One of the greatest things about Android is the fact that you can customize and modify the software of your device to your heart’s content. Whether it’s the simple things, like installing a new launcher or messaging app, or something more complex, like installing a new ROM, Android does it all and you can go pretty much crazy with it. One of the most in-depth modifications that you can do is install a custom kernel for your device, which allows you to unlock extra features and performance out of your device. Today, we’ll show you how you can tweak your custom kernel settings and adjust your device to your needs in the simplest way possible.
First of all, if it’s not already obvious, you’re going to need to install a custom kernel. There are all sorts of community-created kernels for most mainstream devices, and the process of installing them generally boils down to having an unlocked or rooted device with a custom recovery. You can see some more information about this process on this post. Installing a custom kernel will open your device up to extra customization and possibilities, allowing you to directly configure and mess around with settings that the manufacturer locks or has not implemented in the version of your device that came from the factory.
So, once you have a custom kernel installed and your device rooted, the next thing to figure out is how to go about actually configuring the kernel settings. Well, there are a couple of ways to go about that, but the one I usually recommend is using an app to easily modify and access all of the kernel settings in one place. That’s what I’ll be demonstrating today as well, and the app we’ll be using is called Kernel Adiutor, which you can download here for free.
Despite the name looking like a misspelling of “auditor” (the author explains that “adiutor” is Latin for “helper”), I assure you that the app is solid and definitely one of the best of its kind. So, let’s take a look. Once you open the app and grant it root access, you’ll be able to easily change most of your kernel settings. For example, let’s start with the CPU:
As you can see, it shows you the CPU usage, frequency, and how many cores are currently active on your device. Going further, the app actually allows you to change the performance characteristics of the CPU. For example, you can pick a higher CPU frequency, which increases the performance of your device; or pick a new governor, which defines how quickly your CPU should ramp up when it’s being used:
There are also all sorts of battery saving options, and you can even pick a governor or core configuration that conserves your battery at the cost of lower performance so that you can get maximum battery life. The app has various other sections besides the CPU, though. For example, it also allows you to choose a frequency and governor for your GPU, increasing the performance in games and 3D effects:
It allows you to calibrate and change the colors of your screen:
It has a battery screen, which shows you the battery voltage and temperature:
And it even has a section where you can configure how your device manages the available RAM, so you can configure when your apps should start being killed in the background:
All of the sections have a “Apply on boot” setting, which means that the settings you have picked will be automatically applied the next time you turn off or reboot your device, without you having to input them all over again.
There are plenty of other options in there, but most users will probably only be interested in fiddling with the ones we took a look at. Of course, only the features that your kernel or device actually supports will show up, so don’t worry if your options differ from the ones pictured above. Besides kernel customization, the app also has a nifty set of utilities that you might want to take a look at, like full device and recovery backup, init.d script support and profile management. There are plenty of kernel editing apps out there – and their features are all over the place – but to me Kernel Adiutor is one of the best, and unlike most, is actually free to use and very simple to configure. So, if you’re looking for an easy app to give kernel tweaking a try, this is the one I’d definitely recommend going with.