Last week I showed you how to install a custom ROM onto your Galaxy Note 4 and today we’re going to focus on a custom kernel with a step by step guide on how to install one.
Here is a list of Galaxy Note 4 custom kernels that can be downloaded and installed from XDA-Developers.
The kernel of an Android device is incredibly powerful. A custom kernel can do drastic things to your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch and enable anything from incredible performance all the way to a longer battery life. The stock kernel for the Galaxy Note 4 is rather limited but after you install a custom kernel, you will be able to tweak it to do all sorts of various tasks.
Personally, I lean toward more battery life but the beauty in Android is that you can change it to whatever you want.
Just like I mentioned in the how to install a custom ROM on the Galaxy Note 4 tutorial, you will need to have a couple of things already done before you can start this one. The first thing you need is root access to your Galaxy Note 4. After you have root access, then you will need to install a custom recovery onto your Galaxy Note 4. Technically, you can flash a custom kernel with ADB and Fastboot but I like to recommend that you have a custom recovery so you can create your Galaxy Note 4 Nandorid backup. This way, if something gets messed up then you can always restore from your Galaxy Note 4 backup.
Galaxy Note 4 Install Custom Kernel
- Create a Nandroid Backup for the Galaxy Note 4
- Download the Custom Kernel onto Your Galaxy Note 4
- Boot the Galaxy Note 4 into Recovery Mode
- Tap on Install
- Locate and Tap on the Custom Kernel You Downloaded
- Swipe the Blue Arrow to the Right to Install
- Wait Until Installation is Completed
- Tap on the Wipe Cache/Dalvik Button
- Swipe the Blue Arrow to the Right to Wipe the Cache
- Tap on the Back Button
- Tap on the Reboot System Button
Again, you always want to have a backup of your Galaxy Note 4 before you start any type of modification like this. I know, it can take 5 minutes and you just want to get a custom kernel installed right now. I promise, spending this little time, even if you don’t think you need to, really can save you a lot more time in the long run. Just like the tutorial for installing a custom ROM on the Galaxy Note 4, this tutorial is for the TWRP custom recovery. The process is very similar with CWM though, and you can almost follow right along too.
Once everything is downloaded, you’ll need to boot into the custom recovery and tap on the Install button. This will bring you to a file browser and you’ll need to locate the custom kernel that you downloaded earlier. This should be in a .zip file format or you cannot install it with TWRP(or CWM either). Sometimes custom kernels are downloaded in an .img file format and for this, please keep reading. The second tutorial below will show you how to flash an .img custom kernel.
Once you have flashed the custom kernel onto your Galaxy Note 4, you can reboot back into Android and it will automatically be using the new kernel you installed. You can double-check to make sure it installed properly by tapping on the Settings application and then tapping on the About Phone option. On this page there should be a section called Kernel Version. You should see a mention of the type of kernel you flashed here. For example, if you flashed the N4 AEL kernel then you should see some mention of that in this section.
The next step here is to tweak the custom kernel, but again, you should go ahead and create a Nandroid backup just in case something messes up. Changing the wrong setting, even if by accident, can send your device into a bootloop. I recommend the Faux Clock, aka Faux 123 Kernel Enhancement Pro, to tweak the kernel. I will write up a detailed article about generic kernel tweaking in the future. This is a very complex topic and it would be best to have it all in one place and not specific about the Galaxy Note 4.
Galaxy Note 4 Flashify Kernel
- Download and Install Flashify
- Download the Custom Kernel to Your Galaxy Note 4
- Launch Flashify and Grant Root Access
- Tap on Boot Image
- Locate and Tap the Custom Kernel You Downloaded
- Wait for Flashify to Scan it
- Tell Flashify to Install it
- Wait for the Galaxy Note 4 to Reboot
A lot of people prefer the flashify way to flashing a custom kernel or a custom recovery and more times than not it will work perfectly fine. I have never had an issue with Flashify so it always boils down to however the developer packages the kernel. If the custom kernel for the Galaxy Note 4 is in an .img format then I use Flashify and if the custom kernel is in a .zip file format then I flash it in the custom recovery. Either way you go, the result will be the exact same.
Flashify is a very simple application and it should be a very straight forward process. The key here is to tap on Boot Image if you are flashing a custom kernel. Flashify also has an option to flash a zip file but this isn’t a feature that I use.
As always, if you have any questions about this tutorial then please leave a comment at the bottom of this page. I can’t answer everything because sometimes other people run into issues or errors that I haven’t seen. However, I am always willing to help in any way that I can. Even if I can’t help, hopefully I can point you in the right direction.