Android Kernel Version Explained
Have you ever encountered the term “kernel” while talking about technology or gadgets including your computer PC and android device? Also, you might be familiar with the term “Linux Kernel”. Now most of us are aware of Linux and Linus Torvalds(Developer of Linux) but what about “Kernel”? What is Kernel in the android kernel and Linux Kernel?
This article explores the definition of Kernel and its usage. What is Kernel and what is the significance of Kernel in Android kernel? Also, let’s know a bit about the Android kernel versions as well.
What is Kernel?
All the multitasking device running on OS have their own kernel. Windows has a kernel, OS X has a kernel, iOS has a kernel, Windows Phone has a kernel, and of course Android has a kernel. But, to be precise we are here to learn about the Android kernel.
Every time a device starts to boot for OS the kernel comes into action to load the instruction to the memory, CPU and hardware to help the device to boot to OS.
On an Android, a kernel is the core program that manages the CPU resources, the system memory, the system devices, including the file systems and networking, and is responsible for managing all the processes.
As we know, all multitasking devices have their own Kernel and Kernel version. Similarly Android uses Linux Kernel on the device. The Android Kernel is consists of over 20 million source codes that include all the drivers (over 70% of the code) plus the support for the different system architectures (ARM, x86, MIPS, IBM, PowerPC, SPARC, etc).
What is Android Kernel Version?
Like other OS versions on Android, the Kernel has its own version. All the apps on your android smartphone or device use Linux as the core Kernel and are required to run the OS and other apps on the device.
The Linux Kernel is open-source and so is the Android. This makes it easy for the developer to develop their app and install it on the device without worrying about the Kernel prices.
What is the latest Android Kernel Version?
The latest Linux Kernel for Android 5.11.8 was released on 20th March 2021 and previewed to the devices on 21-March 2021.
What are the different versions of Android Kernel?
The initial version of Linux Kernel was introduced to Android on September 8 2000 starting with Google Pixel Smartphones including OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo, RealMe etc.
Later the different version of Android Kernel of Linux was introduced to Android devices followed by Android OS. Here is the table you can see to know the Android version of your device.
|Android Version||API Level||Linux Kernel Version in Android OSP||Header Version|
|2.3.x Gingerbread||9, 10||(2.6.35)||2.6.18|
|4.0.x Ice Cream San||14,15||(3.0.1)||2.6.18|
|4.1.x Jelly Bean||16||(3.0.31)||2.6.18|
|4.2.x Jelly Bean||17||(3.4.0)||2.6.18|
|4.3.x Jelly Bean||18||(3.4.39)||2.6.18|
|4.4 Kit Kat||19,20||(3.10)||2.6.18|
|7.0 Nougat||24||3.18.48 4.4.0||4.4.1|
|Oreo||26||3.18.72 4.4.83 4.9.44||4.10.0|
|Oreo||27||3.18.70 4.4.88 4.9.56||4.10.0|
|Android 10(Q)||29||4.9.191 4.14.142 4.19.71||5.0.3|
|Android 12(Snow Cone)||31||5.11.8||N/A|
How do I find my Android kernel version?
Follow the Steps to know the Android Kernel version on the device.
- Open Settings on Android.
- Scroll down and open About phone.
- Now open Software Information.
- Scroll down to find Device’s Kernel Version.
Can we update Android kernel version?
Yes, Android custom kernels, also called ROMs, can be applied or updated manually to Android OS to add features, improve performance or change certain parts of the operating system. But, a custom Kernel cam only be flashed on a rooted android phone.
What is the best kernel for Android?
There are the three best Android Kernels
- Franco Kernel: This is one of the biggest kernel projects on the scene and is compatible with quite a few devices, including the Nexus 5, the OnePlus One and more. …
- ElementalX: This is another project that promises compatibility with a wide variety of devices, and so far it has maintained that promise. …
- Linaro Kernel.
Is custom kernel safe?
Not all Kernels are good and not all are bad. It completely depends on the Android OS and Kernels. A kernel update can also improve the performance while others are known for security and stability anomalies.
How Kernel version is different from Android OS Version?
Kernel on Android is the base of the operating system and depends on updates on the Linux updates. This Kernel adds extra features and improves the performance on the Android OS of the device.
On the other hand, the Android OS version is completely different from the Kernel version update. The Android OS version depends on Andriod itself for updates. An Andriod OS is used to add and improve some extra features and UIs.
- Wikipedia Android version history
- android / kernel / common / Makefile
- android / platform / external / kernel-headers / original / uapi / linux / version.h (the Linux headers as used by Bionic in AOSP)