Toronto
This is covering the same ground, but is another way to look at things regarding the kernel and the OS. The kernel abstracts the specifics of the hardware from the Android system. For example, when the Android system requests that the bluetooth hardware be enabled, the kernel can translate that request so that it works with the particular hardware of the phone - as the bluetooth hardware of the Magic may be different from the bluetooth hardware of the Hero. So the kernel, is an interface that translates and Android call to the specific hardware level controls necessary. The kernel sits between the hardware and the Android system.

It also means that releasing the kernel will not allow us to make changes to the Hero Android user interfaces. If we want to change colours, icons and so on in the Hero ROM, we would need the source code for their "tweaked" Android and maybe to some degree their TouchFlo software. I doubt they would give that away. It would allows us however, to tweak the kernel, or transplant the driver code for specific hardware pieces in the Hero, to a newer version kernel. :)
 

E2K

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2009
127
0
I understand that the release of the hero kernel, could help me with my cause (getting 1.5/1.6 'clean' android on my hero without any htc apps/front ends).

Somebody suggested contacting HTC and asking for it to be released.
I have a few questions regarding that:

1) Has this happened before? That HTC released an android kernel?
2) Did this happen after the request?
3) Who should we contact to get it? (which HTC division)
4) Is there a possibility that they don't want to release it, because it would allow people to copy parts of the proprietary interface?
 

mopodo

Senior Member
Aug 16, 2009
142
51
1) Has this happened before? That HTC released an android kernel?
Take a look at http://developer.htc.com/
The Dream and Magic sources are available.

4) Is there a possibility that they don't want to release it, because it would allow people to copy parts of the proprietary interface?
The HTC Sense UI won't be included in the kernel source.
They dont have to release the source of them.


New question
Is it possible to create a new donut kernel (2.6.29) with the changes they made to the 1.5 kernel (2.6.27)?
Looks like they send you the hole kernel, not just some patches and new drivers...
 
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jubeh

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2009
1,264
20
HTC HAS to release the kernel source as required under the GPL license that the kernel was released under. It is indeed a linux kernel and it contains the necessary parts to work the hardware along with extra drivers and modules (stupid monolithic kernels).
Here's what I don't get (and hopefully somebody will clarify this for me). Why hasn't anybody tried building android with the current kernel available? Android has the ability to be built around a pre-compiled kernel (it does this if you do a straight make right after repo sync with the pre-compiled dream kernel). You'd only need to re-build the wlan.ko module for the new kernel and the gps module would be compiled against the specified kernel, so it should work.
If I had Hero, I'd test it (if you want to trade your Hero for my G1, hit me up :D), but there's no reason it shouldn't work.
Up to now, I've only seen ports, and those are hard to make work because of the pre-compiled files, so that leads to loads of file-swapping and finger-crossing, but an AOSP make should still work. Anybody wanna try it (or post me a hero kernel and I'll compile you a stock donut build to test).
 

E2K

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2009
127
0
HTC HAS to release the kernel source as required under the GPL license that the kernel was released under. It is indeed a linux kernel and it contains the necessary parts to work the hardware along with extra drivers and modules (stupid monolithic kernels).
Here's what I don't get (and hopefully somebody will clarify this for me). Why hasn't anybody tried building android with the current kernel available? Android has the ability to be built around a pre-compiled kernel (it does this if you do a straight make right after repo sync with the pre-compiled dream kernel). You'd only need to re-build the wlan.ko module for the new kernel and the gps module would be compiled against the specified kernel, so it should work.
If I had Hero, I'd test it (if you want to trade your Hero for my G1, hit me up :D), but there's no reason it shouldn't work.
Up to now, I've only seen ports, and those are hard to make work because of the pre-compiled files, so that leads to loads of file-swapping and finger-crossing, but an AOSP make should still work. Anybody wanna try it (or post me a hero kernel and I'll compile you a stock donut build to test).

Hi, thank you for this information. You make it sound like it's possible :p
I tried searching for the Hero Kernel, but I could only find this:
http://developer.htc.com/
The hero is not listed (maybe it shares a lot with the magic kernel?).

edit: this post dating from september 10 stated that HTC would "release the kernel source soon".
This was more than a month ago though..

edit2: calling HTC Netherlands right now..
edit3: after explainig the need for the kernel, I've been on hold for 10 minutes now..
edit4: more than 18 minutes now
edit5: after 26 minutes I hang up
 
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SquiffSquiff

Senior Member
Aug 1, 2009
85
5
Well I have a Hero running Modaco 2.2. I could post this kernel (where?) Or it surely could be extracted from one of the ROMs available on this very site
 

E2K

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2009
127
0
Well I have a Hero running Modaco 2.2. I could post this kernel (where?) Or it surely could be extracted from one of the ROMs available on this very site

I could be wrong, but I believe there is a difference between the 'kernel', and the 'kernel source'. The second one is needed when you want to compile the kernel.
 

SquiffSquiff

Senior Member
Aug 1, 2009
85
5
Speaking as one who has compiled kernels in the past there are three components required here:
  1. The kernel source- this is typically available from http://kernel.org/ If HTC have made any changes to the source of the kernel itself then these should be apparent in their distribution of the kernel source
  2. The relevant configuration file '.config' which should accompany their distribution of the kernel source and permit you to compile any other kernel as a drop in replacement.
  3. Source code and makefiles for any custom kernel modules ('drivers' in windows terminology) In Linux these have to be compiled together with the kernel.

To use a cookery analogy:
The kernel source is the raw ingredients. It can be set up for anything from a supercomputer to a DVD player depending on how you use it. The kernel config is the method which will allow you to bake the type of cake you intend. The modules sources are any of HTC’s own custom ingredients required for everything to work. THe kernel is the finished cake which you eat.
 
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